Tour de France 2013 stage 13
Friday, July 12
Stage type Flat
IMPACT ON THE RACE
Yellow jersey 1/5
Green jersey 5/5
Polka-dot jersey 0/5
WHERE ARE WE?
The Tour heads inexorably south-west, picking up where we left off yesterday, in Tours, and finishes in St Amand-Montrond, which is about as close to the centre of France as you can get. Between these two places lies an interminable stretch of cultivated countryside. The bad news is, this kind of landscape doesn’t lend itself to exciting bike racing.
The good is that, if photogenic shots of cornfields or sunflower fields with the Tour in the background are your bag, today’s going to be a good day.
WHAT’S ON THE ROUTE?
Well, the sprinters had to ride over all those hills in the first week, something they’ve not had to do that for years. So now, the breakaway artists have to suffer while the sprinters enjoy the almost entirely flat second week. There are a few pimples en route, but none that will interrupt the progress of the peloton in their inevitable pursuit and catch of the break.
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN?
The second of three consecutive sprints that are going to fill the long traverse of France. We’re over halfway through the Tour now, and the teams who have so far won nothing will be keen to get into the break. In the first week, breaks are usually limited to four-six riders, so that bringing them back is possible in the final hour.
But given the presence of Mark Cavendish in the field, other teams may be reluctant to help Omega Pharma-Quick Step in the chase, so if more than six are allowed to get away, and the chasing is always left to the same team, the chances of success for the breakaways suddenly increases.