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There is just one stage in between the Alps and the Pyrenees this year, but it could be an important phase of the race in its own right because riders ignore these transitional days at their own peril. Stage 15 crosses the south of France between Tallard and the Roman city of Nimes, and features no categorized climbs. It flirts with the coastal marshes of the Camargue, however, whose Mediterranean winds have the potential to decimate the peloton.
Ben Atkins/Yuzuru Sunada
A favorable – or unfavorable – crosswind on this stage could see a strong team take control and try to eliminate one or more of its rivals, just as Saxo-Tinkoff did between Tours and Saint-Amand-Montrond last year, putting more than a minute into Chris Froome. A sprinters team might also try to use the wind, as Cannondale Pro Cycling used the Col de la Croix de Mounis between Montpellier and Albi last year, where Peter Sagan’s biggest rivals were left behind; both for the stage and the green jersey.
For a detailed look at the first week of the Tour, stage by stage, read part three of John Wilcockson’s Countdown to the Tour.
For much more on the 2014 Tour pick up a free digital copy of the July Cannondale Gazette.