Matthews and Txurruka spend the day in the break on a mountainous stage at the Tour de Suisse

Wed 15 Jun 2016

ORICA-GreenEDGE riders Michael Matthews and Amets Txurruka had a long day in the breakaway on a hard stage five in the Tour de Suisse.

The Basque and Australian riders made it into the day's main breakaway comprising of 24 riders ahead of two challenging mountain passes.

Darwin Atapuma (BMC-Racing Team) was the only surviver of the group and went on to take the stage victory just four seconds ahead of a chasing bunch, causing a shake up in the general classification. 

Danish rider Chris Juul-Jensen was the highest place finisher for the team, finishing in 35th position after a late effort to try cross to the leaders on the final climb.

"Right from the start there were attacks," explained sport director Neil Stephens after the finish of the stage. "It was a really solid stage right from the word go."

"The boys were good, we got Michael and Amets in the first, main break and from there on the race just settled in. 

"Sam Bewley was caught behind a fairly big crash today, luckily he didn't come down he just locked up a wheel and blew out his tire.

"The weather was the worst at the top of the second climb and around that point Michael lost contact with the front group and eventually Amets was also caught after a solid effort out front.

"Chris had an attack in the final of the race just to have a good go and even though expectations weren't too high today, the guys wanted to give it a good go and make it a hard day, give themselves a bit of a workout and that's basically what we are looking to do tomorrow aswell."

How it happened:

Finally the rain was absent for the start of stage five of the Tour de Suisse, a challenging mountainous 126kilometre day on the road.

The stage consisted of 3386metres of climbing with two mountain passes and a tough 11.5kilometre climb up to the finish averaging at eight percent.

Before the peloton arrived at the Furkapass, the first mountain pass and the highest of the day cresting at 2436metre, a sizeable breakaway of 24riders took the lead. 

Matthews and Txurruka represented ORICA-GreenEDGE in this sizeable group over the first climb.

The escapees completed the climb and headed towards the next climb, Gothardpass. With freezing rain at the summit of the climb, the leaders began to descend and the group split into pieces.

Three riders were able to ride away from their breakaway companions as the reduced peloton regained contact the back of the original breakaway group down the decent.

By the time the riders reached the bottom of the pass, four riders lead the race as Team Sky headed to the fore and began the chase with the remaining escapees over one minute ahead. 

The quadruplet began the final 11kilometre ascent up to the summit finish and began to attack one another with a strung out peloton chasing hard behind.

In the final kilometres Atapuma jumped clear of the trio and worked hard to maintain a small advantage. Once again it was touch and go wether or not he would hold on for the sprint or if it would come back in the final moments.

Crossing the line just a few seconds ahead of the chasers Atapuma won the stage with Juul-Jensen the highest place finisher for ORICA-GreenEDGE in 35th position.

Tomorrow the peloton face another mountainous day with one pass and another summit finish set to mix up the general classification even further. 

Tour de Suisse stage five results:

1. Darwin Atapuma (BMC-Racing Team) 3:41:52
2. Warren Barguil (Team Giant-Alpecin) +0:04
3. Pierre Latour  (AG2R) +0:07
35. Chris Juul-Jensen (ORICA-GreenEDGE) +4:56

General classification after stage five:

1. Pierre Latour  (AG2R) 18:04:54
2. Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) ST
3. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +0:05
37. Chris Juul-Jensen (ORICA-GreenEDGE) +9:07