This stage has the potential for riders to lose GC ambitions on the gravel sections. It presents a test normally seen in races like Strade Bianche with the tracks around the vineyards providing some long sections of light white gravel. A poorly timed puncture or mechanical and that could be minutes lost in the fight for the yellow jersey. Naturally, it will suit the cyclocross riders, someone like Shirin van Anrooij will present an interesting option.
With that in mind, the GC candidates will be trying to keep themselves near the front all day, with the washing machine of the peloton in full spin mode. QoM climbs pepper the parcours, mostly providing a short, steep blast but we get to see some longer efforts near the finish.
Once again, the bonus seconds available on the summit of a climb will force the GC riders into action near the end. It’s only 9km from the summit to the stage finish but it presents a launchpad to attack for the bonus seconds and then press onto the finish. The Côte du Val Perdu is in the way between the bonuses and the finish but whilst it’s decently long at 1.8km, it’s only a 4% average so probably won’t see the start of attacks.
The stage seems built to reward attacking racing and whilst sprinters can be involved in the finish, attackers can really pile on the pressure and ensure that only a small number can contest for the win.
Tour de France Femmes 2022 Stage 4 Profile
Tour de France Femmes 2022 Stage 4 Favourites
Shirin van Anrooij