TDF 2023: Stage 5:- Pau to Laruns, 165km ***Spoilers***

Stage 5:- Pau to Laruns, 165km

Wednesday, July 5
Start Time: 12-05pmBST.

The Tour reaches the Pyrenees already on day five, with a stage more than reminiscent of the Pau-Laruns stage of 2020. . This stage is not really spectacular, but the Col de Soudet and the Col de Marie Blanque, which emerges about 20 kilometres before the finish, all of which adds up to adds up to almost 3,700 vertical metres, which should be enough to split the peloton into smaller groups.



Pau, a town in the foothills of the Pyrenees hosted 65 stage starts and 62 stage finishes. The first half of the race is played out on flat roads. The first classified climb appears more than 70 kilometres into the race. The climbing commences at Sainte-Engrâce and the 15km ascent of the Col de Soudet. After the Marie Blanque and upon reaching the valley in Bielle, the final 7 kilometres are as good as flat.



The Climbs.

The Col de Soudet ascent is 15.2 kilometres long and averaging 7.2%. The first part is relatively easy before it gets wildly irregular after 5 kilometres with numerous sections at double digits.





The Col de Marie Blanque gradients hardly exceed 5% in the first 3 kilometres. However, the Marie Blanque shows her teeth in the finale 4 kilometres, respectively rising at 10%, 12%, 13%, and 10%. The ascent totals 7.7 kilometres and the average gradient sits at 8.6%.





Final Kms.

The riders do not plunge down after the KOM sprint (and bonus seconds), but continue on the flat for 2 kilometres. Then it’s time for the downhill, followed by 7Kms of flat.





What to Expect.

Much could depend upon the attitude of the team with the maillot jeune. If the race leader ready to give the yellow jersey, then today could well be one for the breakaway. If not then it's possible, rather than probable, that some minor GC action might take place.

Pau.

Stage town for the 74th time
Population: 77,600 inhabitants (Palois, Paloises), 162,000 for the 31 communes of Pau Béarn Pyrénées.
Pau is a commune overlooking the Pyrenees, and prefecture of the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France.
The city is located in the heart of the former sovereign principality of Béarn, of which it was the capital from 1464. Pau lies on the Gave de Pau, and is located 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean and 50 kilometres (31 mi) from Spain. This position gives it a striking panorama across the mountain range of the Pyrenees, especially from its landmark "Boulevard des Pyrénées", as well as the hillsides of Jurançon.



PAU AND CYCLING

The last two stage starts from the capital of Béarn have been won by Tadej Pogacar, who won first in Laruns in 2020, then in Luz-Ardiden the following year. In 2019, the capital of Béarn celebrated the centenary of the appearance of the Yellow Jersey, masterfully honoured by Julian Alaphilippe who won the time trial on the programme at the same time as he extended his lead in the general classification. This is the 74th time that Pau will host the Tour de France, the joint history having begun in 1930. With so many finishes in the city (and as many starts on the Boulevard des Pyrenees), the Tour was bound to attract riders, and there are many of them linked to Pau.



Gastronomy.

Garbure
Garbure is a cabbage stew with pieces of vegetables, traditional in Gascony cuisine. It is of Bearn origin and is frequently eaten in Pau. The leg of duck or goose confit was only introduced into this essentially rural dish for the poor in the middle of the 20th century. Garbure was the daily food of the Gascon peasants. Served as a soup or as a main course, garbure can be adapted to the needs of each person. As far as vegetables are concerned, everything is possible. There must be many: green cabbage accompanied by fresh or dried corn beans, broad beans, mange-tout, potatoes, turnips, large peas, onions, garlic, sometimes carrots, turnips and even lettuce, chestnuts, nettles, even borage. Among the possible meats, there is obviously the duck leg, preserved in its fat, which brings an invaluable flavour. But also carcass, some goose offal, dried pork shank, the core of a large ham (camalhoû) or a piece of pig's neck, bacon, sausage, gizzards, dry ribs.



Coucougnettes du Vert Galant.
Roasted almonds coated with dark chocolate and raspberry marzipan.



Laruns

Stage town for the 4th time
Population: 1,200 (Larunsoises and Larunsois), 674,000 inhabitants in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Béarnais and Basques)

Laruns is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in south-western France. It is situated at the confluence of two mountain streams, the Gave d'Ossau and its tributary, the Valentin. In the village of Laruns you can see some good examples of the typical Pyrénéean architecture, as well as the 16th century village Church of Saint-Pierre and some houses with attractively designed lintels above the doors, as well as a large marble fountain in the main square.

LARUNS AND CYCLING

Both stages finishing in Laruns were won by a Slovenian. In the 2018 Tour, the town had seen the victory of Primoz Roglic, the most enterprising and the most skilful on the descent after having ridden the Aubisque pass at the front. He was aiming for the final podium, which finally eluded him in the time trial in Espelette. Two years later, it was Tadej Pogacar who won his first stage in the Tour, ahead of Roglic, before going on to win the GC for the first time.

Cheese Fair
Traditionally, the Laruns Cheese Fair takes place on the first weekend of October, accompanied by its old-fashioned market and various events. You can of course taste Laruns, a cheese produced from sheep's milk in the Ossau valley, which is also included in the Ossau-Iraty production area.


















"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
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Comments

  • andyp
    andyp Posts: 10,306
    I love the Marie-Blanque. Really scenic to begin with, and you wonder what all the fuss is about and then, bam, four kilometres of grovelling to the top.

    I got very confused the first time I did it, as I'd ridden away from my riding companion, only to get to the top and find him sat by the side of the road. He'd had a heat stress incident, and a kindly local saw him, stopped to check he was okay, then bunged his bike in the back of the car and drove him to the summit.
  • takethehighroad
    takethehighroad Posts: 6,773
    Can anyone do the stats to find the last Tour that DIDN'T visit Pau? Feels like we've been there every year for ages
  • RichN95.
    RichN95. Posts: 27,218

    Can anyone do the stats to find the last Tour that DIDN'T visit Pau? Feels like we've been there every year for ages

    2022. They went to Lourdes instead
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • takethehighroad
    takethehighroad Posts: 6,773
    Oh lol. The Lourdes to Hautacam stage which felt like a waste of time

    What about before that?
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,671
    andyp said:

    I love the Marie-Blanque. Really scenic to begin with, and you wonder what all the fuss is about and then, bam, four kilometres of grovelling to the top.

    I got very confused the first time I did it, as I'd ridden away from my riding companion, only to get to the top and find him sat by the side of the road. He'd had a heat stress incident, and a kindly local saw him, stopped to check he was okay, then bunged his bike in the back of the car and drove him to the summit.

    I went up it on a 39x21 as some fenland idiot mechanic thought that would be plenty. Absolutely horrendous final few km.
  • durhamwasp
    durhamwasp Posts: 1,247
    Did the Raid Pyrenees last summer, Marie Blanque stands out as one of the toughest we did!
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,382
    The Marie blanc is no laughing matter ..it's often mid stage so is under raced ... It's hard
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,382

    andyp said:

    I love the Marie-Blanque. Really scenic to begin with, and you wonder what all the fuss is about and then, bam, four kilometres of grovelling to the top.

    I got very confused the first time I did it, as I'd ridden away from my riding companion, only to get to the top and find him sat by the side of the road. He'd had a heat stress incident, and a kindly local saw him, stopped to check he was okay, then bunged his bike in the back of the car and drove him to the summit.

    I went up it on a 39x21 as some fenland idiot mechanic thought that would be plenty. Absolutely horrendous final few km.
    Oufff
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,382
    Is LLS ok?
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • Out with a collarbone break
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,382

    Out with a collarbone break

    Damm ..that's a blow
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,671
    I would say, as tough as the MB is, it's not that long. I definitely found the longer ones much harder.
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,382
    Poor old LLS . He never did like the chaos of bunch sprints . Cav is going to miss him badly
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,382

    I would say, as tough as the MB is, it's not that long. I definitely found the longer ones much harder.

    The tourmalet is a unrelenting beast if we are talking the Pyrenees

    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,671
    edited July 2023

    I would say, as tough as the MB is, it's not that long. I definitely found the longer ones much harder.

    The tourmalet is a unrelenting beast if we are talking the Pyrenees

    Yup yup. We all have our climbs that destroyed us and for me it was col de la core (afternoon, exposed ride in the sun all the way up, just cooked me) and col de Bargargui, which was my first ever mountain, I was riding the same 39x21, it was a headwind and it did my head in and I got off the bike.

    Crying shame, will never live that down.

    I did the Tourmalet early in the day and I guess the mythology around it put me in a better headspace to just grind it out over 90 mins.
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,382
    edited July 2023
    39x21 is not a gear for the mountains unless your pantani
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • shirley_basso
    shirley_basso Posts: 6,195
    It was 40 years ago
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,671

    39x21 is not a gear for the mountains unless your pantani

    Horrendous. Honestly.

    I managed to find a mechanic who stuck on a 36 on the front and a 27 on the back (this was a while ago) half way through the Tour and that improved things no end.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,372

    39x21 is not a gear for the mountains unless your pantani

    You're right, it should be a 42 on the front.
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 21,162
    I think my smallest gear used to be a 39 x 25. Wasn't a mistake I made on my next groupset.
  • drhaggis
    drhaggis Posts: 1,150
    I've got relatives in San Sebastian, which I visit relatively often, and a bike I can borrow. Even a 36x28 is shït up pyrinees at my measly power (from the times they've put so far, I'm the "average amateur" in all these KOM snippets).

    I've never bothered going to Tourmalet, because it'll take me close to 2h grinding at 60 rpm, 10 km/h, and not far from what I believe is my FTP.
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,382
    Pross said:

    39x21 is not a gear for the mountains unless your pantani

    You're right, it should be a 42 on the front.
    Yeah but it was actually a 44 x23 for pantani unless it was really hilly and he rode a 39 x21 for real .... Yeah facts look em up
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,671
    edited July 2023

    Pross said:

    39x21 is not a gear for the mountains unless your pantani

    You're right, it should be a 42 on the front.
    Yeah but it was actually a 44 x23 for pantani unless it was really hilly and he rode a 39 x21 for real .... Yeah facts look em up
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOyvswnEBTo&t=134s

    When you're going this fast, 42 x 17 is the gear you'll be in (apparently).
  • shirley_basso
    shirley_basso Posts: 6,195
    Humble brag opportunity - my bike only has 36 x 28 as the easiest gear and I rode that through the Pyrenees, Tourmalet etc plus Ventoux
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,382
    drhaggis said:

    I've got relatives in San Sebastian, which I visit relatively often, and a bike I can borrow. Even a 36x28 is shït up pyrinees at my measly power (from the times they've put so far, I'm the "average amateur" in all these KOM snippets).

    I've never bothered going to Tourmalet, because it'll take me close to 2h grinding at 60 rpm, 10 km/h, and not far from what I believe is my FTP.

    I wouldn't like to do it right now without a good block of training that's for sure
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,382

    Humble brag opportunity - my bike only has 36 x 28 as the easiest gear and I rode that through the Pyrenees, Tourmalet etc plus Ventoux

    Last big hill i rode was the ventoux in 34 X 30 your crushing me there
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,382
    Nice gear ...you can kinda relax a bit and look around ....slow though
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,533
    drhaggis said:

    I've got relatives in San Sebastian, which I visit relatively often, and a bike I can borrow. Even a 36x28 is shït up pyrinees at my measly power (from the times they've put so far, I'm the "average amateur" in all these KOM snippets).

    I've never bothered going to Tourmalet, because it'll take me close to 2h grinding at 60 rpm, 10 km/h, and not far from what I believe is my FTP.

    What's your point? 😉
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • shirley_basso
    shirley_basso Posts: 6,195

    Humble brag opportunity - my bike only has 36 x 28 as the easiest gear and I rode that through the Pyrenees, Tourmalet etc plus Ventoux

    Last big hill i rode was the ventoux in 34 X 30 your crushing me there
    I did all 3 sides (Cingles) on that gearing.
  • andyp
    andyp Posts: 10,306

    I would say, as tough as the MB is, it's not that long. I definitely found the longer ones much harder.

    The tourmalet is a unrelenting beast if we are talking the Pyrenees

    Yup yup. We all have our climbs that destroyed us and for me it was col de la core (afternoon, exposed ride in the sun all the way up, just cooked me) and col de Bargargui, which was my first ever mountain, I was riding the same 39x21, it was a headwind and it did my head in and I got off the bike.

    Crying shame, will never live that down.

    I did the Tourmalet early in the day and I guess the mythology around it put me in a better headspace to just grind it out over 90 mins.
    Ah, the Col de Bargargui (or the Col de Buggery as it was swiftly renamed) brings back some memories.

    The first time I went to the Pyrenees, I asked around the local club about gearing and one person advised lower gears, so I fitted a 25 sprocket just in case. Was very happy to have that on the Marie Blanque (and the Portet d'Aspet). This was when I was young and race fit too. After that I sought out and fitted a TA chainset in what is now known as compact, but before the big two, as they were then, marketed them.