Distance: 189.5km (117.7 miles); Elevation: 1509m (4951 feet) [map]

In Gary’s immortal words, “it’s a monster”. If you can complete this day, you can complete the Tour. Out of Deauville, we head straight into the first ascent of 140m elevation, keeping south of the Seine. After stopping in the picturesque village of Pont-Audemer, we have two more similar ascents during the morning ride, the last being the ascent after crossing the Seine in Rouen to our lunch stop at Quincampoix. You will be hungry.

From there, the day does not let up, with repeated rolling hills to remind us that it’s not done till it’s done. If you remember the 2016 tour, you’ll be pleased to know that the total elevation for day 3 (1500m) pales in comparison with the biggest days of that tour. But with the distance nigh on 190km, this is a seriously long day. Even with a good westerly wind, every rider needs to be up early for this one and brace for a very hard slog.