Tuesday was a good day for spa treatment. After a day of rest on Monday, the runners took in the sea air of a stage between the Ile d’Oléron and the Ile de Ré, in a unique postcard setting. Not the shadow of a difficulty except the breath of a salty wind approaching the marshes. This Wednesday, the peloton will rush into another marsh, further inland, commonly called the Poitevin. A last puff of iodine will caress the runners at Châtelaillon-Plage around 1:40 p.m. at the start, as if to greet them one last time before leaving the coast of the Atlantic Ocean for good.
After Charente-Maritime, head to Deux-Sèvres for the peloton which will face, at kilometer 91, the one and only (light) difficulty of the day, the Côte de Cherveux (106 m, 4th category, 1.1 km at 4.4%).
A long straight line as the finish line
And even if the route will rise a little bit, at least until the intermediate sprint of the Grands Ajoncs (kilometer 108), the riders should have no trouble completing this 167.5 km stage easily. On the other hand, teams of sprinters must be ready. A straight tongue of asphalt for 1.5 km at the finish in Poitiers will constitute a royal road to pocket this 11th stage where we should attend a magnificent ballet of exercise specialists. In the Marais Poitevin de la Vienne, where a certain Arnaud Démare had won in 2014 during the French championships, the conditions should be optimal for a major sprint battle. Depending on the race pace, the peloton should arrive between 5:18 pm and 5:39 pm.