Stage 3 preview

Here come the cobbles

After a nod to Liège-Bastogne-Liège yesterday, Tour organisers ASO pay homage to another race in their portfolio by taking the field over several of the cobbled sections from Paris-Roubaix.

There are 13.2km of pavé hell for the riders to deal with in seven separate sections. The last four are in France and particularly nasty, the final one just 10km from the finish. It’s been six years since the Tour last encountered the cobbles. Back in 2004 the hopes of principal Spanish contender Iban Mayo were blown away in the dust. The sylph-like Alberto Contador will be hoping he doesn’t suffer the same fate. The finish is at the entrance to Roubaix’s infamous Arenberg Forest.

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