Mathieu WARNIER, Media365, published on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 10:30 p.m.
The route of the 5th stage of the Tour de France has been lengthened by just over three kilometers in order to avoid potentially dangerous road layouts on the approach to the first cobbled section.
The 5th stage of the Tour de France 2022 will not be exactly what was planned. While the start remains located in the heart of Lille and the finish line drawn a stone’s throw from the mythical Trouée d’Arenberg, its distance has been increased. Indeed, while the initial plans provided for a distance of 153.7 kilometers, the runners will finally have 157 kilometers to cover, i.e. 3300 meters of more effort on what promises to be one of the first major highlights of the 109th. edition of the Grande Boucle, the first stage walking on the flowerbeds of Paris-Roubaix since 2018. A modification of the route made imperative by the establishment of a road development near the entrance to the first paved sector of the he stage, that of Fressain in Villers-au-Tertre, 1400 meters long and indicated with a level three difficulty. “Compared to our reconnaissance last fall, an island has been set up on each side of the road 500 meters from the entrance on the cobblestones”, confirmed Thierry Gouvenou in comments collected by theAFP. A stage whose route has been the subject of criticism, particularly in terms of safety.
The first cobblestone sector taken in the opposite direction
Admitting that “this development was installed with the aim of improving road safety”, the race director of the Tour de France assures that this “poses safety problems for a peloton which will most certainly be launched at high speed at the approaching the first cobblestone sector”. Thierry Gouvenou adds that “entering the first cobbled sector is like a finish line”. In order not to change too substantially the route of this fifth stage of the Tour de France, which will be the second after the return from Denmark, which will host the Grand Départ in Copenhagen on July 1, the organizers of the Grande Boucle have finally opted to keep this paved sector on the program but to reverse its direction. An alteration of the course which thus imposes the addition of 3300 meters to the distance initially planned. A modification which will be the only one for this fifth stage but which sheds a little more light on the fact that “the roads are less and less suitable for cycle races”, according to Thierry Gouvenou. Indeed, work planned for the approach to the second and third cobbled sections of the stage has been postponed at the request of the Tour de France.