VIDEO: Tour de France stage 13 preview

And on it goes. After hopefully getting a good night's sleep in Tours the Tour de France peloton heads off to Saint-Armand-Montrond for Stage 13 on Friday where British sprint specialist Mark Cavendish will be hoping to make up for missing out on victory the previous day.

VIDEO: Tour de France stage 13 preview

*For full result and report on Stage 13 CLICK HERE

Stage 13 of the Tour de France which sees the peloton cover the 173km from Tours to Saint-Armand-Montrond looks set to be another battle between the sprint specialists.

Can Mark Cavendish make up for the disappointment of being pipped on the line on Thursday by Germany's Marcel Kittel, the rider everyone is talking about?

The 173-kilometre stage from Tours on the banks of the Loire River to Saint-Amand-Montrond in central France takes a more undulating route than Wednesday's stage 12 but it will nevertheless be a final chance for the sprinters to impress before the race heads into the Alps.

Breaking up the day will be the short, fourth-category climb of the Cote de Crotz at the 77.5km mark but otherwise it could be a crucial stage in the race for the green jersey.

That means there could be more drama involving the likes of Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel, with the latter going for his fourth stage win on this year's Tour — something his compatriot Erik Zabel never managed, even when he was winning the green jersey six years in a row.

Meanwhile Chris Froome's hopes of becoming only the second Briton to win the Tour de France suffered a potential setback when Team Sky were reduced to seven riders on a crash marred 12th stage on Thursday.

Having suffered a bruised elbow in a first spill, the 26-year-old Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen's second meeting with the tarmac ended his race and has piled unwanted pressure on Sky ahead of four crucial stages in the Alps beginning Sunday.

Team Principal Dave Brailsford admitted: "It's a real shame for Edvald and a setback for the team that he's been forced to abandon the race.

"It's never nice to lose a rider of Edvald's ability, but ultimately we're still confident that with the riders we've got left we can pull together and see the race through."

Here's a video preview of the stage thanks to Global Cycling Network.

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Inaugural Women’s Tour de France to start at Eiffel Tower

The route for the inaugural women's Tour de France was unveiled on Thursday with eight stages, embarking from the Eiffel Tower on July 24th next year.

French cyclist Marion Rousse delivers a speech next to Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme during the presentation of the first edition of the Women's Tour de France cycling race.
French cyclist Marion Rousse delivers a speech next to Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme during the presentation of the first edition of the Women's Tour de France cycling race. Photo: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP.

The first complete edition of the women’s version of cycling’s iconic race starts on the day the 109th edition of the men’s Tour ends.

After a route that winds through northern France, the race culminates in the Planche des Belles Filles climb in the Vosges mountains.

Danish cyclist Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig said she was over the moon to be taking part.

“I want it to be July now so we can get stared,” she said actually jumping up and down.

“The Tour de France is a reference and when you say you are a cyclist people ask about that. Now I can say I race the Tour de France,” she said after the presentation.

MAP: Details of 2022 Tour de France (and Denmark) revealed

Race director Marion Rousse, a former French cycling champion and now a TV commentator, told AFP it would be a varied course that would maintain suspense over the eight days.

“It is coherent in a sporting sense, and we wanted to start from Paris,” she said of the 1,029km run.

“With only eight stages we couldn’t go down to the Alps or the Pyrenees, the transfers would be too long.

“The stages obviously are shorter for the women than for the men’s races. The men can go 225 kilometres. For the women the longest race on our roster is 175km and we even needed special dispensation for that,” she said. “But it’s a course I love.”

Christian Prudhomme, the president of the Tour de France organisers, was equally enthusiastic.

“The fact it sets off from Paris the day the men’s race ends gives the new race a boost because it sets the media up to follow it more easily.

“It also means that with the Tour de France starting on July 1st and the women’s race ending on the 31st, there will be cycling on television every day of July.”

The men’s race is broadcast in around 190 countries.