Successful Tour de Suisse Comes to a CloseSun 22 Jun 2014
Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) took his first win in the rainbow jersey on the final stage of the Tour de Suisse and upset the overall classification in the process. The Road World Champion bridged across to the early breakaway on the penultimate climb, distancing himself from Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and several other overall contenders. Three kilometres from the finish, Costa launched a second attack to solo to victory in Saas-Fee.
Esteban Chaves was part of the yellow jersey group that put up a valiant fight to limit the damage done by the riders up the road. With the most to lose, Martin spearheaded the chase with assistance from Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) who started the stage in second overall. Feeling the effects from his brilliant effort yesterday, Chaves followed wheels but was unable to take turns on the front.
Although he suffered, others suffered more. Chaves climbed to 22nd on the stage, crossing the finish line 3’19 behind Costa and jumping up three spots on the overall. He finishes the nine day WorldTour race in 16th place on the general classification.
The final day of racing closed out a successful week for ORICA-GreenEDGE that saw the Australian outfit win two stages from two distinctly different scenarios. Cam Meyer won a three-up sprint amongst riders from the early breakaway to take his first European road win of the season. Esteban Chaves won in the stage eight mountains, soloing to victory after he attacked an elite group of climbers in the closing kilometres.
COMMENTS FROM SPORT DIRECTOR NEIL STEPHENS
The plan today was to try to get a rider in the breakaway if a large or important move went off the front. We wanted to put someone like Clarkey [Simon Clarke], Nino [Schurter] or Albasini up the road. Cam Meyer wasn’t feeling great today. If he had been, he would have been in that group of guys that could have tried to get away. The idea there was to have a rider that could support Esteban in the final or take advantage of an opportunity to win from the breakaway.
There was a lot of activity in the first hour until the early break was finally established. We weren’t in it. We sat back at that point until it was time to collaborate in the chase with the other teams that had missed the move.
Esteban was feeling good at the start today. At the moment when Rui Costa and a couple of other guys went on the attack, I was thinking about having him jump over to the group out front if he had the energy. In reality, it became quite clear that Esteban wasn’t on the best day in the finale. Tactically, I had idea in mind but even if we had done it, I don’t think he could have done much in the final. He obviously was paying for his efforts from yesterday.
It’s been a fantastic week here as a whole. We didn’t tick all the boxes. It would have been nice to do something special with Gossy [Matt Goss]. We didn’t do that, but we were limited with the support we could give him. We ticked all other boxes, taking two stages wins.
While both stage wins are special, I think the one with Esteban shows the team’s progression. We’ve won a mountain stage from a breakaway several times – with Clarkey’s win at the Vuelta in our first season probably the most notable of those. Estaban’s win yesterday is the first time we’ve come out of the bunch and won a mountain stage. I think it’s a sign that we’re on the right track with some of the different things we’re doing in terms of developing this team.
Nino says good-bye to us following his brief tenure at ORICA-GreenEDGE. We’ve really enjoyed having him. We were happy to see him do such a great job on the road, and he fit in with the team really well. He’s coming into a very important period in his build-up to the Rio Olympics, so I don’t know that we can expect to see him race with the team again – but if he thinks additional road racing would be of benefit, we’d love to have him back.