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Date: Tuesday, July 4
Start: Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg (home to Andy Schleck)
Finish: Vittel, France (home to water sponsor of the Tour de France)
Distance: 207.5km (128.9mi)
The profile suggests a straightforward stage with limited difficulties, which should finish in a bunch kick. Few options are presented for sprint finishes before the first rest day so the sprinters teams will be extra motivated to keep it all together in the final kilometres. However, if the winds are strong it could be quite the opposite and mean a stressful day for general classification contenders and sprinters alike. The town of Vittel, made famous by the healthy spring water source, is no stranger to hosting Tour stages and hosted the 1968 Grand Départ.
Christian Prudhomme, race director: “Passing through Schengen and before returning to French territory, the peloton will have confirmation it can go around freely… Without major difficulties, this stage should offer a second opportunity to the sprinters. Beware however, the roads of Meurthe-et-Moselle could be swept by the wind and that could represent a menace for the title contenders.”
Baden Cooke, 2003 Green Jersey winner: “Stage 4 from Mondorf-les-Bains to Vittel will see riders on French soil for the first time in the 2017 Tour. Without major climbs, this stage should offer a second opportunity for the fast men. Crosswinds could quite well be a factor on the roads of Meurthe-et-Moselle, this may be a point of danger for the smaller climbers who have eyes on the overall title.”
Marcel Kittel, Quick-Step Floors: “For us, the goal will be again the victory. I will be very focused. The green jersey ambition can be developed after a few more stages and if I see if I can have realistic ambitions or not. For now, I’ll keep defending it and fighting for it.”
Nacer Bouhanni, Cofidis: “Tomorrow we arrive at Vittel, I will be a little bit at home. I really wanted to preserve myself to the maximum today by thinking about this stage.”