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D-Tour Stage 5 Open Thread

This race, frankly, has been pretty dull so far. Fittingly, since from the looks of things here everyone is too preoccupied with Landis-Gate to watch racing. Well... you haven't missed much yet. But stage 5, everything changes.

The course profile is free of grade estimates, but the above-category Kuhtai Passhohe tops out about 1500 meters higher than the base elevation, and the final climb gains another 600 meters in less than 10km. Time gaps will be significant, and finally we might see who wants to win this thing.

I've been rooting for Vino to break out, but he's been complaining about bad form, and thinking more in terms of the worlds. Levi Leipheimer is no doubt keen to repeat, but he'll have plenty of pressure from the two big German teams, notwithstanding the fact that he rides for one of them. T-Mob will launch their usual flotilla, but a mere two weeks after the management overhaul, it's hard to expect anything effective. Should be fun, at least compared to the Little D-Tour, where Fabien Cancellara will cruise to victory after winning that silly little 14km time trial used to decide the race. In Germany they use mountains (albeit Austrian ones) to sort things out.