There was laughing, joking and easy riding. Then a short-lived breakaway, which was caught straight away, and the pack continued its easy journey in stage five of the Tour de France.
Also, the predicted heavy wind did not have as much of an influence in the final as expected, which allowed a fresh and hungry bunch to travel together to the uphill finish.
Andre Greipel, described by Hofstetter as ‘super strong today’, and Tom van Asbroeck were the last two helpers for an eager Hugo Hofstetter. With the team and some of the country’s pressure on his shoulders, he was aiming for a great result.
However, Hofstetter lost positions in the last kilometer. “I was a bit boxed in after some riders in front of me ‘closed the door’. Tom tried to help me find gaps to move up again, but so did all the others.”