Trentin and Stannard infiltrate the breakaway at the Tour de SuisseThu 20 Jun 2019
European champion Matteo Trentin and youngster Rob Stannard made it into the break of the day as the Tour de Suisse climbed into the mountains on stage six.
Stannard was Mitchelton-SCOTT’s highest finisher after hanging on bravely until four-kilomteres to go before crossing the line in 22nd, 1’39’ down on the stage winner.
With the first summit finish of the race ahead of the peloton, there was a clamour to get into the break of the day with the hope that a strong group could stay away to contest the stage victory.
After several attempted moves came and went a group of 25 riders eventually snapped the elastic and formed the break. Both Trentin and Stannard were there for Mitchelton-SCOTT as the group stretched their advantage out to over four minutes.
Back in the peloton a host of teams were attempting to keep the gap at a manageable distance with the 8.4-kilometres long hors categorie climb to Flumserberg still to come at the end of the day.
The first action amongst the breakaway came on the descent of the category-three Wildhaus climb as Trentin edged clear of his fellow escapees with two riders. The trio quickly opened up a gap of 30-seconds as they looked to hit the slopes of the final climb with a buffer of the closing peloton.
But after initially pressing on, Trentin sat up with 21-kilometres to go as the remains of the breakaway swept him up ahead of the final climb. As the break hit slopes the gap back to the peloton was now under two minutes and attacks soon rolled as the lead group disintegrated.
The attacks left three riders out front, with Trentin distanced and Stannard clinging on in a small chase group behind. Stannard eventually succumbed to the pace with four kilometres to, rolling home in 22nd, while Antwan Tolhoek (Team Jumbo-Visma) held off the chasing peloton for a solo win.
“There was always the opportunity to get into the break for all of us today, so I was looking to follow groups going at the start, to put myself into the position to either help Tsgabu on the final climb or take an opportunity in the final depending on the situation going toward the finish.”
“I think most teams had at least one rider in the break, and some with two. At the start there were still attacks from within the breakaway but as soon as the time began to go out and everyone began to do a bit of work it seemed likely that we would stay out until the final.”
“It was a steep final climb, and I knew it would be difficult for me to stay with the best climbers from the group. My legs felt good and I held the best pace I could for the climb.”
Tour de Suisse Stage Six Results:
1. Antwan Tolhoek (Team Jumbo-Visma) 2:43:43
2. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) +0:17
3. François Bidard »AG2R La Mondiale +0:24
22. Rob Stannard (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:39
General Classification After Stage Six:
1. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) 18:40:18
2. Rohan Dennis (Bahrain Merida) +0:12
3. Patrick Konrad (BORA - hansgrohe) +0:29
36. Rob Stannard (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +4:03
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.