Stage 5: Steamboat to Breckenridge |

Stage 5: Steamboat to Breckenridge

While there will likely be a clear frontrunner coming out of Vail’s Stage 3 time trial, the Steamboat-to-Breckenridge, 105-mile Stage 5 with 8,300 feet of climbing could provide an opportunity for a shake-up among the leaders.

The double-summit Rabbit Ears Pass, which opens the stage and hosts a King of the Mountain line with ample viewing opportunities, will be followed by a long, gradual ascent past Green Mountain and Dillon reservoirs en route to Breckenridge.

The initial climb will soften up the legs prior to nasty crosswinds typical for the area. If 30 or so riders can get away from the group, there might be enough wind to get them all the way to the finish. A final climb up Swan Mountain Road is likely more of a softener than a separator, and if the race leader isn’t in that first group, Breck’s dramatic downhill finish through Main Street could yield a new yellow jersey heading into Denver’s final leg.

– Geoff Mintz/Summit Daily News

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