6.15.2015

Tour of Suisse 3: A Tactical Race

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Controlled. Tactical. Boring. It looks like a wasted opportunity.
The first attackers are Stefan Denifl (IAM Cycling) and Marco Marcato (Wanty Groupe Gobert). They climb up the terrific climb of GothardBranislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi) tops it 50'' behind but quickly joins  in the descent. The peloton is at  3'20''.
Embedded image permalink36 km to go the gap is up to 6'04" but 24 km to go it's down to 2’56” .

Fight for positions on the 2nd cat. climb (4.9km, 7.0%).

Marcato dropped and caught, the two resist. Selection in the main group. Majka pulling. Dangerous descent on wet road. Samoilau goes solo. 12 km to go the gap is just 28".
Embedded image permalinkSeven riders get a gap. Albasini attacks and dashes in front. Bakelants joins. Break over.
6 km to go Henao attacks, joins and passes the leading duo. Bakellants resists. Arredondo attacks. Everybody caught. Tactics. Anacona attacks 5 to go but Majka catches him down. 
Embedded image permalink3 km to go Albasini attacks again. Caught. Coppel tries. Lopez and Morabito follow. Majka is chasing. Caught. Ten Dam goes. Caught. Suddnly Sagan and Matthew in front. Last km: Chavez with Brambilla. The bunch is there. Confused sprint. Sagan.
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Peter Sagan:
Embedded image permalink"The tempo was high, Rafal Majka did a great job on the last hill and he held the group together for the sprint finish. Then it was my turn to launch and I'm happy to have won.  It was also difficult because the last curve seemed to be a left one so I went left. But it was to the right so I had to change my course. Big thanks to the whole team, without them it wouldn't have happened. I'm pleased we have the first victory at Tour de Suisse.
I'm very happy with how the stage went and the work by the entire squad. Today's stage was difficult and on top of that it also rained. One group broke away with a lead of 6 minutes. Our team was leading out front on the last 40km and just before the last two hills the gap was only 2 minutes. They pulled very hard during the stage and Rafal Majka helped me a lot during the last two climbs. I can say that we won thanks to the teamwork we showed. I'm very happy with this victory but tomorrow is another day and we will see what happens”. 

Laurens ten Dam:
“No guts, no glory. It was nice to take a real part in a race finale again. The good feeling is coming back, finally. It should have, after all the hard work. I’m satisfied with my performance today. For now, I have to make sure that I’m in top form next month.”

Julian Arredondo:
“I was told to stay in the wheels and I did. But in the technical corners at the end Sagan is so good at that. I was also okay, as it helps that I am small and have a lower center of gravity to get around the corners quickly, but Sagan was very impressive. 
Embedded image permalinkI am feeling stronger every day, and I recovered well from yesterday’s effort. I really liked the second to last climb today which suits me - steep with all the hairpins. I had good position, maybe it could have been a little better, but I was feeling good.
So far the race is going well for us, the team is strong, and I am having fun. We have many cards to play still, and I am really looking forward to Wednesday’s stage. I think we can do something really nice that day.”

Frank Schleck:
“It was not a super, super hard stage, but when Bob had to have a bike change before the category two climb we had to go back and help him. It was a big effort from the team and really showed our spirit. Sometimes we miss some shape, some strength, or luck, but I think today we can say we were a team and that was nice to see.”

Bob Jungels:
“I have done Gotthard Pass maybe 20 times already. We always went there with the Junior National team for training camps so I knew the climb well. I felt pretty good up the climb, and the peloton went fairly neutral up it and I was quite surprised. But when they put an 18km climb at the start I think it’s quite normal the riders are scared. If it was a 5km climb then it’s different. I was hoping it might have gone a bit harder because I felt very good. At the end, it was some bad luck with a mechanical, but the team made a great effort to help me and it all ended okay.”

Geraint Thomas:
"Little crash today in the neutral zone, thanks to the race car doing an emergency stop for no apparent reason!! #cheers Congrats to Sagan and @tinkoff_saxo though. Well earned win that"

Koen de Kort:
"Spent another day defending the yellow of @tom_dumoulin, 3 stages, 3 times a top 10 result, still yellow. Fun working for a machine like him".

Gianluca Brambilla:
"I felt good today, better than yesterday. In the final I tried to anticipate the sprint with Chaves. I was on his wheel, but at 500 meters to go I had a cramp in my left leg and it stopped me from being able to stay with him. But in any case it was good to be in the front today in a small group with strong competitors. Also, I am encouraged by the condition getting better day-by-day. We will see what can happen in the next stages."

RESULTS
STAGE
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 3:00:35
2 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr
4 Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing
5 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
6 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
7 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
8 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge
9 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky
10 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
GC
1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 6:43:12
2 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:05
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
4 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:07
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:12
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:14
7 Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr 0:00:15
8 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida 0:00:18
9 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:19
10 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha

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