Continuing his preview of this year's Tour de France, Chris Boardman takes a look at the stages on the run-in to the first first time trial at Arc-er-Senans.
Just 207.5km separate the peloton and the first serious climbs of this year's Tour de France. Ending in Metz, one of the Tour's most enduring cities, it's hard to envisage anything other than a bunch sprint in stage 6.
While the roads start to ramp up on the 199km road to La Planche des Belles Filles, this is more of an hors d'oeuvre before the big mountain stages later on. The peloton should stay together until the final climb, at which the point climbers like Robert Gesink and Jurgen Van den Broeck will be looking to put as much time as possible into their time trialling specialist rivals like Cadel Evans and Brad Wiggins.
If the legs weren't awake before the start of today, they will be by the end. Seven climbs are on the menu but with nothing overly long, the eighth stage may be set for a buccaneering break from a maverick like Sylvain Chavanel.