UnknownTDF - Stage 5 - Col de Saales

Col de Saales, photo by  Lionel Perrin

Col de Saales, photo by Lionel Perrin

We’re into the Vosges for stage 5 with a stage finish beside the beautiful town of Colmar. The last time the race finished in Colmar in 2009 Heinrich Haussler won the stage from a breakaway in apocalyptic conditions, finishing some 7 minutes ahead of the main peloton.

Today’s stage though is warm sunshine and instead of 3 hard Cols and 1 Côte on the route it is 4 Côte’s, no Col’s… or is it? Looking at the route profile there is one Col on the route, the Col de Saales, and it isn’t a categorised climb (which goes to show a Col isn’t necessarily harder than a Côte). It comes 8 Km into the days stage and is a well engineered road twisting through dense forest averaging around 4% for over 6 Km’s. It is the kind of climb you love spinning up on your easy day. Today though it could be a launch pad for the strongmen to break the elastic and get up the road for the days breakaway.

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