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Today, TdF enters a region it has never been in before: September.

Stage 4, Sept 01. This is a 95-miler that is relatively flat, with 2 major climbs plus a couple others. Overall, the course gains elevation like a false flat. On Stage 3, the GC hopefuls were able to check each other, and they will have to do the same for Stage 4 - there is a good set-up for a breakaway to survive in the final 20 miles. There is a notable pair of climbs from about 20 to 12 miles from the finish. Then, the finish is at the top of a climb, with a lot of switchbacks, of about 3 miles. This stage will not end with a bunch sprint.

The weather overall looks good. Temps in mid-60s F, a nice break from 80s. Mountain peaks may be in the mid-50s. Low chance of rain and low wind speed. But weather is not reliable in the mountains. Once we knew TdF would be later in the year, people began discussing how it would be different to have the low temps in the mountains later in the year. It starts here.

Overall, TdF gets praise again for a first week that is interesting to watch, but does not allow the overall race to be cast, which makes the remaining couple of weeks less interesting. They suffered from this up through 2010 or 2011, with many flat sprint finishes in the first week.
 

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This could be an interesting stage. I suspect a group of maybe 15-20 riders at the end. Although it is possible a break could make it or someone like Pogacar, Landa, or Soler could try a longer range attack. If it's a small group my pick to win the stage would be Higuita.
 

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The finishing climb is only 7km. mostly 7% or so gradient. Not hard enough for the true climbers. Maybe someone like Greg Van Avermaet or Tiesj Benoot.
 
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