Chainring choices and stem maps: riders get ready for Tour de France’s first mountain stage

Riders and teams were busy before the start of stage five of the Tour de France on Wednesday, preparing for the race's first mountain day

Tour de France team mechanics were kept busy overnight getting their riders’ bikes ready for the 2016 race’s first excursion into the mountains.

After four flat days, it was a case of swapping to lighter climbing bikes and changing to smaller chainrings for the stage’s six categorised climbs.

Orica-BikeExchange’s Michael Matthews was ready for whatever the stage could throw at him, with a handy stem-mounted guide to the day’s climbs – and feed zone, of course.

Some riders wanted to make sure that they wouldn’t run out of food… pack those pockets, Iljo.

And then there are the numerous drinks bottles that need to get sorted out by team helpers prior to the start:

Attention to detail for Movistar as they switch to new aero road jerseys on what promises to be a hot day.

And lightweight bikes to match…

Welshman Luke Rowe of Team Sky was getting ready for something happening a little bit later in the day.

The team drivers also have to be well prepared, with maps of the route.

And the UCI were checking a number of bikes before the start for hidden motors.

The, of course, there are the spectators. Who often have a long and lonely wait to catch a glimpse of the peloton as it rolls by.

Stage five of the Tour de France travels from Limoges to Le Lioran and covers 216km.