Tour de Suisse 2022 – Stage 5

We are over halfway and the next four stages are going to be fantastic. Tomorrow, the riders tackle a hilly course in the very south of the country – almost in Italy. The stage has 2950 climbing meters

The first 60 km are either downhill or flat. It could take some time for the breakaway to form, and I would not even be surprised if it forms on Morte Ceneri, the first cat-2 climb of the day after 60 km of riding.

From here, the riders have another 45 km of flat before they start getting close to the circuit. The circuit is shown below. They do it 2.5 times before reaching the finish line.

Now, this circuit is one every fan is going to look at with joy. Four climbs in total. Let’s take a look at all of them. They do them all three times each.

Starting off is the one furthest away, or towards the North. This climb kicks the circuit off with 79 km left.

Next up, and lost time stating 12.8 km from the start is one of the hardest. Starting off with a very important corner at the bottom, before it just gets steep for 1 km. It looks even worse on Google Maps – I trust the gradients below!

The next is the hardest. Close to the line, but on wide and new roads. It does not get as steep as the one above, but after almost 200 km in the legs, it will take its toll on the riders. It is the last chance to drop anyone you don’t fancy sprint up against.

The last one is the one at the finish – which is at the top of this climb.


With all the climbs done, let’s take a look at the weather forecast. Is it going to be another sunny day?

It will be a day with almost no wind. It will be a day with a very small chance of rain. It will be another very, very warm day in Switzerland. In the south near Chiasso and Mendrisio, it will be up to 29 degrees C in the evening.

How will the stage unfold?

Well, this has not been my expertise since the Giro d’Italia. In order to fix it, it is time to bring back the xPless idea in the hope of the answer.

I think what is worth noting, is that the big teams; UAE, Quick-Step, INEOS and Bora-Hansgrohe all want a win for the favorites. Now, that does not mean it is certain to be a day for the GC riders, but I do think they tip the balance in their favor. EF is in the mix. Will Bettiol be allowed in a possible breakaway? Is AG2R’s plan to ride defensively or offensively for Cosnefroy? Some teams are in the mix – something to add for next time.


Evenepoel – I imagine he will start as the big favorite for tomorrow. This is just a big invitation to light it up early. There is a dilemma I can not sort out. He does need time – as of now, I think he is in a very good GC position. However, if he could get time on his rivals ahead of the mountains, it could be a big deal for him. I expect Quick-Step to set him up at one point and then we will see who can follow.

Hirschi – he is doing well, but I need to see the team supporting him. If he has to be the one closing all the gaps by himself, he will likely not have a lot left in the tank to sprint! It is a big opportunity for him to get the leader’s jersey but in recent days, he has been the person forced to close gaps.

Fuglsang – remember a few years ago when Fuglsang was one of the best Ardennes classics riders? Well, there seems to be a little bit of that left in him. Tour de Suisse seems to be a race that he always performs in. I think it will be hard to win for him, but I expect him up there at the front. He sent a strong indication of his current level on stage 1.

INEOS – let’s see what they do. Both G and Adam are looking good for the GC. Tomorrow, the plan must be to limit the damage other teams would like to do to them. Martinez is in a mixed position. Fifty seconds down is quite a bit, but it is not impossible for him to be of tactical use on stage 5. I think it will be hard for them to seal a victory but if they do not lose time to their rivals, they will have won the bigger game.

Bora-Hansgrohe – is probably the best team for tomorrow despite only being six riders. Vlasov normally does extremely well on steep percentages. Higuita and Schachmann are the same. Schachmann is out of the GC – not that I ever thought he could win it, but it leaves them with a card to play, to force teams with one rider (Fuglsang, Remco, Hirschi) to have to work for a stage victory if he gets a move going. In a sprint, it is hard to say who is the fastest, but Bora-Hansgrohe should look to Vlasov as he could use the bonus seconds.

Lutsenko – breakaway contender #1. Crashed the other day, but he really loves these stages and the blistering heat. All the way back in 2019, he won the “Tirreno-Adriatico” stage in Tirreno-Adriatico despite crashing a few times! Now over four minutes back, I guess there is a chance he could make it from the breakaway – OR – ride away from the favorites near the end when poker is being played.

Bettiol – still just two minutes down. I am not sure if Bahrain does not allow him up the road or if it is the other teams. If he is in the kind of form I think he is in, he could win from the breakaway. I do not think the GC teams would bother having EF help with a bit of chasing tomorrow if he gets the leader’s jersey.

Zimmerman – I think he is looking very good. 5th in Grosser Preis des Kantons Aargau and 2nd in Giro dell’Appennino before. He crashed the day they set it up for Kristoff (Stage 3) but he worked at the front to the very end. The German is going better than ever

SKA – well, I just had to have him here, didn’t I. The Dane is doing well, and since he switched his focus to the Ardennes this year, the course should simply suit him well. Big engine, but not a big fan of the heat.

Who will win?

When will they start to chase the morning break? It is hard to catch them on a circuit with twists and turns, downhills and uphills. I think I might fancy a win for Lutsenko. He can win both from the breakaway or attack late in the finale.

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