Stage 4: Dax to Nogaro – 182 km
Date: Tuesday July 4, 2023
Stage type: Flat
What to watch for: Auto racing circuits are always a bit chaotic, and usually harder than they look. This one is no different.
Stage summary: This is the second in a pair of flat stages intended to give the peloton a small breather before the Pyrenees, very much designed for a sprint finish. It finishes on the Nogaro motor racing circuit, including an 800 meter straight into the finish line.
That might seem to have bunch sprint written all over it, and that is a pretty safe bet. But the top sprinters, and more specifically their teams, may have a difficult time.
The last time Nogaro was used in a pro race was the 2017 Route du Sud when the stage was won by EF’s Tom Scully, who is not a pure sprinter. He was part of a 12-rider breakaway that was caught, but not passed, just as it crossed the finish line. The top sprinters on that stage were Elia Viviani and Bryan Coquard, in seventh and eighth respectively.
Motor racing tracks are full of corners that make it difficult to mount a real chase. If the sprint teams leave it too late, they could get caught out again.
Dane Cash’s picks: Jasper Philipsen confirmed his status at the top of the sprint hierarchy at this Tour on Monday. He will again be the favorite for Tuesday’s stage 4. Other potential contenders include Fabio Jakobsen, whose Soudal-QuickStep train initially looked strong for stage 3 before they all lost ground late, as well as Wout van Aert, Biniam Girmay, Dylan Groenewegen, Caleb Ewan, Mads Pedersen, Phil Bauhaus, and Mark Cavendish.
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