2020 Tour de France stage 5 preview

Stage 5: Gap - Privas 

Date: September 2, 2020 

Distance: 183km 

Stage start: 1:10 p.m. CEST

Stage type: Hilly   

A big net downhill into the Rhône Valley and only three small inclines make this a big target for the sprinters, who will nonetheless look nervously at the final ascent into Privas, which makes its second appearance in the Tour since being a stage start back in 1966. The alpine town of Gap is a perennial favorite as a host city in the Tour, and this year launches a west-bound route through the hills and gorges that surround Privas. Even the sprint line at 48km on the stage at L’Epine 48 is uphill.

A short category 4 climb comes 130km into the route at Col de Serre Colon, followed 37.5km later by another cat-4 rise at Côte de Saint-Vincent-de-Barrès. From there it is just another 15k on the pavement to the finish, which includes a leg-searing final uphill drag across the line in Privas. 

It’s not quite the Poggio of Milan-San Remo, and the final kilometres following the Côte de Saint-Vincent-de-Barrès favour the sprinters’ team. A full week is not yet completed and the course has a theme of disruption and chaos, so  it wouldn’t be surprising to see at least some riders attempting to challenge the established authority of the sprinters. 

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