The Tour Take | Tour de Suisse Stage 5
1st – Diego Ulissi
2nd – Enric Mas
3rd – Tom Jelte-Slagter
Three big climbs made up the first mountain stanza of the race; one immediately out of the blocks and two at the end, separated by a long valley. The finish was held atop the long Cat 1 Leukerbad climb, which was 14.6km at 4.6%, with most of the ascent coming in two chunks.
Overall – Richie Porte
Points – Peter Sagan
KOM – Romain Sicard
Young Riders – Sam Oomen
It took a long time for a break to get established with a flurry of attacks coming on the opening Cat 1 climb, the Col du Pillon. In the valley afterwards, a strong break finally escaped, with Jasper Stuyven, Sylvan Dillier, Daniel Oss, who were soon joined by Larry Warbasse, Willie Smit, Paul Ourselin. They had a three-minute lead by the second climb of the day, where Warbasse pushed on alone.
Meanwhile, in the peloton, Romain Sicard, Lillian Calmejane and Omar Fraille broke away in pursuit of the leaders. Calmejane passed everyone but Warbasse by the top of the climb, and then caught and dropped the American Warbasse on the lower slopes of the Leukerbad.
Mikel Landa kicked off the GC action, attacking with 6km to go. He found around 20 seconds and looked strong, but faltered close to the line. An acceleration by Mathias Frank with 500 to go significantly closed the gap, before a confident Diego Ulissi led out from the front, and held his advantage all the way to the line.
The Movers and Shakers
You can see from the names at the top of the results that this wasn’t the hardest finishing climb in the world, but it certainly thinned the bunch down. Only 17 riders finished in the front, with new overall leader Richie Porte, Nairo Quintana, Jack Haig, Bauke Mollema and Wilco Kelderman all present.
Who missed out? Landa’s attack cost him 14 seconds, while Tejay Van Garderen lost 1:24 having done significant work for Porte. Gorka Izaguerre also finished in the TVG group. While Haig and Oomen were in the front, we saw which of the post-Giro racers aren’t feeling it; Patrick Konrad finished 6 minutes back while Jose Goncalves was nearly 14 back.
8th - Richie Porte @ s.t (1st on GC)
12th – Jack Haig @ s.t (5th on GC @ 0:29)
42nd – Cam Meyer @ 6:20
59th – Michael Matthews @ 14:48 (7th on Points)
60th – Nathan Haas @ s.t
63rd – Adam Hansen @ s.t
103rd – Simon Gerrans @ 24:19
139th – Calvin Watson @ s.t (2nd on Points)
144th – Michael Hepburn @ s.t
DNF – Will Clarke
The mountain fun continues on the 186km stage from Fiesch to Gommiswald; two HC climbs come in the first 120km, both reaching around 2000m above sea level. It will be a finish for the puncheurs though, with a long valley coming before a short uphill finish.
A 2.5km climb starts with 4km to go, topping out with 1500m to go. The climb itself has sections at 12%, so will provide opportunities to try and sneak away.
We’ll take Enrico Battaglin; he won a very similar finish in the Giro, so this will suit him. He was nowhere near the action today, so let‘s assume he was saving himself… he finished 7th in the first three road stages here, so he looks to have come out of the Giro going ok.
See you back at the social club,