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2018 Tour de France: Stage 5 preview

After a very touristic first half, throughout the beaches near the fortress of Fort-Bloqué, Pont-Aven, the city of the painters (Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard…) and the fortified town (Ville Close) of Concarneau, the second half of stage 5 is kind of an Ardennes classic with narrow roads, short and brutal climbs from Saint-Goazec (km 103) onwards.

The focus will be on Ménez Quélerc'h, a very famous 2.9km straight climb in Breton cycling. It's the decisive point of the 1.1 Boucles de l'Aulne in May, but the last 35km will be similar to those of the Tour du Finistère already experienced this year by Richie Porte, Tejay van Garderen and Romain Bardet.

It includes the medieval village of Locronan and the tricky côte de la chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Lorette with 12km to go. It's also a slightly uphill finish in Quimper. Technically, it suits Peter Sagan to perfection. But it's also a day for the GC favourites to avoid any hiccups.

Matt White says: Most of the first week, and especially stages 4 and 5, you can almost treat them as one-day races in their own right because that’s how a lot of teams will race them. We might give some of our guys a little freedom, like Daryl Impey but if you’ve got a GC card to play later in the race the priority is to always keep them safe. This stage looks tough, and again the conditions are going to be a significant factor.


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