Albasini sprints to fifth place, moves up to fifth overall and into the best Swiss riders jerseyMon 12 Jun 2017
Tour de Romandie stage winner Michael Albasini powered to fifth place on today’s punchy uphill finish at the Tour of Suisse.
The 36-year-old was well positioned coming into the final one and a half kilometre cobble-stone ascent and battled all the way to the line to finish in a well fought out fifth place, as Michael Matthews (Sunweb) claimed the stage win.
The day saw a shake up in the overall classification with Albasini jumping up to fifth place and into the red jersey of the best Swiss rider category, which he will wear on tomorrow’s stage.
“It was quite steady all day today in the bunch after the breakaway went,” Albasini said. “That probably made for harder final as everybody had quite fresh legs.”
“It was a tricky and quite dangerous final five kilometres, all single file to the bottom of the climb with everybody trying to keep a good position.
“Sam Bewley stayed with me a lot coming into the city and I actually always had some teammates with me all day until we came to the final moments, then I was in position and could stay on the wheels.”
“The guys in front of me were all cobble stone classics guys, so I just stayed were I was all the way until the line. I couldn’t do any sprint.”
How it happened:
The third stage of the tour was 160kilometres of lumpy terrain with three categories climbs. Within the first 10kilometres two riders, Lassen Norman Hansen (Aqua-Blue) and Elmar Reinders (Team Roompot), broke away from the peloton and rapidly gained a sizeable advantage.
With it being just two riders in the breakaway the bunch were content with leaving the duo out front for the majority of the stage as they rode out to a maximum advantage of eight and a half minutes.
The peloton seemed in no hurry to bring them back and it wasn't until the final 30kilometres were the pace picked up and the time gap to the leaders fell.
With the bunch all together and with fairly fresh legs it made for a hectic entrance to the finishing city Bern.
ORICA-SCOTT remained by Albasini’s side, keeping him out of trouble and in good position as they entered Bern and onto twisty, narrow and cobble-pavé sections.
The bunch strung out into one long line with riders fighting to move up ahead of the punchy cobble kick up to the finish line.
Albasini fought to hold onto his position up the climb and in the final 400metre drag to the line he remained in the same position, to finish with fifth place.
Today’s effort bumps the Swiss rider up to fifth place overall just 20seconds down with tomorrow stage, 150kilometres in length with a Hors Category summit finish.
Tour de Suisse stage 3 results:
1. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) 3:49:48
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
3. John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) ST
5. Michael Albasini (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
General classification after stage 3:
1. Michael Matthews (Sunweb) 8:18:47
2. Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) +0:10
3. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:11
7. Michael Albasini (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:20
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com