Itzulia Basque Country 2022 – Stage 5

We got another thrilling stage at our hands. With a hilly start, we could expect a strong breakaway. The question is, will the middle section with four climbs be used to launch an early GC battle? It is likely. Then unto Karabieta. In the end, a nasty kick in Mallabia.

The first 27.1 km of the stage. Perfect for anyone who wants to get up the road!

This is the middle section I mentioned. Four climbs in a row which mean no time to breathe. Atleast one team will try something here.

This is the finale. Starting with Karabieta. The first part of the climb is the hardest, with 2.7 km at 9.2% followed by a false flat and another little kick of 1.75 km at 5.5% – the perfect spot to attack if you don’t fancy your uphill sprint. Then a descend on wide then into the last climb.

This is the finish. Some of it is on cobblestones, but it’s nicely paved. Positioning will be key coming into this climb, with an important right turn with 600 meters left. Brutally steep, and the last 280 meters are at 14.5%


A nice tailwind for the morning section, but a long headwind afterward. This is Basque Country, so no echelons. It means they will fly home from the last climb. Fine temperatures and no rain. With the headwind in mind, the finale should start with around 52 km left.

How will the stage unfold?

Early break stands a good chance, simply because of the hills at the start. Who in the peloton will pull in the headwind before the circuit where it will all be fiesta? The problem I see is the valleys in the finale. The pace will be so much higher there due to the battle for positioning. Today, we almost saw Lafay take the win but I think it will be harder tomorrow. Two stages left. Perhaps the GC men want an off-day before the big one on Saturday? I highly doubt it.

Why? Simply because they still need to shake Jumbo-Visma. Quick-Step will ride this for Alaphilippe, everything else would be nonsense. Groupama for Gaudu, who is already looking good after coming back. Woods is also coming back, if he was in-form he would have beat them all with one leg. I think we will have plenty of teams wanting to control the stage.


Roglic is getting better and better. He is lucky to have such a good team around him. Tomorrow is another day at defending, while I think Jonas will be on the offensive on the last stage. He should keep the jersey.

Alaphilippe will start as the big favorite. Only one man is better on these slopes, probably two, but he is not in very good shape. With Evenepoel at his side, he should be in pole position before the last kick. If he is, good luck beating him.

Vlasov is looking mighty good. He got a kick better than most and has carried his form throughout the season. I doubt he will win, but he will not lose a lot of time.

Martinez has a very good kick. How good is he on these gradients? Think back to Pas de Peyrol (Le Puy Mary) in 2020 TdF. He is very good on these slopes.

Gaudu could go well here. Still in the GC which is very nice to see. Likely to do good, if the positioning is not too bad at the bottom.

Polanc – Breakaway contender #1. Good legs on the first stage.

Tulett – Breakaway contender #2. Good in Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, but a little close in the GC.

Vendrame – Breakaway contender #3. Good results prior to the race, last chance for a result tomorrow.

Majka – Breakaway contender #4. Another UAE rider. Did well in Tirreno-Adriatico, perhaps Saturday suits him better.

Who will win?

The World Champion, Julian Alaphilippe.

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