With the high mountains rearing up on stage five, today’s race represents the last chance for sprinters such as Tom Boonen, Robbie McEwen, Oscar Freire and Erik Zabel to take an important pre-Tour victory against their green jersey rivals. On paper the stage looks moderate enough for a bunch sprint but the climbs in this Tour de Suisse climbs have perhaps proved tougher than their ranking suggests, so anything could happen.
The 161.3 kilometre route from Niederbipp to La Chaux-de-Fonds features a bonus sprint after 75.3 kilometres on Mont Soleil. Both the name and the profile map suggest that this is a climb but it has not be classified accordingly. The second bonus sprint comes at La Ferrière, 101.4 kilometres in, while third categorie climbs await at Vue des Alpes and Col de la Tourne (118.8 km and 143.4 kilometres respectively).
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