Tour de France 2023 Route stage 5: Pau - Laruns

Tour de France 2023Wednesday 5 July - The 5th stage of the Tour de France is virtually a carbon-copy of the Pau-Laruns stage of 2020. Again, the Col de Soudet and Col de Marie Blanque are included in the second half of the race, which adds up to 162.7 kilometres with almost 3,700 vertical metres.

Pau is a Tour de France staple. The town in the foothills of the Pyrenees hosted 65 stage starts and 62 stage finishes.

The first half of the race is played out on flat roads. While the climbing in the 2020 Pau-Laruns stage commenced on the Col de La Hourcère to continue onto the Col de Soudet, the latter is now tackled from Sainte-Engrâce. This way, the ascent is 15.2 kilometres long and averaging 7.2%. The first part is relatively easy before it gets wildly irregular after 5 kilometres with numerous sections at double digits.

The riders descend towards a flat section, which leads onto the Col d’Ichère. The 4.2 kilometres climb at 7% precedes the last obstacle of the day. The Col de Marie Blanque is a killer, although it opens in a friendly disguise. The gradients hardly exceed 5% in the first 3 kilometres before Marie Blanque shows her ugly teeth in the finale 4 kilometres, respectively rising at 10%, 12%, 13%, and 10%. The ascent totals 7.7 kilometres and the average gradient sits at 8.6%.

The first rider at the top is far from sure to win the race. As Marc Hirschi might tell him. In 2020, the Swiss rode solo at the front from the Col de La Hourcère onwards. He crested the Col de Soudet 5 minutes ahead of the peloton, a gap that was down to 20 seconds to the first chasers at the Col de Marie Blanque. The chasers – Tadej Pogacar, Primoz Roglic, Egan Bernal, Mikel Landa – caught Hirschi with 2 kilometres remaining before Pogacar took the spoils in the five-up sprint.

The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the first three on the Col de Marie Blanque get 8, 5 and 2 seconds.

Ride the route yourself? Download GPX stage 5 2023 Tour de France.

Another interesting read: results 5th stage 2023 Tour de France.

Tour de France 2023 stage 5: routes, profiles, more

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