On the Tour de Suisse this Tuesday, the hilly terrain towards Granges did not prevent a bunch sprint at the end. Peter Sagan took the win as Lewis Askey tried to make his way through in the final before crossing the line in thirteenth position. Stefan Küng remains in fifth place overall prior to another stage suited to the sprinters-punchers.
After the breakaway’s victory in the Tour de Suisse on Monday, some could have been inspired by the profile of the third stage, quite hilly towards Grenchen. However, the fight proved to be very short at the start, and five kilometres were enough to see six men take the lead: Philippe Gilbert (Lotto-Soudal), Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), Stefan Bissegger (EF Education -Easy Post), Joey Rosskopf (Human Powered Health), Manuele Boaro (Astana) and Matthias Reutimann (Switzerland). Unlike the previous day, however, the bunch did not wait and immediately tried to control the fugitives’ lead. The gap was therefore maintained around three minutes throughout the first half of the stage before gradually dropping in the last eighty kilometres. In the front, the leading riders attacked each other in the last categorized climbs, while the pack remained united and organized in the chase. Stefan Bissegger was eventually the last man standing, but he got caught shortly after the last climb of the day, about fifteen kilometres from the line.
“We gave carte blanche to Lewis”, Yvon Madiot
In the final, quite flat part of the race, the sprinters’ teams tried to prevent any attack, and only a crash with five kilometres to go actually split the bunch. About sixty riders therefore arrived together for victory and Peter Sagan took it on the line. “This was exactly the scenario we had imagined”, summed up Yvon. “It was surely the most targeted stage for the sprinters, because even though the profile was hard, there were still good portions to pull behind the break. We weren’t surprised. We also have carte blanche to Lewis in the final sprint, and he took 13th at the finish”. A bit isolated against the real sprinters, the young Englishman came a bit short and finished just outside the top-10 in Granges, where Stefan Küng retained his fifth place overall. Because he arrived in the first peloton, Sébastien Reichenbach progressed to sixteenth place overall. Wednesday, the stage will be much less hilly but will include a last climb twenty kilometres from the finish, and that could surely create some moves.