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Second place for Albasini on stage five in the Tour of Swiss after a day in the break for Bewley

Wed 14 Jun 2017

Tour de Romandie stage winner Michael Albasini had an incredible sprint today to take second place on the fifth and longest stage of the Tour de Suisse.

Kiwi Sam Bewley was in a breakaway of six riders that animated the majority of the stage, finally being caught with just six kilometres to go ahead of the concluding bunch sprint.

The ORICA-SCOTT lead-out train assembeled towards the head of the peloton dropping Albasini off in good position on the wheel of the world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgroge). The local Swiss rider fought all the way to the line to take out a well earned second place and cap off an eventful day for the team.

“It was a hard start to the stage, it took around 80kilometres for the break to go,” said Bewley. “We had the whole team trying to get into the move and eventually I was the one who got in a move that actually stuck.”

“Then it was a long day, it is always hard in the breakaway and I knew it would be hard to stay away but it was good to have someone in there. I finally got caught with 15kilometres to go and then tried to recover in time to help in the sprint.

Mathew Hayman, Magnus Cort, also Carlos Verona were all ready for the lead-out and I tried to help get Albasini in position until around three kilometres to go and then the other guys took over. It was great to see Alba come away with a podium finish on the stage.”

With a rider in the breakaway and a rider contesting the bunch sprint finish, the team also faced a tough day with a mixture of crashes, punctures, injuries and a lot of hard work from the staff and the riders. In the end sport director Neil Stephens was happy with the second place result after everyones commitment to the day.

“Once again Albasini did a fantastic job and it was great to see Bewley in the breakaway but also helping out in the lead-out,” Stephens explained. “In the sprint Albasini preempted the jump from Sagan, he knew he was going to go and was on his wheel ready.”

“There was a small gap as he jumped and then he wasn’t able to make up ground to battle directly for the win but I think second place on the stage is a fair reward for the effort he put in.

"We were behind the best bike rider in the world so I am really satisfied with the whole day and all of the team.”

How it happened:

Today’s stage five was the longest day at this year’s Tour de Suisse with a 222kilometre stage featuring one main Hors Category climb, the Simplonpass reaching 2005metres altitude.

Ruben Plaza was involved in a crash early on in the stage and was forced to abandon the race but thankfully with no major injuries after hospital checks.

The hectic bunch saw multiple attacks but no groups able to created a move within the first 50kilometres.

Eventually a breakaway of six riders formed and included Bewley for ORICA-SCOTT. The group established a lead of six minutes as they approached the bottom of the climb after 100kilometres.

On the lengthy descent the leader’s advantage dropped down to just three and a half minutes.

With 25kilometres to go the rain came down hard and three of the leaders were caught. Two of the breakaway remained ahead of the bunch but were also swallowed up with seven kilometres left after a hard chase from Bora-Hansgrohe.

ORICA-SCOTT headed to the front of the peloton alongside other lead-out trains and kept Albasini in good position. 

Sagan jumped and Albasini followed, fighting all the way to the line but with Sagan crossing the line clearly ahead.

Tour de Suisse stage 5 results:

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5:15:50
2. Michael Albasini (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
3. Matteo Trentin (Quickstep-Floors) ST

General classification after stage 5:

1. Damiano Caruso (BMC) 17:24:24
2. Steven Kruijswijk (Lotto-Jumbo) +0:16
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R Mondaile)  +0:25
18. Carlos Verona (ORICA-SCOTT) +3:31

Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com

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