The riders battled it out in the fifth stage of the Dauphiné Libéré against the alien backdrop of the col d'Izoard, which was situated just before the finish in Briançon. The winner of the 155 km stage was French domestique Ludovic Turpin (AG2R), who made an early breakaway with Thor Hushovd and Jérôme Pineau stick, but was the only rider to survive the 2360m Izoard. The best of the rest was Iban Mayo, who had a great day to finish second, despite a crash early on in the stage. He finished 26 seconds behind Turpin, with AG2R's Francisco Mancebo in third.
Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) rode strongly in the leader's jersey, and even played with second overall Denis Menchov (Rabobank) on the Izoard, taking him out the back of the GC group and forcing him to ride in the wind. In the end, Leipheimer finished eighth at 48 seconds, in the company of Menchov, George Hincapie and Christophe Moreau.
Tomorrow's sixth stage from Briançon to La Toussuire features more climbing, with the Galibier, Croix de Fer, Mollard and La Toussuire on the menu. It's also a dress rehearsal for the 16th stage of the Tour de France.