Abbeville to Rouen 214.5 kilometers
Stage four of the tour fell upon Independence Day for us American-born heroes. While our fair country exists in a state short of perfection, we joyfully celebrated the abstract concepts of democracy, social mobility, and domestic tranquility. We consumed various grilled meats and several types of beer in seasonal red, white and blue cans. We discussed what the country might be like if A$AP Rocky and Lana Del Rey were the presidential couple (general consensus is positive as far as the Cognac market is concerned, but we’re on the fence about the outlook for Syrian relations).
And now, we are back at TSH headquarters and our minds are back in the hills of Northern France, particularly those cat 4s– Mont Huon, Dieppe, Pourville-sue-Mer, and Toussaint– which made up stage four. Stage four is the fourth longest stage of the tour and runs mostly along the coast. Its 214.5 km span begins in Abbeville, near where Edward III’s army crossed the Somme in 1346, and ends in Rouen, which was overrun by the Vikings in 841.
As thought the riders were channeling our patriotic relaxation, the peloton kept a rather slow pace for the majority of the stage. Excitement, even sheer mayhem, was saved for the very end. In keeping with the region’s warring history, a salute to the Vikings perhaps, this stage would not remain a peaceful one. In a breathtaking sprint for the finish, a tremendous crash claimed our beloved Cavendish and a slew of other riders. Just 2.5 km from the finish, a massive tangle lay on the ground. Our hero in this stage rode on unscathed, unconcerned. In a display of impeccable teamwork, Lotto-Belisol delivered Andre Greipel, the Gorilla, Cavendish’s great rival, to victory. Greipel’s remark– “It was perfect.”