Stage Five guide: Cavendish out to silence critics

Stage Five guide: Cavendish out to silence critics
By Eurosport

06/07/2011 at 18:17Updated 06/07/2011 at 18:19

An angry Mark Cavendish will be out to silence his critics when the fifth stage of the Tour de France takes the peloton on a 164.5km trek from Carhaix to Cap Frehel on Wednesday.

Stage 5 – Wed, 6 July – Carhaix-Cap Frehel – 164.5km

Type: Rolling with a flat but exposed finish

Difficulty: ***

Details: This relatively short yet tricky ride through Brittany should finish with a ding-dong bunch sprint – especially given the uphill finale of stage four. It see a return to the coastline, but it's not all plain sailing, with the roads always heading up or down, not to forget a second-half to the day in which the Tour, if not won, could possibly be lost by some.

Watch out for: Winds blowing across from the English Channel and forming echelons in the peloton over the final 80-odd undulating kilometres along the pretty north Brittany coast. What's more, the heritage site of Cap Frehel is located at the end of an exposed peninsula which juts out into the Channel. In short – bad weather could cause havoc.

Prediction: If it's a bunch sprint, expect it to be played out by a very select few given the likelihood of splits in the peloton. If Mark Cavendish is there, he should make it two here.

History: The Tour has never visited Carhaix or Cap Frehel before but the Breton coastal town of St Breiuc – once the home of the late great Tom Simpson – hosted a stage finish as recent as 2008, when Norwegian Thor Hushovd took the spoils.