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Live coverage

Tour de Suisse 2018: Stage 5


Good afternoon and welcome to coverage of stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse. The mountains have arrived and the riders are due to set off in less than five minutes for a day that is expected to shake up the GC.  

We have at least one non-starter today in Filippo Ganna, who hurt his shoulder in a late crash yesterday. The UAE rider was one of several to hit the deck on the slippery roads. 

The riders are currently making their way through the neutral zone and we will have racing proper in a few short moments. 

The peloton will begin climbing immediately with the Col du Pillon up first. We have two further climbs at the end of the day. For a full look at what to expect today, take a look at Daniel Benson's preview, here.

This is what it looked like at the top of the standings at the moment. 

There have been a string of attacks off the front in the opening few kilometres of the stage but nothing has stuck just yet. 

After two days of pretty heavy rain, it is cold but dry out there. We could still get some rain before the end of the day, however. 

138km remaining from 155km

The riders are closing in on the top of the first climb. Here is a look at the descent of the Col du Pillon, courtesy of the race organisation. 

Romain Sicard takes the points at the KOM as another move of 14 riders attempts to break clear. 

Filippo Zaccanti currently leads the mountains classification after mopping up points on the first two road stages. Will he be in the breakaway again today?

That 14-man move I spoke of earlier has also come to nought as the riders descend the Col du Pillon. It has been a very fast start to the day thus far. 

While the break did not succeed, Nans Peters was able to grab a few points as he crossed the KOM just behind Sicard. Peters claimed 8 points, to bring his tally to 16 and he is now just one point behind Zaccanti in the standings. 

Andre Greipel hasn't had a great Tour de Suisse so far. The German will be hoping for a bit more success towards the end of the race, ahead of the Tour de France and as he negotiates a new contract with Lotto Soudal. It has been reported that a one-year contract has been put on the table for Greipel but the team says that it is a two-year deal that has been offered. Meanwhile, it looks like the team could be set to sign Greipel's rival Caleb Ewan. For more on the matter, read this update from Daniel Benson

Marcus Burghardt hits the bottom of the descent with a slim 14-second lead over the peloton. More riders are trying to get across to the German. Can he make this move stick? He's got the power to do so. 

It seems that Burghardt has been brought back. The riders have been racing for almost an hour with no breakaway managing to form. The high pace has taken a high toll on some with Zaccanti and fellow stage 1 and 2 escapee Calvin watson have been shown the back door. 

EF Education First reporting a tailwind in the valley. The bunch is strung out under the heavy pace while more and more riders have a go at getting off the front of the peloton. 

Live timing is reporting Ion Izagirre as one of the dropped riders after that first climb. Though, timing does not show any teammates back to help him. If it's true, that's a blow to the Bahrain-Merida team. He started the day just 39 seconds back. However, he does have time to get back onto the bunch. 

Jasper Stuyven and Daniel Oss briefly get the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne band back together as they try to attack.

Stuyven and Oss only have a small gap of 15 seconds. They have Dillier with them. The Swiss champion was in the breakaway yesterday but was dropped on the final climb. 

Larry Warbasse is now trying to bridge the gap to the trio, who are making some serious ground on the bunch now. 

88km remaining from 155km

Velon is doing the live data at the Tour de Suisse, as they have been for the past few years, and they clocked Marcus Burghardt topping out at a zippy 91.8kph on the descent of the Col du Pillon. 

Like the Spice Girls say, when two become one. The front two groups have joined forces at the head of the race. They now hold a three-minute gap on the peloton. 

Larry Warbasse, of course, took an emotional stage win at last year's Tour de Suisse. He soloed to victory in Villars-sur-Ollon, claiming the first win of his professional career. You can relive the day here

A puncture for Gorka Izagirre. Meanwhile, his brother has been flagged up as having no signal on his GPS so that earlier report that he had been dropped was probably erroneous. 

Over in the UK, the opening stage of the Women's Tour has just come to a close. I won't spoil the result for you, but you can find the results here. We will have a full report soon, plus reaction. 

58km remaining from 155km

The gap to the six escapees remains at just over three minutes. It has been a very fast day out there, thanks to the length of time it took for the break to go clear, and the riders are currently 15 minutes ahead of the fastest predicted schedule. 

BMC Racing currently hold a monopoly on the top four spots in the general classification with Stefan Kung leading ahead of Greg Van Avermaet, Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen. The latter, Van Garderen, says that the team effort will be behind Porte at the Tour de Suisse and the forthcoming Tour de France. Read the American's comments here.

Despite a climb to start the day, the average speed over the first two hours was an eye-watering 49kph. This was helped by the tailwind in the valley. 

The leaders are just about to start the Montana Village climb, having dispatched with the intermediate sprint. Jasper Stuyven took the points there, ahead of Silvan Dillier and Paul Ourselin. 

None of the riders in the breakaway is a threat to the current leader of the points classification, Peter Sagan. His consistency so far this week puts him firmly at the top of those standings for now. 

The riders on the second climb of the day.

Race leader Stefan Kung has suffered a puncture in the bunch. Meanwhile, Dilier, Stuyven and Ourselin are being distanced as the peloton reduces the gap to the breakaway to 2:10. 

As Oursellin is distanced, his teammates Sicard and Calmajane are having a punt off the front of the peloton. Sicard was in one of the failed moves over the top of the first climb. 

41km remaining from 155km

Meanwhile, Kung has made it back into the peloton after his puncture. 

More riders trying to jump across the gap, including Omar Fraile.

Movistar's Victor de la Parte is another of the riders trying to chase down the lone Warbasse. 

A wry smile from Warbasse as he makes his way down the descent. He probably didn't intend on going it alone this far out. He's got two minutes on the Fraile group and 2:23 on the peloton. 

37km remaining from 155km

The Fraile chasing group has swept up Stuyven, who was one of the earlier riders dropped from the breakaway. 

We have a time gap on Ourselin, who is the second rider on the road. Warbasse is 52 seconds ahead of the Frenchman as Oss and Dillier are about to be caught by the group behind them. 

After a couple of short descents, Warbasse climbs again and takes the KOM. 

The main chasing group (group three) is 1:54 behind Warbasse while the peloton is at 2:10. Warbasse started the day 3:48 down so the bunch will want to keep him relatively close. 

30km remaining from 155km

A few potential hazards on the descent with some road works to the side of the road. The riders make it through unscathed. 

Warbasse is into the valley ahead of the final climb and his lead has now been cut down. The main chasing group is just 1:30 behind while the peloton is now 1:50 back. Can he hold onto the finish? It's going to be hard. 

It looks like it is Smit that is the first chaser behind Warbasse and not Ourselin. It is not yet clear where on earth Ourselin is. There have been no updates on him from race radio since the Montana Village climb. 

20km remaining from 155km

Warbasse begins the final climb of the day with just a minute on the chasers. He's looking relaxed with his forearms resting on the handlebars. Meanwhile, Dillier has been dropped and is now back with the peloton. 

Smit has also been mopped up by the Fraile group. It's just Warbasse ahead now. 

Sicard is turning himself inside out in the chasing group. He peels off and Calmajane attacks. 

Calmajane, of course, took an impressive stage win at the Tour de France last year. He's got a couple o wins in the pocket this year also. 

Following Calmajane's attack, the chasing group has fractured and riders are gradually being brought back by the peloton.

The cars are moving out of the gap behind Warbasse as the gap to Calmajane drops to just over 30 seconds. The Direct Energie rider is closing in on him, while De La Parte is not much further back down the road. The rest of the escape has been caught by the peloton. 

Still plenty of BMC riders on the front of the peloton. De Marchi is pulling at the moment with Van Avermaet, Van Garderen, Porte and Kung in his wheel. 

16km remaining from 155km

Calmajane started the day just 1:19 behind the race leader so he can make some serious ground in the GC if he can stay away. 

De la Parte has been caught by the peloton, just Warbasse and Calmajane left up front. 

Riders from Bora, Sunweb and Mitchelton-Scott moving up towards the front of the peloton. Meanwhile, Calmajane has caught Warbasse. 

Calmajane is a stronger climber and it is going to be hard for Warbasse to hold onto Calmajane.

12km remaining from 155km

Calmajane's lead is still very slim. The Frenchman has just 30 seconds on the dwindling bunch. 

Warbasse flashes the peloton a smile as they bring him back. Van Avermaet has now taking up the pace setting from De Marchi. 

Only about 30-40 riders remaining in the peloton . The gradient is not overly steep at this moment but the pace is high. Movistar and AG2R La Mondiale are moving up the bunch and sit just behind BMC. 

Calmajane's gap is just 17 seconds now with eight kilometres still to go. There are some steeper gradients to come before the road levels out a bit before the finish line. It is going to be tough for Calmajane to hold on when the other GC contenders begin attaching, which we can expect them to do. 

Calmajane looks over his shoulder and he can see Greg Van Avermaet closing him down. Just a few metres separate him from the peloton. 

Attacks. Hugh Carthy has gone off the front with Mathias Frank.

Sorry, it is Francois Bidard, not Mathias Frank. 

And Landa attacks!

Van Avermaet has pulled off and so too has the yellow jersey of Kung. This is too much for the Siwss rider. Van Garderen now sets the pace for Porte. 

Landa has caught up with Bidard and Carthy. They have 14 seconds on the Porte group. 

Landa has caught up with Bidard and Carthy. They have 14 seconds on the Porte group. 

Landa pushes on and takes Carthy with him Bidard has pulled the parachute. 

Bidard is brought back by the peloton. 

Movistar can afford to play this tactic with two leaders in this race. Nairo Quintana is sitting comfortably in the bunch close to Porte. 

Quintana takes up the pace setting briefly and Astana move up to the front too. Van Garderen is done for the day and it's up to Porte to help himself. Amidst this Kruijswijk tries a couple of attacks. 

Landa has now dropped Carthy, who is caught by the chasers, and is now alone. 

Landa's advantage is slim. On some of the longer stratches of road he can see the pack behind him as Hansen sets a pace fr Fuglsang. 

2km remaining from 155km

Hansen has gone bang and now it is Padun that moves to the front with Ion Izagirre in his wheel. 

1km remaining from 155km

Attack from AG2R La Mondiale.

Landa is on his knees, metaphorically, and he's being closed down. The AG2R rider has been brought back. 

Ulissi is looming behind him. 

Landa is caught and Ulissi attacks

Mas is on his wheel

Ulissi wins, Mas is second and it looks like Anton in third. 

Ulissi hid in the bunch all the way up that climb and only put his nose in the wind when he got a wiff of the finish line. Mas did his best to track him down but Ulissi was always going to take that on that sort of finish. 

We await Stefan Kung, who is still making his way up the climb. 

Kung finishes the stage pver three minutes down. He put in a valiant effort today but that last climb was a bridge too far for the Swiss man. 

A quick look at the top 10 and a solid effort from Wilco Kelderman to take fourth. He missed three months of racing after breaking his collarbone at Tirreno-Adriatico. This is his first race back and he seems to be going well. 

Here is the top 10 from the stage. Note that the Dimension Data rider in third was Tom-Jelte Slagter.

Richie Porte has now moved into the overall lead with a 20-second lead over Wilco Kelderman and Sam Ooman of Team Sunweb. Enric Mas is just one second off the podium places in fourth place. 

This is a very different looking top 10 overall.

This is what Ulissi had to say after his victory today. 

Diego Ulissi got a big cheese for his efforts today. If that isn't an incentive to win I don't know what is. 

Riders still coming over the line. Joe Dombrowski comes over the line with Mitchelton-Scott duo Michael Albasini and Sam Bewley. Owain Doull looks to be in that group too. 

Romain Sicard steps onto the podium to collect the mountains competition with a giant bear handing him another giant bear. Sicard took the points on the first climb and took a few more on the second. He's got a two-point lead over Warbasse with Zaccanti now down in third. 

The gruppetto crosses the line 24 minutes down, saving their legs for another day. Peter Sagan is among them and he looks fairly relaxed as he necks a drink before heading towards the podium to be awarded the black points jersey. 

Larry Warbasse did get some recognition for his efforts today and was awarded the most aggressive rider prize for the stage. That will be some consolation.

It's worth noting that even though the bunch did slow a little bit in the final part of today's stage, they still finished about 10 minutes ahead of the fastest predicted schedule. It was a fast day out there and that could be telling in tomorrow's big mountain stage. 

For a report, results and photos from today's stage, head over here

And here is Richie Porte putting on his new yellow jersey. He has just 20 seconds on Kelderman behind him. 

That's it from our live coverage today. Tune in tomorrow for live coverage of stage 6 as the riders head from Fiesch to Gommiswald.

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