Date: Thursday, July 28
Distance: 175.6 km
After four stages of all-out racing, stage 5 is finally a good opportunity for a breakaway to succeed. With only two categorized climbs and one sprint, the defining feature of the fifth stage is that it’s by far the longest at 175.6 km. The length will also play into the hands of a break, as the top teams don’t want to waste energy controlling the race over such a distance with three hard stages coming up. There are some bonus seconds on offer with 20 km to go on the Col du Haut du Bois, but whether or not those will make a difference in how the stage plays out remains to be seen.
The final 5 km in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges are technical, with a sharp bend just before the Flamme rouge. After that, it’s a straight shot to the finish line.
Who will win stage 5?
In the hopes that it will be a great day for the breakaway let’s look at some riders who might try to make moves early and stay away to the end.
Elise Chabbey of Canyon-SRAM has been fighting for the polka dot jersey and is known for her attacking style. She is currently 10th on GC, two minutes twenty seconds down on Marianne Vos. She would be interested in those two category four climbs.
Chabbey has been up against Femke Gerritse, who currently holds the mountains classification jersey. She leads the competition by three points over Coralie Demay (St Michel-Auber93) who had an incredible ride in the breakaway on stage 4. If Femke doesn’t make it into the breakaway someone from her Parkhotel Valkenburg team definitely will.
Veronica Ewers lost some time due to a late-race crash on stage 3, but now has the option to jump in moves. The EF Education-Tibco-SVB rider is super strong and can also read a race quite well. She looked great on stage 4, where she finished fourth. Her teammate Kathrin Hammes is another rider who loves a good breakaway.
Other teams that will likely try to get in a move: Valcar-Travel & Service, Liv Xstra, Planta-Pura, Uno-X, and Le Col-Wahoo.
(Just in case the race stays together, it’s important to cover your bases…if it comes down to a sprint it’s either another stage win for Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) or Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM). Or Trek-Segafredo’s Elisa Balsamo will get revenge for finishing outside the top five on stage 1).