Date: Thursday July 1
Distance: 161 km
A day for the fast finishers. There’s one fourth-category climb along the way but apart from that, the highlight might be some nice Renaissance castles in the early kilometers. With fine weather on the forecast and no other huge challenges on the parcours, it’s going to be hard to deny the sprint teams their chance at glory. The pace should be pretty high in the finale, too. The last 1.5 km or so is dead straight, which we haven’t had much of yet in this race.
What to watch for: Has one sprinter proved himself dominant yet?
Who’s it for: The sprinters.
Dane Cash’s picks: A week and a half after he was a last-minute addition to the Deceuninck-QuickStep Tour roster, Mark Cavendish is a favorite to win stages. He looked great on stage 4 and he also has that excellent Deceuninck-QuickStep train to get him into position. Whichever rider Alpecin-Fenix decides to ride for – Tim Merlier or Jasper Philipsen – should be in the mix as well, as should Nacer Bouhanni, while Wout van Aert is a bit of a wildcard. If he goes for it, he will be a real contender.