The second longest stage of this year's tour starts in Granville, a town riders passed through on the way up the coast during Stage 1. The course travels inland to the east for about 25 km before turning south and heading to the only categorized (cat 4) climb of the day up Cote de Villedieu les-Poeles. The remainder of the course continues moving south with an overall net negative elevation through the second half of the ride into Angers.
|Stage Distance||223.06 km|
|Avg. Peloton Speed||37.25 km/h|
|Avg. Pulling Power||240.86 watts|
|Avg. Pulling Yaw||4.77 °|
The conditions look quite a bit better for day 3 of the Tour. The temperatures will rise throughout the day from 16 to about 22 celsius near the finish. WInd should be much calmer than the first two days. Riders will start with a slight tailwind heading out from Granville to the town of Villedieu les-Poeles. As the race turns south there will be a slightly increasing cross wind, but wind speed will top out at a mere 10 km/h. As the course veers southeast at Vitre the winds speeds start to drop and turn into slight tailwind all the way to the finish in Angers.
Much like the first two days look for a break early looking to claim the sole Polkadot Jersey point. There is only one categorized climb in the stage the category 4 Cote de Villedieu les-Poeles that comes early at only 25.5 km into the race. After the climb any break will be purely about TV time as the peloton will be able to pull in these efforts at will. However, to maximize time gains against the peloton a small break could try to up their watts higher on the non categorized climbs into the towns of La Chapelle-Uree and out of Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouet. Even with that if the peloton doesn't fall asleep (as they did in Stage 2) they will reel them back in somewhere in the last 40 km. The wind should not have any major effect on the race today, as cross winds will be tempered by the nature of the terrain. Riders will appreciate the prevailing (if slight) tail wind through the last 80 km. Once the peloton enters Angers In the last 7 km, sprint teams will be lining up to be first into the sharp left hand turn at 2 km to go and into the final sharp right hand turn at 300 meters to go. The finish is on a slight incline and that coupled with the turn could favor slightly smaller sprinters with quick acceleration. Could Cavendish get his second win of the Tour? The analysis on this stage was fairly straightforward. If you switch to the Power Plan chart and turn off the speed metric, so only the power targets and elevation are visible you can see that based on how flat the plan is that there are not really any big break advantages save for those short uncategorized inclines throughout the course.
Analysis was performed by modeling the peloton as a single rider using front of the pack drag characteristics and pulling power targets. Take a look at the entire race plan that was used for this analysis, which includes additional features, metrics and downloadable files.
Stage 3 Race Plan: https://www.bestbikesplit.com/client/43390