When Thursday, July 27
Impact on GC 1/5
It starts hilly and ends fairly flat. There are plenty of mountains to the north of Arpajon-sur-Cère, but today’s stage goes south, although it still threads its way through then climbs over some hilly terrain. After Figeac the stage goes into Causses country. Causses are large blocks of limestone, which form plateaux and are deeply dissected by rivers.
The stage route mostly follows the rivers, but there are some hills, and they will provide the opportunity for attacks. The roads in this section are very winding, so any attackers will get out of the peloton’s sight quickly, and could gain time.
The Causse de Limogne is the last of these uphill areas, then the riders head straight along the Aveyron valley into Montauban. The last 40 kilometres are on flat, straight roads, which could give the sprinters’ teams the opportunity to pull any breakaways back.
All in all this is a nicely balanced stage. On paper it’s one for the sprinters, but the route provides plenty of opportunities to escape. We could see a breakaway succeed.
Either way, it’s unlikely that anyone will challenge the commanding lead of stage five winner Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), who goes into stage six with five minutes advantage over second-placed Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep).