Analysis by Jean-François Pescheux, Tour competition director: “The race starts to head towards Paris now. However, whereas in some years the road to the capital begins on the flatlands of the Landes region, heading in this direction doesn’t make for an easy route at all as we’re not far from the Cévennes and the roads are steep and undulating. Riders will have to watch out for ambushes by their rivals. There could well be a lot of attacks today as cumulative fatigue really begins to tell. This kind of unpredictable stage should give the teams that haven’t had a great race so far a chance to show themselves, but it will also see the battles for the points, mountains and team prizes continue.”

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