Tour De France 2014: Stage 7 Route, Live Stream, Predictions, Updated Standings

Dominic RaynorCorrespondent IIJuly 11, 2014

Germany's Andre Greipel, center, crosses the finish line ahead of second place Norway's Alexander Kristoff, center in red and white, third place Samuel Dumoulin of France, right, and Peter Sagan of Slovakia, second right and fifth place, to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France, Thursday, July 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Stage 7 from Epernay to Nancy is the longest the peloton have had to face so far on the 2014 Tour de France and given the carnage that took place on a supposedly easy transition in Stage 6, it should be anything but routine. 

Two Category 4 climbs at the end of the 234.5-kilometre stage might prove too difficult for out and out sprinters like Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel, who have four stage wins between then so far, leaving it open for a long breakaway success, or the puncheurs in the race. 

On Saturday, the Tour hits the low mountains so the General Classification riders might also use the finale of Stage 7 to test their legs and those of their rivals.

 

Date: Friday 11 July

Distance: 234.5 km

Profile: Hilly

TV info and live stream: NBCSN (for U.S. viewers) and ITV4 (for U.K. viewers) will be broadcasting every stage of the 2014 Tour de France, with mobile coverage available via NBC Sports' Live Extra and the ITVPlayer app.

 

Updated Standings

2014 Tour de France Overall Leaderboard (Yellow Jersey)
PositionRiderTeamTimeGap
1Vincenzo NibaliAstana24h 38' 25''
2Jakob FuglsangAstana24h 38' 27'' + 00' 02''
3Peter SaganCannondale24h 39' 09'' + 00' 44''
4Michal KwiatowskiO.Ph-Q-Step24h 39' 15'' + 00' 50''
5Fabian CancellaraTrek24h 39' 42'' + 01' 17''
6Jurgen Van Den BroeckLotto-Belisol24h 40' 10'' + 01' 45''
7Tony GallopinLotto-Belisol24h 40' 10'' + 01' 45''
8Richie PorteSky24h 40' 19'' + 01' 54''
9Andrew TalanskyGarmin-Sharp24h 40' 30'' + 02' 05''
10Alejandro ValverdeMovistar24h 40' 36'' + 02' 11''
letour.com
2014 Tour de France Points Classification (Green Jersey)
PositionRiderTeamPoints
1Peter SaganCannondale217 pts
2Bryan CoquardEruopcar137 pts
3Marcel KittelGiant-Shimano135 pts
4Alexander KristoffKatusha117 pts
5Andre GreipelLotto91 pts
6Mark RenshawO.Ph.-Q-Step87 pts
7Samuel DumoulinAG2R55 pts
8Vincenzo NibaliAstana53 pts
9Greg Van AvermaetBMC Racing48 pts
10Arnaud DemareFDJ.fr44 pts
letour.com
2014 Tour de France Mountain Classification (Polka-Dot Jersey)
PositionRiderTeamPoints
1Cyril LeMoineCofidis6
2Blel KadriAG2R La Mondiale5
3Jens VoigtTrek4
4Nicolas EdetCofidis4
5Luis Angel Mate MardonesCofidis3
6Thomas VoecklerEuropcar3
7Pierre RollandEuropcar2
8Tom-Jelte SlagterGarmin-Sharp2
9Perrig QuemeneurEuropcar2
10David de la Cruz MelgarejoNetApp-Endura2
letour.com

 

Route

The race will begin in the town of Epernay and the peloton will head mainly east before turning south through part of the Lorraine Regional Natural Park and toward the hilly finish.

There is a 363-metre uncategorised climb before an intermediate sprint after 148 kilometres in Hannonville-Sous-Lesc-Cotes.

Thoughts then turn to the finish and the two Category 4 climbs of the Cote de Maron and Cote de Boufflers before a downhill finish to Nancy.

Route profile image, via letour.com.

 

Preview, Prediction

Bernard Papon/Associated Press

One small climb in the final 25 kilometres might not be enough to deter the sprinters from trying to control the race and pinch another stage win, but Stage 7 has two. The first is 3.2 kilometres long and while the second is only 1.3 kilometres it has a gradient of 7.9 percent, per letour.com

With a victory far from certain, it is probably not worth putting their teams through all the effort of controlling the peloton and that opens the stage up to everyone else.

The daily breakaway might just manage to stay away if they have a good lead going into the hilly finish, but more than likely it will be Cannondale on the front controlling the pace for their man in green Peter Sagan.

The finish is almost tailor-made for the Slovakian sprinter/puncheur and a first victory of the Tour would certainly boost his bid to claim the points jersey.

And he appears to be in fine form, judging by his comments on his performance on Stage 6:

However, Sagan might not have it all his own way. Team Sky's Geraint Thomas told the BBC: "John Degenkolb—the Giant-Shimano rider should conquer these bumps easily enough to be in the mix at the finish."

But Degenkolb was involved in a crash on Stage 5 and that could well hinder his chances.

Katusha’s sprinter Alexander Kristoff is a capable climber and should be in with chance, as well as Garmin-Sharp's Ramunas Navardauskas and that might help Cannondale share the load during the day.

Expect a breakaway to be caught before the final climb as the puncheurs' teams up the pace and then it will be Sagan's to lose.