Abbeville – Rouen (214.5km) Click for route map
Mostly my Tour de France posts show pictures of beautiful scenery, interesting cities or impressive chateaux, but occasionally the Tour passes something so quirky that it just has to be given space here. Allouville-Bellefosse, a farming village in the Pays de Caux about 30 miles (48 km) from Rouen, boasts in its town centre an unusual Chêne chapelle (or oak chapel). The chapel dates to 1669, although the oak tree housing it is anything from 800 to 1200 years old. Inside there are two chapels, one named Notre Dame de la Paix (Our Lady of Peace) and the other a very small Chambre de l’Ermite (hermit’s room). A pilgrimage is held on 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption. Access is by a spiral staircase which snakes around the outside of the tree. It could have come straight out of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J R R Tolkien – or possibly Enid Blyton’s ‘Faraway Tree’ children’s tales. There are two other ‘Chêne chapelles’, in France. Both are in Western France at Saint-Sulpice-le-Verdon, Vendée and Villedieu-la-Blouère, Maine-et-Loire.
We had hoped to see a Mark Cavendish win again today but this was not to be. He was one of a large group of riders in a pile up about 2km from the finish, putting paid to any thought he might have had of challenging for the stage. He rolled into the finish with torn clothing, broken helmet and a frustrated expression on his face, but was thankfully unhurt!
The top five of Stage 4
1. André Greipel (GER) LTB 214.5km in 5h18’32”
2. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) LAM
3. Tom Veelers (NED) ARG
4. Matt Goss (AUS) OGE
5. Peter Sagan (SVK) LIQ
Team placings after Stage 4
1. Team Sky Procycling
Jerseys for Stage 5
Yellow – Cancellara
Green – Sagan
Polka Dot – Morkov
White – Van Garderen
For more information on the cyclists, their teams and how they were placed see the Tour de France official site.
Read my TDF posts covering this and previous years.