Tsgabu and Albasini make the break on tough day out at the Tour de Suisse

Fri 21 Jun 2019

Mitchelton-SCOTT put two men in the break on stage seven of the Tour de Suisse as Tsgabu Grmay and Michael Albasini headed down the road.

The duo went on the hunt for stage glory on the longest stage of the race but came up short as the Gotthard Pass took it’s toll.

Tough Day Ahead

The end of the first week of racing started with a big fight to get into the break of the day with attack after attack being shut down by a fast travelling peloton as they headed out of Unterterzen for a 216-kilometres route to the Gotthard Pass.

Eventually a move went clear with local man Albasini amongst the six leaders who finally left the peloton behind after around 40-kilometres of racing. The veteran was then joined by teammate Grmay as the Ethiopian bridged across to the leaders to take the break up to eight riders.

Despite working well together the peloton were keeping the escapees at a manageable distance with the gap reaching a maximum of 2’30” before the eight riders hit the first real test of the day, the category-one Lukamnier Paas.

One Final Test

The ascent saw the numbers in break drop to seven, but despite losing a man the break stretched their advantage out to just shy of four minutes as they barrelled down the descent on their way to the summit finish up the Gotthard Pass. Alabsini was keeping the pace high in order to give Grmay the best chance of holding off the chasing peloton and the Swiss rider soon called it a day on the lower slopes, dropping out of the break and drifting backwards.

Attacks soon followed and the breakaway was blown apart with 16-kilometres remaining as Grmay clung onto the chasers. However, it was game over with 10-kilometres to go as the 27-year-old was mopped up by the reduced bunch.

The race then turned into a general classification battle with race leader Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) taking the stage win, while Mitchelton-SCOTT looked to save themselves for another day as thoughts turned to tomorrow’s time trial.

Tsgabu Grmay:
"It was a really hard stage today and the plan was for me to try and get in the breakaway and maybe come away with a good result if the peloton let us stay away until the finish. I lost time yesterday hoping that the bunch would let me stay away."

"It worked out well, first Alba got away with six guys and then I bridged across a gap of about one and a half minutes to get to the break. I was away for 10-kilometres alone until I caught them."

"I gave everything and Alba was always pulling hard for me and we were hoping we could stay away, but there was no hope of us surviving because of the really long final climb and the peloton was chasing hard, they didn’t give us a big gap all day. But I’m very satisfied that we tried what we planned and gave everything on the road."  

Tour de Suisse Stage Seven Results:
1. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) 5:37:40
2. Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain Merida) +0:23
3. Rohan Dennis (Bahrain Merida) ST
51. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +9:59

General Classification After Stage Seven:
1. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) 24:17:48
2. Rohan Dennis (Bahrain Merida) +0:41
3. Patrick Konrad (BORA - hansgrohe) +1:13
40. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +18:25

Photos Courtesy of Getty Images.