Stage 6 of the Tour de France will present a new challenge to the bikers, who might have sensed an opening in the general classification standings after defending champion Christopher Froome crashed out of the competition on Wednesday.
Froome, who wore the yellow jersey for most of last year's race, will not any longer compete in the 2014 Tour de France after sustaining a left wrist injury during a crash in a rainy fifth stage of the race (Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut).
"Team Sky rider and defending champion Chris Froome out of Tour de France after a crash on the fifth stage," Team Sky posted on its official Twitter account on Wednesday.
It marked a sad day for British cycling which has been dominant in the tour for the past two years. Before Froome's accident, sprinter Mark Cavendish decided to watch the tour on the sideline instead after injuring his shoulder also in a crash.
Froome's decision to withdraw from the Tour de France opens window of opportunity for other riders to seize this year's top prize. Alberto Contador of Spain will always be a contender in the race, while names like Peter Sagan, Nairo Quintana and even American Andrew Talansky could climb into the standings as the mountainous stage of the race begins to unfold.
Stage 6: Arras to Reims
The sixth stage of the 2014 Tour de France will take the riders from the music festival city of Arras through the picturesque city of Reims. It will be a 194-km race where sprinters are expected to rule.
Germany's Marcel Kittel, Slovakia's Peter Sagan, Italy's Vincenzo Nibali and Norway's Alexander Kristoff are the favorites to finish first the stage, there's going to be some surprises because of wind unpredictability towards the end of the race.
Bad weather conditions could provide trouble to the riders once again, similar to the chaos and carnage that left dozens injured in Stage 5. Overall, Stage 6 is the calm before the storm for the general classification contenders as it marks the penultimate day before the tour heads into the Alps on Saturday.
Live Stream Information
NBCSN (US Viewers) and ITV4 (UK) provide Live coverage of the 2014 Tour de France. Viewers can also watch the race via live stream on NBC Sports Extra (US), ITV4 (UK), and SBS Live Stream (Australia). Standings and jersey holders update is available on Tour de France 2014.
For more Tour de France update, read more at IBT Sports