Finally we come to something a lot more straightforward and typical of what almost every first-week stage at the Tour used to look like.
There is nothing to concern anyone as the race starts to turn south, so expect lots of sunflower shots, a long and probably fruitless breakaway and the sprinters going elbow to elbow at the finish. Mark Cavendish will have particularly happy memories of Châteauroux, as he claimed his first Tour stage win in the town back in 2008. Winner of four stages that year, this is one of just half a dozen opportunities he'll get in this edition.
Distance: 218 km
Highest point: 178m
Bernhard Eisel says...
"The GC battle starts the following day but as this is pan-flat, it's a massive stage for the green jersey. Haven't seen the finish yet, but regardless of what other teams do, we work. We have the best sprinter so it's our responsibility to make it come together."
This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.