Martin Lange with AFP / Photo credit: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP
7:34 p.m., July 05, 2023
Jai Hindley won the fifth stage of the Tour de France alone on Wednesday in Laruns. At the same time, he took the lead in the general classification ahead of Jonas Vingegaard who took about a minute from his great rival Tadej Pogacar. This first day in the mountains has already upset the hierarchy with the loss of the yellow jersey for the Briton Adam Yates (UAE), the seizure of power by Jai Hindley and the coup de force of Vingaard which dropped Pogacar in proportions that we do not didn’t imagine seeing the profile of the stage.
The Dane placed a lightning attack just over a kilometer from the top of Marie Blanque to clinch the Slovenian, unable to follow and who is now 53 seconds behind the defending champion overall. Vingegaard gradually extended his lead, including on the long descent to Laruns, taking back the day’s breakaways one by one. It was too late to catch up with Hindley, who had left in the morning breakaway made up of 36 riders.
The main information:
- The Tour de France begins its fifth stage this Wednesday
- The start will be given in Pau for a 162.7km route which will end in Laruns in the Pyrenees
- A mountain stage that already delights Tadej Pogacar, one of the big favorites
- Jai Hindley wins stage five and takes the yellow jersey
But all the same: with the passes of Soudet (15.2 km at 7.2%, classified out of category) and Marie-Blanque (7.7 km at 8.6%, first category) on the program, there is already enough to scrap, even if the last summit is placed 18 kilometers from the finish in Laruns. And Thursday, we will have to do it again, with the first of the four finishes at the top of this Tour, in Cauterets-Cambasque, after crossing the Aspin and the Tourmalet along the way.
The route of the fifth stage
Credit: official Tour de France website
“It will mainly be played in the difficult part of Marie-Blanque”
162.7 km long, the Laruns stage “is practically a copy of what we did in 2020 when we had Pogacar’s first victory. The only difference is that we climb Soudet by the slope on the Basque Country side. But it’s still just as hard”, explains Thierry Gouvenou, the architect of the course, to AFP. Once you’ve climbed the Soudet, “it’s mainly going to be played out in the difficult part of Marie-Blanque. Only those who play the general are really going to be able to get out of this pass because it’s really very steep, especially the last three kilometers which offer slopes of more than 10/11%”, adds the technical director of the Tour.
For Tadej Pogacar, the stage will awaken enchanted memories, he who won the first of his nine stage victories on the Grande Boucle in 2020 at Laruns. The Slovenian had settled a small group in the sprint to win, incredulous and hands down on the helmet, in front of his compatriot Primoz Roglic from whom he would then steal the yellow jersey on the eve of the arrival in Paris to win his first Tour. “This stage remains one of the most beautiful moments of my career”, remembers “Pogi” who also particularly adores Pau, a stage city of the Tour for the 74th time already.