Stage 10: St-Gildas-des-Bois - Saint-Malo 193km

By Cyclingnews.com

Friday, June 14, 2013 2.57pm

Plus stage video preview with Magnus Bäckstedt

This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.

Following the action in the Pyrénées, the riders get a well-deserved rest day, which they will spend in Brittany after a plane transfer from the south-west. The next few days should see the sprinters return to centre stage. Certainly, that looks the case for today's run north to the magnificent walled city of St-Malo. 

The route pays tribute to two of France's Tour legends, passing through St-Méen-Le-Grand, birthplace of three-time champion Louison Bobet, and close to Calorguen, where five-time champion Bernard Hinault runs a farm when he isn't focused on protocol duties at ASO's races. 

There's just one fourth-category climb on a route that could prove tricky when the riders reach the coast. They will follow the coastal road around the peninsula and into St-Malo, where the race finishes beneath the city's ramparts.

If any sprinter has been dominating up to now, a win here could see them all but seal the points jersey as most of the sprint opportunities will now be behind them.

Barry Hoban: "It's always tough racing in Brittany. There may not be any notable climbs but the roads twist and turn all the way to St-Malo. That is sure to mean there'll be a frantic start as lots of teams will want to be in the break. I think the sprinters might fancy the finish under the ramparts, though."

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Local history

The last time St-Malo hosted the Tour was for a stage start in 2008. That day ended in Nantes with a win for Samuel Dumoulin and Romain Feillu in yellow. Perhaps more relevant, is last year's stage of the Tour of Brittany that finished in St-Gildasdes-Bois. The winner? Argos-Shimano sprinter John Degenkolb.

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