TDF 2021: Stage 5, Changé > Laval Espace Mayenne 27.2 km **Spoilers**
Stage 5, Changé > Laval Espace Mayenne 27.2 km30-6-2021
First Rider 11-15am
The Tour de France leaves Brittany on stage 5 and serves the first of two time trials. This one, at 27.2kms is the longest individual time trial the Tour de France has held in the opening week since the 2008 edition. It is a first for Changé. The finish in Laval is just 5 kilometer away.
Laval last hosted a stage in 1999, when Tom Steels outsprinted Erik Zabel and Stuart O’Grady.
The route is predominantly flat and is the first real test for the GC contenders. In 2008, the top 20 riders spread out over approximately a minute and a half, so this is a major opportunity for time trialists to shine.
The route itself features an elevation gain of just 200 metres, so heavily favours the time trial specialists who have maintain a high power output. The only technical elements occur at the back end of the course.
I expect some criticism with some of these and feel free to suggest any omissions.
Favourites stage 5 Tour de France 2021
***** Wout van Aert, Stefan Küng, Stefan Bissegger
**** Kasper Asgreen, Tadej Pogacar, Richie Porte
*** Søren Kragh Andersen, Julian Alaphilippe, Victor Campenaerts, Primoz Roglic
** Brandon McNulty, Jonas Vingegaard, Rigoberto Urán, Geraint Thomas,
* Tony Martin, Alexey Lutsenko, Ion Izagirre, Mikkel Bjerg
No previous stage
The locality goes down in history under the Latin name of Cambiacus, then from the Middle Ages it was called Changeium. The castle was built on the vaulted cellars of the ruined Priory. Until its acquisition by the commune in 1962 to house the town hall, this castle remained the property of the d'Elva family, of Piedmont origin.
On the road
Specialities: cheeses (Port-Salut, Chaussée aux Moines, Chamois d'Or, Fol épi, Camemberts Président and Bons Mayennais, Babybel)
Laval Espace Mayenne
Stage town for the 2nd time
Laval only hosted the Tour de France in 1999 for a stage that started in Nantes and was won in a sprint by Tom Steels, now sports director of the Deceuninck-Quick Step team. It was the second of the three stage victories of the four-time Belgian champion in this edition and the sixth of his nine victories in the Grande Boucle.
The prefecture of Mayenne has given birth to many riders who have participated in the Tour de France. At the top of the list is Jacky Durand, winner of three stages in 1994, 1995 - wearing the Yellow Jersey for two days - and 1998, and twice winner of the Most Aggressive Rider prize in 1998 and 1999, a year in which he finished last in the race.
The Pegasus hoof
A Mayenne speciality, the Sabot de Pégase (Pegasus Hoof), presented in a 380g box, is a chocolate sweet created by the pastry chef Moïse Derval as a tribute to his hometown. Indeed, Pegasus, the winged horse, is the symbol of Mayenne, a department known for its numerous stud farms and its renowned horse races. The Pegasus hoof is presented in the form of a half horse hoof and is available in white, milk or dark chocolate with hazelnut caramel.
"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.