Stage 5: Le Cap d'Agde - Perpignan
Thursday, July 2, 2009 11.00pm
Sprinters' teams on alert
The visit of the Mediterranean coast continues with the start in Cap d'Agde, one of France's most popular seaside resorts. Wide open beaches greet many Northern visitors in the summer months, and the Tour de France stage start will surely add to the holiday feeling on July 8.
Again, the wind could play a major role on this stage as the riders will plunge Southwards along the coastline to Perpignan. The 'Tramontane', a typical gale coming from the Pyrenees, could split the pack if riders are not paying attention. The sprinters' teams should look forward to another battle of the fast men at the finish line in Perpignan.
The stage, which passes through the famous Corbières wine region, is dedicated to Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali. The eccentric artist was fascinated by the spectacle of cycling and especially the Tour de France, and created the 1959 Tour's postcard.
Jonathan Vaughters' views
My comments here will be almost the same as stage 3: wind, wind, wind. It might be calm and so just a boring roll to Perpignan or it might be all out warfare in the wind.
With a bit of fatigue settling in, and either the motivation of having the maillot jaune or the scorn of just having lost, I think this day is for Tyler Farrar.