So here's the scoop: Stage 3 will be up and down, with a cat-3 climb to the line, so you might think it's a place to make some time. But Saturday is the Beast, four massive cat-1 climbs, including the final climb of some 800 meters of altitude, known in these parts as a good day's hike. This will not only be the queen stage of the TdR, but the hardest day of racing to date this year... as climbing rides go (kind of apples to oranges with, say, Paris-Roubaix, but you get the point).
So Friday will be for the stage hunters. The GC peeps will be keeping it real.