Local rider Albasini sprints to fourth place on stage two Tour de SuisseSun 11 Jun 2017
Tour de Romandie stage winner Michael Albasini sprinted to fourth place for ORICA-SCOTT on today’s second stage of the Tour de Suisse.
The 172kilometre road stage concluded with a bunch sprint after a breakaway of five riders animated the majority of the stage.
After the breakaway was finally brought back, a couple of crashed and fast pace up the final climb caused the peloton to reduce down to around 30riders.
Carlos Verona remained there to help Albasini in the final kilometres as he navigating his way to fourth place in a close sprint finish won by Phillipe Gilbert (Quickstep-Floors).
“It was a really hard race and as we expected the general classification teams controlled the day,” said sport director Neil Stephens. “We really didn’t have that much work to do except trying to position ourselves into the foot of the final climb.”
“That wasn’t made easy as there were two crashes around that moment, we were lucky enough to avoid these but we had to spend energy getting back up there.
“It was great to see Verona in the final helping Albasini, it wasn’t an ideal finish for Alba, so he did really well to finish fourth against some top sprinters.”
In his first stage race since breaking his collarbone at the Tour de Yorkshire, Magnus Cort found himself on the back foot a little when the pace really lifted today.
“Today the race was hard for Magnus who is coming back into racing after the time out after his crash,” continued Stephens. “I think it will be a tough week for him but hopefully he will get better with each day.”
How it happened:
The first road stage of the tour was 172kilometres covering four laps of a 41.9kilometre circuit which included one category two climb each lap.
The riders started the stage in Cham on the same finish line as yesterday’s prologue and again today with warm temperatures of 30degrees.
Half-way into the first lap five riders, Lasse Norman (Aqua-Blue), Connor Dunn (Aqua-Blue), Nick Van der Lijke (Team-Roompt), Antonio Duchesen (Direct-Energie) and Nick Cougall (Dimension-Data) broke away and rode out to a maximum advantage of five and a half minutes.
The peloton kept the leaders at a comfortable distance before beginning to gradually reel them in and the gap decreased down to just two minutes with one final lap remaining.
As the catch was made, a large crash saw the current race leader Rohan Dennis (BMC) go down and soon after came another crash causing more havoc in the bunch. The peloton split and three new riders jumped away.
The trio only held onto a slim advantage of 30seconds and were finally caught with five kilometres remaining.
Gilbert came out on top in the sprint with Stefan Küng (BMC) moving into the overall race lead and Albasini moving into seventh place overall.
Tour de Suisse stage 2 results:
1. Phillipe Gilbert (Quickstep-Floors) 4:22:36
2. Patrick Bevan (Cannondale-Drapac) ST
3. Anthony Roux (FDJ) ST
4. Michael Albasini (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
General classification after stage 2:
1. Stefan Küng (BMC) 4:29:08
2. Michael Matthews (Sunweb) +0:01
3. Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) +0:01
7. Michael Albasini (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:11
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com