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July 5 post: With Stage 7, we start our first leg to Southern France and the French Pyrenées. This is the flattest stage of the race across some boring terrain by French standards. The 218 km route starts in Le Mans, host to the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race since 1923 and heads southeast to Châteauroux which has hosted a Tour de France twice in the past.

After Tuesday's Stage 4, Thor Hushovd stated that Garmin-Cervelo might be able to hold onto the Yellow Jersey for three more stages. If Garmin-Cervelo still have the jersey going into Stage 7 then they would be especially interested in chasing the inevitable break and setting up a sprint finish for Tyler Farrar (and Thor Hushovd).

The Tour last finished in Châteauroux just three years ago when 23 year old Mark Cavendish won his first career Tour de France stage by 1.5 bike lengths in a field sprint, needless to say. Update: With Wednesday's win, he now has 16 career wins. Look for him to repeat in Châteauroux. — Steve