Start Time: 13:25 CET
Expected Finish: 17:35 CET
Stage 5 Route: Saint-Die-Des-Vosges – Colmar
Stage 5 is a 175.5 kilometre run through the middle mountains from Saint-Dié-des-Vosges to Colmar. The route moves through Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park and contrary to the first four stages the route goes either up or down, which is a perfect warm-up for stage 6.
The riders are faced with four climbs – Côte de Grendelbruch (3.4 kilometres at 4.9%) is crested in the first half of the race, while Côte du Haut-Koenigsbourg (5.9 kilometres at 5.9%) and Côte des Trois Épis (5 kilometres at 6.7%) are crested with 66 kilometres and 35 kilometres remaining.
Following the Trois Épis a last climb lays waiting to stir things up. The Côte des Cinq Châteux – 4.6 kilometres at 6.1% – peaks with almost 15 kilometres out. The route plunges down to the valley for a flat run-in of 11 kilometres to the line.
Eyeing their roadbooks on the eve of this stage, De Gendt and his fellow baroudeurs will appreciate its opening half, which follows lumpy roads eastwards towards the mountains. They should also be spurred on by its very final section, where two significant ascents that should ensure the sprinters won’t enter the picture and will therefore place the burden of chasing on the teams of puncheurs such as Julian Alaphilippe and Michael Matthews.
Coming off the last climb, the breakaway, if it’s still clear, or the lead group will have 10 kilometres to cover into the finish. This flat section could allow other riders to bridge up to the front, including those fast finishers who can acquit themselves well on climbs of this length – the likes of Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet, for instance. In short, it’s one of those rare Tour stages that almost any type of rider could win.
Time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds are awarded to the first three riders on the line.