No, the second individual time trial of the Tour de Suisse hadn’t been moved to this Friday. The 42.5 kilometres on the day’s program, on stage 6, were the simple consequence of a – significant – shortening decided a few days ago due to the snow present on the Nufenenpass, initially planned on the course. “The day’s organization was a little unusual,” confessed Thierry Bricaud. “We left the hotel this morning, drove two hours, then loaded the cars onto a train to cross the Gotthardpass. Then, we had to take the start at 3 p.m. for a 42-kilometer stage, including nearly 30 kilometres downhill.” The start of the race therefore proved extremely fast, and although a trio of fugitives managed to go, they never had a lead of more than a minute. “It was a bit strange to ride only 42 kilometres,” said Lenny. “Moreover, I often have better legs at the end of a stage than at the start. I thought it was going to be difficult, but ultimately the legs were quite good today.” The young man therefore decided to join in the fight at the bottom of the final climb of Blatten (6 km at 9%). “I was very well positioned by the team,” he added. “It was perfect, I was at the front. We then had to follow the UAE Team Emirates’ pace, which was very high.”

Lenny Martinez was slightly distanced when the push got stronger, and while only a dozen riders were still present at the front. On the other hand, the Groupama-FDJ rider proved faster than others on the second part of the climb. He passed a few riders on his way up, and even found himself in a third group with Tom Pidcock 1500 metres from the summit. “I made my effort, and I gave it my all until the end, but the last 500 metres seemed long,” he smiled. “It feels good to finally have better legs and have fun up front with the best.” On the line, he was only beaten by four riders: Joao Almeida, Adam Yates, Mattias Skjelmose and Egan Bernal. “He wanted to do well and make up for the previous days,” commented Thierry. “He knows he wasn’t where he belonged, and he wasn’t ok with that. He wanted to reassure himself, which he did very well today. He rode a very nice climb, it’s good going forward. He has a good weekend left to gain positions overall, put in a good performance on the last mountain stage on Saturday and a good time trial on Sunday to finish this Tour de Suisse on a nice note.” Thanks to his day’s performance, Lenny Martinez entered the top-15 overall (14th at 5’54). On Saturday, 3,000 meters of elevation gain will have to be overcome over just 110 kilometres, with another summit finish, in Villars-sur-Ollon (8 km at 7.7%).