Although today’s stage 5 of the Giro officially had a difficulty rating of three out of five, we would happily contest that rating to add another star.
To give you an idea of what our riders endured: 225 km, 4,700 metres of climbing, a fast first hour and wet conditions in the last hour of racing.
Would you suffer through it?
Alex Dowsett would probably agree with our difficulty assessment. “It was very, very tough,” he said after the stage. And that was the general opinion of most of the riders in the peloton.
ISN survived pretty well, though. Sagiv, recovering from his crash two days ago, didn’t really struggle today. Neither did Rudy Barbier. Both finished in the grupetto.
Behind ISN’s top finisher, Dani Navarro (53rd), it was Alexander Cataford who fought himself through the day.
“This was the longest and most climbing out of any stage so far”, Cataford said. “When the weather turned for the worse on the final climb, I was happy to come out of the day well. I saved some energy on the final climb for the days ahead.”
So yeah, was this stage worth only three stars?