TDF 2021: Stage 4, Redon > Fougères 150.4 km **Spoilers**
Stage 4, Redon > Fougères 150.4 km29-6-2021
This stage journeys through Argoat, the beautiful inland Brittany entirely set in the Gallo country and going from one side to the other of the Ille-et-Vilaine area. The last time the race ended in Fougeres was in 2015 with Mark Cavendish taking the stage. It’s an identical finish this time around.
This is another opportunity for the sprinters, as the short route covers virtually flat terrain. There are no categorised climbs between the start in Redon and the finish in picturesque Fougères.
A bunch sprint is the most likely outcome in the 4th stage of the Tour de France. The winner of the stage will also receive 50 points towards the green jersey competition, along with the now standard 10 second time bonus.
Favourites stage 4 Tour de France 2021
***** Tim Merlier,
**** Arnaud Démare, Mark Cavendish
*** Wout van Aert, Cees Bol, Mathieu van der Poel, Mads Pedersen
** Christophe Laporte, Nacer Bouhanni, Danny van Poppel, Peter Sagan
* André Greipel, Niccolò Bonifazio, Max Walscheid, Michael Matthews, Sonny Colbrelli
Stage town for the 2nd time
Redon owes its importance to the development of a once very influential Benedictine abbey: it dates back to 832. The town enjoys a strategic position, at the crossroads of the two most important rivers in Brittany: the Vilaine and the Oust.
The first time the Tour de France came through Redon, it was the American Tyler Farrar who won the sprint.
Redon-Redon celebrated its 52nd anniversary in 2011, the year when it became fully open to professionals. In the past, the race has seen riders as varied as Thierry Marie (2nd in 1984), Alexandre Vinokourov (best climber in 1997), Pavel Tonkov and more recently, Simon Gerrans, winner of the 2004 edition.
The "de Redon" chestnut includes several varieties of chestnuts and marrons selected for their size and good taste. The production area is concentrated in a radius of about thirty kilometres around Redon. These chestnuts can be used as a delicate garnish for poultry or a number of specialities prepared by chefs (poultry terrine with chestnuts) or pastry chefs (shortbread filled with chestnut cream). At home, they are eaten as a soup, or simply boiled and drizzled with ribot milk. But connoisseurs prefer them roasted, with a piece of butter and a bowl of cider!
On the road
Vitré (Pop: 18,000)
Listed as one of the most beautiful detours in France. Built around its castle, Vitré experienced a brilliant development from the 14th century onwards, based mainly on the international trade in hemp cloth (or canvas)
Stage town for the 5th time
On the borders of Lower Normandy, Brittany and the Pays de Loire, lies Fougères, a town with a rich historical heritage. Ideally located 30 minutes from Rennes and Mont-Saint-Michel, the medieval town allows its visitors to cross the centuries in a day, as the monuments that make up the town are still witnesses to over a thousand years of history. Fougères boasts the largest medieval fortress in Europe.
The finish of a 73-kilometre team time trial was held in Fougères during the 1985 Tour. Bernard Hinault and his La Vie Claire team put on an impressive show of strength. Closer to now, in 2013, the town and its imposing castle hosted the start of a stage that took the peloton to Tours and, in 2015, a finish that saw Mark Cavendish's only victory that year. In 2018, it was Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen who won the sprint in Fougères ahead of Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan.
Sougéal goose or Couesnon goose
Sougéal, a small town in the Fougères region, is famous for its Goose Festival and for this local breed of goose, which is raised on 300 hectares of marshland fed by the Couesnon.
These geese feed exclusively on grass. Two or three weeks before slaughter, they leave the marshes to be fattened on grain. The small goose from Sougéal, with its white plumage, is slaughtered when it is about six months old and weighs between 3 and 4 kilos. It has a firm flesh that can be used for roasts, stews, casseroles, rillettes etc. The geese of Brittany were among the great gastronomic products of the region in the 19th century and Sougéal maintains this tradition, which is being lost.
"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.