Tour de France 2014: Stage 7 preview with Chris Boardman

A look ahead to the 234.5km stage between Epernay and Nancy

Click to follow
The Independent Online

This is a long, hard slog of a transition stage that should suit a breakaway or an all-rounder like Peter Sagan. With the Vosges Mountains looming, there may be more jitters than usual in the peloton.

I would best describe Stage 7 as a shorter, French version of the great Milan Sanremo one-day race. It’s mostly flat up until the run-in, where two short, steep climbs rear their heads towards the sky. After the second of those, the Côte de Boufflers it’s all downhill to the finish, so perhaps a daring escapologist like Vincenzo Nibali could make a bid for the win.

This is certainly not a typical sprint stage- indeed it would be surprising were Marcel Kittel or André Greipel to have their arms raised at the finish. Instead, look for a lesser light of the peloton to shine as the Tour heads towards its business stages.

Watch the video below:

Watch previews for all 21 stages with The Independent.