Posted by Editoress on 06/15/17
Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) crowned an epic day in the mountains with a thrilling solo win on the sixth stage of Tour de Suisse. With the victory in La Punt the Italian climbed to the top of the general classification and is the new yellow jersey.
With 166.7 kilometres, the queen stage of this year’s edition of Tour de Suisse delivered a memorable alpine extravaganza with the riders tackling two monstrous climbs, San Bernadino Pass and Albula Pass, totaling nearly 4.000 vertical metres of ascent.
The race commenced in Locarno and straight from the gun several riders tried to go on the attack but it was not until the peloton hit the base of the HC San Bernardino Pass - a 30 km climb to 2,000 metres with an average gradient of 5.3%. – that the day’s breakaway was formed.
After 50kms of racing Tomasz Marczynski, Bart De Clerq (Lotto Soudal), Philip Deignan (Team Sky), Jan Bakelants (Ag2r La Mondiale), Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac), Carlos Verona (Orica-Scott), Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), Ondrej Cink (Bahrain-Merida) and Simone Petilli (UAE Team Emirates) opened a gap of a minute on the bunch. Soon after Matvey Mamykin (Katusha-Alpecin), after a solo effort, joined the men up front and the breakaway of 10 was formed.
As the men in front crested the summit of the San Bernardino, with Bakelandts taking maximum KOM points, they enjoyed an advantage of two minutes over the peloton.
By cooperating well, the men in front, kept their advantage in the valley and as they made their way towards the base of the Albula Pass they maintained an optimistic two minute gap over the yellow jersey group of Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing Team).
However, BMC's pace-making shaved the break's lead to a little over a minute as the leaders hit the first slopes of the mighty Hors Catégorie climb - 25.8 kilometres at 5.3% with the second half steepest.
As the gradient began to sting Petilli accelerated from the break but the fatal attack came from Canadian Michael Woods who showed his climbing pedigree by launching a solo effort with 25kms to go.
In the thinning peloton it was the overall leader Caruso who forced the selection by attacking 18kms from the line. Simon Spilak (Katusha Alpecin) was one of the first favorites to crack and a subsequent vicious counter-attack from Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) reduced the group to all but eight riders, including Caruso, Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) and Ion Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida). Spilak with Pello Bilbao (Astana) and Matthias Frank (AG2R La Mondiale) managed to bridge across soon after.
With 12kms to go Pozzovivo went all in with an explosive attack. The lack of inertia by his rivals enabled the pure climber to rapidly distance the group and catch up to lone leader Woods before the summit. At that point the duo had 35 seconds on Caruso’s group.
The furious 9.3 kilometre descent to the finish line in La Punt was made more treacherous by the rain that started to pour but Pozzovivo’s aggressive approach to each bend saw him quickly open a gap to Woods.
In the last kilometre the 34-year-old Italian led by only a 10 second advantage but, in the finishing straight, he dug deep to hold off the chasers and emerged victorious amid the downpour.
Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), who joined the favorite’s group on the descent, powered to second place, four seconds adrift, while Izagirre rounded up the podium in third.
With the win Pozzovivo - third overall at the start of the day with a 25-second deficit to Caruso - pocketed 10 valuable bonus seconds and moved into the lead in the general classification, albeit with the same exact time as Caruso, who finished seventh today, 15 seconds back.
World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) keeps the lead in the points classification while Lasse Norman Hansen (Aqua Blue Sport) remains on top in the mountains classification.
Tour de Suisse report
Woods finished 10th, 21 seconds in arrears and moves up to 17th overall.
Results from the sixth stage in Switzerland
|Stage 6: Locarno to La Punt, 166.7 km|
|1 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale||4:38:49|
|2 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa(Por) UAE Team Emirates||at 0:04|
|3 Ion Izaguirre Inausti (Esp) Bahrain-Merida|
|4 Mathias Frank (Sui) AG2R La Mondiale||both s.t.|
|5 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin||0:12|
|6 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo||s.t.|
|7 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team||0:15|
|8 Pello Bilbao (Esp) Astana Pro Team||0:18|
|9 Marc Soler (Esp) Movistar Team||s.t.|
|10 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team||0:21|
|11 Mikel Nieve (Esp) Team Sky||0:24|
|12 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal||1:34|
|13 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe||1:40|
|14 Victor De La Parte (Esp) Movistar Team||1:46|
|15 Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||1:56|
|16 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky||2:22|
|17 Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) Dimension Data|
|18 Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|19 Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida||all s.t.|
|20 Antonio Pedrero (Esp) Movistar Team||2:36|
|46 Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale||12:29|
|120 Ryan Anderson (Can) Direct Energie||35:35|
|143 Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie||35:53|
|1 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale||22:03:28|
|2 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team||at s.t.|
|3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo||0:13|
|4 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin||0:22|
|5 Mathias Frank (Sui) AG2R La Mondiale||0:23|
|6 Marc Soler (Esp) Movistar Team||0:35|
|7 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa(Por) UAE Team Emirates||0:54|
|8 Mikel Nieve (Esp) Team Sky||1:19|
|9 Pello Bilbao (Esp) Astana Pro Team||1:42|
|10 Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||3:02|
|11 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe||3:06|
|12 Victor De La Parte (Esp) Movistar Team||3:36|
|13 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky||3:45|
|14 Jon Izaguirre (Esp) Bahrain-Merida||3:47|
|15 Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) Dimension Data||4:31|
|16 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale||5:17|
|17 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team||5:29|
|18 Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Esp) Orica-Scott||6:40|
|19 Steve Morabito (Sui) FDJ||7:28|
|20 Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij||9:09|
|39 Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale||24:56|
|102 Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie||1:04:27|
|140 Ryan Anderson (Can) Direct Energie||1:25:19|
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