The Tour Take | Tour de Suisse Stage 7

 Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi

Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi

The Steps

1st – Nairo Quintana

2nd – Jacob Fuglsang

3rd – Richie Porte

 

The Parcours

Stage 7 finished at Arosa; after a rolling start, we saw the race finish above a long final climb. The climbing came in two main chunks and was nearly 29 km in total. The first 12km averaged 6%, while the final 3km averaged 10%, with a false flat in between.

The Jerseys

Overall – Richie Porte

KOM -  Mark Christian

Points – Michael Matthews

Young Riders – Enric Mas

 

The Break

An enormous 31 rider break went away, with some key names like Greg Van Avermaet, Sylvain Dillier, Enrico Battaglin, Igor Anton, Michael Matthews, Michael Albasini, Jose Goncalves and Joe Dombrowski. They found a max gap of around 3 minutes and started the final climb to Arosa with a 2:20 lead.

 

The Finish

As soon as the climb started with 29km to go, we saw two big attacks: Joe Dombrowski from the breakaway, and Nairo Quintana from the peloton. While Quintana distanced the bunch initially, Porte closed the gap down. It was Quintana’s second attack that did all the damage though, and he quickly gapped the field by around 30 seconds.

On the flatter section in the middle of the stage, Quintana linked up with the break, also pulling back Dombrowski. With 5km to go when the climb kicked up again, the new 15-strong front group led by 35 seconds over the Porte group.

By 3.5km to go, Quintana was alone up front, with Porte and Fuglsang in pursuit. Though the gap was initially closed, Quintana held strong and carried a 20-second advantage to the line.

 

The Movers and Shakers

This was a supremely impressive performance from Quintana; it was a long, long climb and he showed his form is on track for Le Tour, just in case anyone had doubts about him. It wasn’t Porte’s best day, as he struggled to close the gap on Quintana, but after a good showing yesterday he won’t be too disappointed, and he’s still leading the overall so you can expect him to stitch up the title on the final day’s TT. Jacob Fuglsang rode well, confirming his status as a big-time podium smokey for July.

 

The Aussies

 

3rd- Richie Porte @22 seconds ( 1st on GC)

23rd- Jack Haig @2.33 (13th on GC @ 2.56)

52nd- Michael Matthews @ 11.55

 

 

 

Next

Stage 8 sees the peloton take in 6 laps of a circuit around Belllinzona, totaling 126km. A few rollers litter the course, but this one should be nailed on for a sprint, with a fairly flat finish.

The Pick

I’ll bet my Nan we see a sprint here; there’s a stacked sprint field, and only Sagan has gotten anything out of the race (are we calling Colbrelli a tier one sprinter?). Degenkolb, Demare, Gaviria, Matthews, Greipel, Kristoff are all empty-handed, with a few of those guys yet to even contest a finish. We’ll take Gaviria – he looked sharp on stage 2, just mistiming his run to the line.

See you back at the social club,

Josh