2023 Tour of the Alps Stage 5 Preview

Cavalese > Bruneck 145km

Stage 4 ended up as one for the breakaway, which means there’s one more chance to change the GC, I can’t see the teams passing this one up. The day starts with a tough climb, and the final one is very hard too, get ready for grenades.


Light rain, but temperatures aren’t too bad.

The Climbs

Passo Lavazé is climbed straight from the gun, and it’s the second hardest climb in the whole race.

This is the final climb of the stage, don’t be fooled by its cat 2 classification, I think it’s the hardest climb in the whole race. The opening 6km averages close to 11%, it is brutal. The next 7km continues to roll before the descent starts. The hardest bit of the climb crests with 21km to go, and once off the descent there’s only 6km left.


Ineos are going to come under pressure, everyone knows it, but they have a strong team at this race. The big question is whether we’ll see GC attacks on the first climb, the problem is the distance left in the race, it’s a suicide mission. What’s more likely is those sitting between 10th and 20th looking to attack, they can’t win from the GC group and have nothing to lose. If someone like Paret-Peintre makes the break, he sits 2:31 down, it will mean Ineos have to chase and keep the gap around the 3-minute mark. On the approach to the final climb, we’ll likely see Bahrain, Bora or EF take over the chase, if they don’t have someone up the road. This is what will decide if the break takes another win.

As I mentioned in my last preview, there’s a lot of riders still high on GC, it’s not easy for Ineos to control. If teams want to win the GC, they need to put pressure on Ineos, leaving Geoghegan Hart isolated, and then strike. Looking at the teams, no one has the strength to smash the first climb and then continue to push, riders who were dropped will get back on. For Ineos, this is crucial. They need all their riders available soon after the first climb, so they can set tempo for the rest of the stage, before hitting the final climb. 

Just like today, if the right move gets away, it could go all the way. The problem is one of those pesky riders who’s within 3 minutes of the race lead. It’s not like you can ask them not to attack. If the break contains someone like this, it’s a GC day, but if the closest on GC is around 5 minutes, the break has a good chance of taking the win.

Back in the GC group, the tactic is clear. EF, Bahrain, and Bora all have two riders high on GC, they’ll attack and try to drop the Ineos domestiques. This means Geoghegan Hart will have to chase, then the team leaders try to go over the top. The key is just how long Thomas, De Plus and Sivakov last, Tao needs them to have a good day. If Sivakov survives, the race belongs to Ineos, but if he doesn’t, it’s on like Donkey Kong.


Tao Geoghegan Hart – it’s all about winning GC, but he’ll go for the stage if it’s available. Tao has ridden an excellent race; he’s not looked in any difficulty. He’s already staked his claim to be leader at the Giro, winning this race would be the icing on the cake. This won’t be an easy stage for him, the final climb contains a section of 2.4km at 12.4%, he’s going to have to earn it. Unless he arrives solo, I don’t see him winning the stage.

Hugh Carthy – he’s going to light it up on the final climb, you can put your house on it. He’s 22 seconds down on GC, that can easily be made up in a stage like this. He looked very impressive in the opening stage, I thought he had the win with 500m to go. This is a big chance to win his third GC title of his career, the first was the Tour of Korea, way back in 2014.

Lenny Kämna – can he go with the best on the final climb? I think not, which means he needs to anticipate and get ahead before the big attacks flow.

Aleksandr Vlasov – can he follow up his impressive 2nd place on Wednesday with another good result? If he can, he’s back in contention for the pink jersey.

Joe Dombrowski – breakaway hopeful number 1. He looks in good form.

Geoffrey Bouchard – breakaway hopeful number 2. He’s starting to warm up.

Antonio Pedrero – breakaway hopeful number 3. He’s pretty good on steep slopes.

Gregor Mühlberger – breakaway hopeful number 4. He can go two from two.

Prediction Time

A group will form on the first climb, but I think it’s going to contain a GC threat, so Ineos will chase. Once on the final climb, the cream will rise to the top.

Embed from Getty Images

It’s going to be a stage win for Hugh Carthy, and Tao Geoghegan Hart to take the GC.