The stage from Granville to Angers took the riders south from the Grand Départ in Normandy, and looked like it was being treated as something of an easy day… until the final hour, when the race sprung into life.
Cameras mounted on several riders’ bikes recorded footage of the peloton winding its way through the French countryside and the numerous towns along the way. Riders were freely able to chat as the bunch let lone escapee Armind Fonseca (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) gain over 10 minutes.
At one point, a piece of street furniture nearly catches out one rider as the peloton picks up pace. He has to swerve out of the way of the sign and nearly clips race leader Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) Thankfully, disaster was averted – but it shows that even on a ‘slow’ day, riders have to be ever wary.
Towards the end of the on-bike video you can see riders putting in a maximum effort to get themselves and their teams near the front of the peloton as the race headed towards its bunch sprint conclusion.
There has been some criticism from riders, including stage three winner Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Sagan, on how too many teams are now trying to get to the front. They argue that it is creating dangerous conditions in the peloton, particularly for the sprinters.
The 2016 Tour de France continues its journey south on Tuesday, with stage four from Saumur and Limoges. It’s another long and flat stage that is likely to end in a bunch sprint.