Breakaway succeeds on another wet mountainous day at the Tour de Suisse

Thu 16 Jun 2016

Stage six of the Tour de Suisse was animated by a breakaway of 15riders and harsh weather conditions.  

ORICA-GreenEDGE completed the challenging stage safety in the main peloton, conserving energy ahead of three further difficult stages.

Former ORICA-GreenEDGE rider, Pieter Weening (Roompot-Oranje) claimed the stage victory after attacking solo on the final climb with six kilometres remaining. 

"It was another hard day today with the weather conditons," explained sport director Neil Stephens. "The boys had a few goes to get in the move, but once the break had gone they just had to sit in the bunch and try to not get too cold and look after themselves."

"At the start there were a few attacks going and Chris Juul-Jensen actually launched off the front but two motorbikes crashed in front of him and he went down with them. He went down hard on his shoulder but he's seen the doctor and it seems that he's ok.

"It was a good solid day for the guys, good to get some extra kilometres in the legs for the races coming up and one thing we were trying to do was to look after Luke Durbridge.

"After his great prologue, he's looking to have a hit out in the time trial which is in a couple of days. So once the breakaway had established itself it was just about conserving as much as possible today, getting through the day and looking after Luke."

How it happened:

Stage six was certainly another challenging mountainous day for the riders, slightly easier than the previous stage with one less mountain pass to complete, nevertheless another day with harsh weather conditions. 

The main feature of the stage was the Klausenpass. Reaching 1952 metres in altitude, it proved to be a difficult one with bitterly cold conditions over the summit and poor visibility.

A breakaway of 15riders formed within the first 30kilometres of the race, like most of the previous days, and steadily grew out their advantage, with the main peloton riding comfortably behind.

The leaders rode out to a maximum advanatge of eight minutes 45seconds as they climbed up the main pass of the day. With many riders taking it steady on the wet decent, the escapees found themselves hovering out front for the entire race.

The speed in the bunch behind soon picked up as the current leader of the race was under threat with large time gaps opening up. In an attempt to minimise losses teams started to ride hard at the front to close in on the leaders and cut down their advantage.

Once it looked like this main breakaway would stay away to the finish, Weening took the race into his own hands and attacked up the final climb towards the summit finish in Amden at 1255meters high. He successfully stayed away to win the stage solo.

ORICA-GreenEDGE riders conserved their energy as well as possible in the difficult bitter temperatures to limit their losses going into the three final stages. 

Tomorrow is another summit finish, taking in 4294metres of climbing, followed by an individual time trial for stage eight.

Tour de Suisse stage 6 results:

1. Peter Weening (Roompot)  4:33:47
2. Maximiliano Richeze (AG2R) +2:37
3. Maciej Paterski (CCC)  +3:57
97. Michael Albasini (ORICA-GreenEDGE) +19:01

General classification after stage 6:

1. Wilco Kelderman (Lotto-Jumbo) 22:43:12
2. Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) +0:16
3. Andrew Talansky (Cannondale) +0:19
44. Chris Juul-Jensen (ORICA-GreenEDGE) +23:37