The Tour Take | Tour de Suisse Stage 2

 Photo: Harry Dennis

Photo: Harry Dennis

The Steps

1st – Peter Sagan

2nd – Fernando Gaviria

3rd – Nathan Haas

The Parcours

Four laps of a 39km course made up our 155km stage. A rolling loop, it featured three small climbs for a total ascent of around 2000m in the day. A slow start made for a comfortable first 3 laps, before a frenetic finish.

The bunch had three preview passages through the finish, so they were well versed in it by the final time around, but it wasn’t super complicated, held on urban roads. A long right-hander and a 90 degree left-hand corner came in the final 2km before a straight final 500m.

The Jerseys

Overall – Stefan Kung

KOM – Filippo Zaccanti (Nippo Vinni Fantini)

Points – Calvin Watson

Young Riders – Sam Oomen

 

 

The Break

A three-man breakaway established itself right from the gun. Consisting of Calvin Watson, Filippo Zaccanti and Perrig Quemeneur. They gained a gap of two minutes, which stayed consistent for most of the stage. Zaccanti took the KOM points on each of the four laps, so he wears the KOM Jersey, while Calvin Watson won the intermediate sprints. With 60km to go, Michael Albasini attacked the bunch and took less than 10km to bridge to the front – a fair sign the peloton wasn’t chasing full gas. They were brought back with around 27km to go, as the peloton ratcheted up the finish.

 

The Finish

While the first few laps were as exciting as an episode of Antiques Roadshow specialising in 1800s caligraphy, the last lap went full Game of Thrones on us. Daniel Oss went to the front on the big climb of the final lap, looking to shake things up for Peter Sagan. From there, several attacks followed on the rolling hills including ones from Swiss Champ Silvain Dillier, Patrick Konrad, Mark Padun, JJ Rojas and even a brief one from Richie Porte. It finally all came together for a bunch kick, though Kristoff, Greipel and Degenkolb all had been dropped.

Coming from 10th wheel, Fernando Gaviria opened up the sprint at 350m to go, hoping the element of surprise would be on his side. Unfortunately, all he found was the element of riding into a headwind, and he ended up giving Peter Sagan the perfect leadout! Sagan raced past, while a clever Haas followed the World Champ’s rear wheel to third. Aussie Michael Matthews was caught out by Gaviria, and finished several bike lengths back in fourth, while a spritely Mark Padun rolled home fifth.

 

The Aussies

3rd – Nathan Haas

4th – Michael Matthews

27th – Richie Porte

37th – Jack Haig

55th – Simon Gerrans

71st – Adam Hansen

127th – Cameron Meyer

143rd – Michael Hepburn

144th – Calvin Watson

147th – William Clarke

 

Next

Another lumpy bumpy circuit awaits the riders on Stage 3, as 110km on the open roads is followed by two and a half laps of a finishing loop. The finishing loop includes the Bürersteig and the Hagenfirsterstrasse, both around 4km at 5%. They look like nice springboards, so expect some aggressive racing on a harder course than Stage 2.

The Pick

Stage 3 should suit the riders that tried to, but couldn’t, get away in the finale of stage 2. It’s just that little bit harder, and of the Sagan/Matthews/Gaviria/Haas quartet, I’m not convinced any will survive to the finish. Michael Albasini looked in relatively good form, we’ll tip him to win from a reduced bunch sprint.

See you back at the social club,

Josh