Tour de France 2014: Stage 6 preview with Chris Boardman

A look ahead to the 194km stage between Arras and Reims

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The Independent Online

After the sound and fury of the cobbles on Stage 5, it’s back onto more sedate ground for a flat day into the heart of Champagne country .

In medieval times Reims was the place of coronation for French kings- and in 2014, it may give an opportunity for a French rider to reign supreme over the Tour for a day. Whilst this stage should in all likelihood end in a bunch sprint, the threat of crosswinds and some tricky bends in the final kilometres will give the inevitable breakaway more than a faint hope of success.

Along the route there are just two, fourth-category climbs, so the overall race contenders will be content to sit back, relax and watch the fireworks explode ahead of them. With Cavendish just a distant memory, the way appears clear for Marcel Kittel to again stamp his hefty frame all over the race.

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Watch previews for all 21 stages with The Independent.