The real race starts here. If the first four stages of the Tour de Suisse have been about sprinters and breakaway riders, today is all about the big guns who will be scrapping it out for the overall victory. The first half of the 229.5 kilometre stage from La Chaux-de-Fonds to Leukerbad is lumpy, and then after a near-100 kilometre stretch with mainly flat roads, things get nasty near the end.
Following bonus sprints near Sion (188 km) and Sierre/Route de Sion (203.3 km), the riders will start to climb. The first ascent is humane enough, a category four climb near Varen, but then very shortly after that the road heads upwards with a vengeance. The 1376 metre first category summit finish of Leukerbad will upend the general classification, revealing which of the pre-race favourites are going well and, at the same time, giving a strong indication of those who may be coming into form before the Tour.
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