Day 5 Valdeblore to Sospel
After day five going into the day six there are were only four seconds between the top two riders, and less than six minutes between the top four, and today, Nicolas Lau took the win by just one second!
Day five provided riders with another dose of big mountain riding, huge road cols and plenty of pushing and dragging bikes along tiny hiking trails over 66km. The ride on day five consisted of a height gain of 2012m and a descent over 3348m with a bus uplift a the end of the day.
The day began with the traditional three hour slog, pedalling and pushing to reach the start of special stage 17 treating riders to some of the best views of the week as they rode through valley after valley.
Stage 17 and 18 were quite similar and both had large descents down towards Lantosque, with a 1200m drop, splitting in the middle by a grassy knoll, the top half of the mountain was made up of pine forest rock strewn trails with steep switch backs, with the bottom section slightly harder to navigate, feeling more like a desert than the top. Once the riders reached Lantosque they were faced with another big climb onto special stage 19, a trail that had a more Mediterranean feel – rockier and steeper with plenty of gullies and loose rocks to test riders after five days of riding.
Oliver Munnik took a high speed pedal strike that threw him over the bars, smashing his helmet and damaging his shoulder badly, which led to him being helicoptered off.
This year special stage 20 had moved across to a much faster ridge line trail that sweeps back and forth across the hillside onto some unrelenting switchbacks that took riders out to the end of the stage and onto a challenging river side trail.
Open Gallery3 Images
Full report and results from day six coming soon. Today during the final stages riders went from Sospel finishing in Menton.