Stage 5 was a classic in so many ways. An early break, and hard chase at the finish, and some unfortunate tactical flubs at the finish that doomed any chance the break had.
I had to pick my spots for watching the race, and figured not better spot would be Swan Mountain. About ten limes from the finish, Swan Mountain was the only real chance for anyone to put any time in on the competition. The 'mountain' itself is a short climb - probably about 3 kilometers long - and a pretty light grade, so if anyone was going to make a break it would have to be pretty explosive. Andy Schleck very nearly put on that show.
We weren't the only ones thinking that Swan Mountain was the place to be, and the party was in full swing when we got there in the morning. Throughout the day, a pretty steady stream of riders came up the hill. By noon, a full blown dance party was rocking the summit, so much so that even the cops were having a hard time getting their cars through.
There was a lot to take issue with in terms of the race coverage in the early stages, but it did improve through the race. One point I still have contention with is the coverage of the Break on Swan Mountain. The break group itself - Andy Schleck, Laurent Ten Dam,Ivan Basso, and Tom Peterson. We were positioned at the last corner before the summit, maybe 300 meters downhill. If anyone from the break was going to make a move, it was going to be there. As expected, Andy jumped right at the corner and managed to put a few seconds in on the rest of the break:
One last shot. Yet another Tigger sighting, this time with Winnie in tow.