Tirreno-Adriatico winner Nairo Quintana was back in the saddle on Monday, looking ahead to his Tour de France assault with a recon of stage four’s cobbled sections.
The Tour riders will have to traverse seven sectors of pavé between Seraing and Cambrai in a stage which could prove decisive in the overall standings.
In 2014 eventual winner Vincenzo Nibali put in a stellar performance over the ragged terrain on stage five, which saw the demise of his rival Chris Froome.
Having missed last year’s Tour to focus on the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, Quintana’s experience of cobbles are somewhat thin on the ground.
The Colombian is scheduled to feature at Wednesday’s Dwars door Vlaanderen and Friday’s E3 Harelbeke to give him experience of racing on pavé.
Quintana previously said that cobbles aren’t much of a concern for him, as long as he manages to retain a good position in the group.
“The truth is that the issue does not bother me. Yes, it’s the first time I’ll ride the pavé but it’s not another world,” he said.