FireFlies 2016 Stage 5: From Briancon to Barcelonnette
Stage 5: Briancon to Barcelonnette
The Tour made an early Monday morning start (7:30am) to avoid the other cyclists staying at the hotel. The weather was beautiful, the suncream and shorts were on and the peloton's blazing red FireFlies jerseys were finally uncovered from the foul weather gear, a glorious sight.
They immediately ascended Col d'Izoard out of the town, reaching the summit at 2,361m after 20km, where everyone posed for pictures at the monument with national flags.
Then there was a steep descent off the Col where the Tour encountered its first minor crash, as Tom Farley hit a barrier on one of the sharp turns but sustained only a few bumps and bruises.
The tour then wound it's way through the valley, alongside the blue-green waters of the RIver Guil, passing through mountain tunnels. It was a spectacular stage of the Tour.
Lunch-stop was in the pretty square at Guillestre at the foot of Mont Dauphin, where the Tour refuelled for the long 20km climb in the heat up Col de Vars (2,111m). They took a well-deserved rest at the Igloo Cafe.
The Tour departed on the last leg down towards Barcelonnette, with an evil steep ascent to the evening stop at Le Sauze a couple of kilometres outside of the town.
Supper was followed by a screening of the England Euro game - where the Tour yawned in unison!