Riding aggressively on the final climb, Team DSM set up Romain Bardet for another explosive GC day, before the experienced Frenchman sprinted to fifth place in La Punt.
As the peloton rolled out of Fiesch this morning, they had only 22 kilometres of flat valley roads before the race went climbing up the famous Furkapass. It was no surprise then that it was a fast start to the stage with a large group managing to go clear ahead of the ascent, building up a three minute lead quickly over the peloton, where all Team DSM riders remained.
Due to one of the breakaway riders only sitting four minutes behind on GC, the race leader’s team had to keep things close and the breakaway only managed to extend their gap to four minutes – although that was with around 30 kilometres to go. Approaching the last ascent of the Albulapass, with its almost seven percent average gradient for 17 kilometres, the team came forward as a group and began to set tempo at the head of the peloton. The pace shredded the bunch before the yellow jersey’s team came to the fore and upped the tempo once more.
Bardet rode strongly and made into an elite group of five GC riders, but he had to eventually relinquish and let go of the wheel when the pace increased once more. Yet, it was a smart decision who rode at his own tempo, as he soon returned alongside some other riders on the downhill run to the finish. Sprinting to the line, Bardet got up to take fifth place and holds onto seventh place on GC ahead of stage six on Friday.