June 15, 2018
Tour de Suisse 2018 – Stage 7 – Eschenbach/Atzmännig – Arosa : 170 km
BMC Racing’s Richie Porte will head to this year’s Tour de France knowing that,
June 15, 2018
Tour de Suisse 2018 – Stage 7 – Eschenbach/Atzmännig – Arosa : 170 km
BMC Racing’s Richie Porte will head to this year’s Tour de France knowing that, at the ripe old age of 33, he’s not going to have too many more attempts to try to win, having spectacularly, and horrifically, crashed out of last year’s race, so he’ll be using the Tour de Suisse as a barometer of his form.And so it is for many at the Tour de Suisse, who use the race to hone – or sometimes even attempt to find – their form ahead of the Tour de France. And as it has always been, in tandem with those riders who choose the concurrent Critérium du Dauphiné to ready themselves for July.
Movistar pairing Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa get to test out how harmonious their race-winning potential is with their double-pronged attack in Switzerland, and get ready to add third-prong Alejandro Valverde in July at the Tour.Katusha-Alpecin come here with the defending Tour de Suisse champion who was the 2015 winner, too, in Simon Spilak. UAE Team Emirates, meanwhile, boast three-time Tour de Suisse winner – from 2012-2014 – Rui Costa in their ranks. It remains to be seen whether the Portuguese rider still has what it takes to win a fourth title, but he’ll be on all the contenders’ watch lists.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) showed he is on form for the rapidly-approaching Tour de France with a long solo attack and stage victory on the mountain finish to Arosa at the Tour de Suisse.
Richie Porte (BMC Racing) finished 22 seconds down on the Colombian after an intelligent ride on the long climb and so kept his race leader’s yellow jersey but only by 17 seconds as Quintana had gone close to taking the race lead.
Porte can be happy there are no more mountain finishes in this year’s Tour de Suisse. The riders face a rolling 123km stage around Bellinzona on Saturday that will see the sprinters return to the fore, while Porte will be hoping to gain time on Quintana during Sunday’s decisive 34km time trial.
Quintana has flown under the radar at the Tour de Suisse as he polished his form after a long spell of training at home in Colombia. However, he threw caution to the wind at the foot of the 27km climb to Arosa, clearly keen to test Porte and test his own form.
Porte and others managed to catch Quintana after a first attack but then the Colombian went again, with no one was able to hold his wheel. He powered up the steep first section and quickly caught and past the break of the day, including the American Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First-Drapac).
Porte got some vital help from Tejay van Garderen and then from Greg Van Avermaet – who had been in the break of the day, on the easier middle section of the climb. But Quintana refused to give in, surging away again from the remains of the break.
Van Avermaet helped bring the gap down to 30 seconds and then Porte began his own chase on the steep final five kilometres. He closed the gap to 10 seconds but then seemed to struggle and was joined by Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), who finished second on the stage, 22 seconds behind Quintana.
Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) finished fifth on the stage at 38 seconds and is now third overall at 52 seconds.
“Today was a big test to see how I am and it went well. It’s important to know that I’m in good shape ahead of the big objective that’s ahead. That puts me and my team at ease,” Quintana said, confirming that his form and his moral are high after such a strong display.
A mountain showdown
The 170km stage from Eschenbach to Arosa was a day of three parts, with a rolling first part launching the break of the day before a long flat valley roads and then the 27km climb to Arosa.
The break went clear very quickly with riders targeting the stage victory and other there to support their team leader.
The 27 in the attack were Jose Gonçalves (Katusha-Alpecin), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-Scott), Simon Geschke, Michael Matthews (Sunweb), Silvan Dillier, Cyril Gautier, François Bidard (AG2R La Mondiale), Oscar Gatto, Tanel Kangert (Astana), Gorka Izagirre, Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida), Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Victor De La Parte (Movistar), Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors), Igor Anton (Dimension Data), Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First-Drapac), Enrico Battaglin, Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Sebastian Henao, Ian Stannard (Team Sky), Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), Stefan Denifl, Mark Christian, Eddie Dunbar (Aqua Blue Sport), Lillian Calmejane, Romain Sicard, Rein Taaramae (Direct Energie).
Kangert was the best-placed rider on GC in the break at 1:59 and so the BMC rode tempo to control him.
Mark Christian endured a frustrating day on Thursday but bounced back to take maximum points on the early category 3 climb and so virtually seal victory in the climber’s competition.
The break lead by 3:30 with 80km remaining and it marked the point when Movistar activated their plan. The Spanish team began to help BMC with the chase and the gap was soon down to 2:00. Victor de la Parte had already been planted in the break.
When the climb began with 27km to go, Quintana quickly put his cards on the table on a stretch of smooth cobbles. Porte and few others soon caught him but he went again and harder, blowing the peloton apart behind him.
Porte has Kruijswijk and Fuglsang for company but there was no sign of Team Sunweb duo Kelderman and Sam Oomen, who were second and third overall. They opted to ride at their own pace but managed to hold onto to their GC placings.
Quintana soon linked up with de la Parte as they chased the other breakaways, as van Avermaet dropped back to help Porte in a big-team pursuit match up the climb to Arosa.
Fortunately for Porte and BMC, the gradient eased considerably in the middle section, allowing van Avermaet to use his power for a long spell at the front. He pegged Quintana’s lead and then began to pull him back, bringing the gap to 30 seconds as the final steep four kilometres neared.
When Van Avermaet swung off, Porte accelerated on the big ring and out of the saddle, in pursuit of Quintana, who had just caught and past Dombrowski.
With three kilometres to go, Porte was within touching distance of Quintana but he had nothing left and Quintana kicked again. Fuglsang joined and helped Porte as Quintana pushed his lead back out to 20 seconds and headed to the finish at speed.
There was little time for celebrations but Porte did sportingly congratulate Quintana after a fascinating showdown. Both ended the day on the podium, both knowing they are on form and on track for the Tour de France.
1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 4:01:39
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:22
3 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team
4 Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:38
5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
6 Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
7 Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension Data
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:50
9 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team
10 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:59
11 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:08
12 François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:21
13 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
14 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:34
15 Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:46
16 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:08
17 Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Sky
18 Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal
19 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
20 Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
21 Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:20
22 Joe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:02:27
23 Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:02:33
24 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
25 Stefan Denifl (Aut) Aqua Blue Sport 0:02:46
26 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Sky 0:02:56
27 Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
28 Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro Team
29 Koen Bouwmam (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:03:09
30 José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin
31 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:04:14
32 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:04:25
33 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:06:10
34 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie 0:06:39
35 Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data 0:07:09
36 Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport 0:07:23
37 Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida
38 Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data
39 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal
40 Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 0:08:46
41 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
42 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:09:18
43 Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team
44 Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida
45 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:09:28
46 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
47 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:10:26
48 Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie 0:10:42
49 Edward Dunbar (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport
50 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:10:52
51 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
52 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:11:55
53 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale 0:13:20
54 Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
55 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:29
56 José Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
57 Willie Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin
58 Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie 0:16:04
59 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:16:33
60 Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-Scott 0:18:06
61 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
62 Daniel Pearson (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
63 Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott 0:18:08
64 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin 0:19:11
65 Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin
66 Rein Taaramäe (Est) Direct Energie 0:19:14
67 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team 0:19:50
68 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
69 Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport 0:22:01
70 Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky
71 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo 0:25:52
72 Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
73 Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin
74 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal
75 Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates
76 Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky
77 Steff Cras (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
78 Paul Ourselin (Fra) Direct Energie
79 Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team
80 Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky
81 Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek-Segafredo
82 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
83 Nicolas Dougall (RSA) Dimension Data
84 Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
85 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
86 Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky
87 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
88 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
89 Maarten Wynants (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
90 Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
91 Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
92 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
93 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct Energie
94 Thomas Leezer (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
95 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team
96 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
97 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
98 Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
99 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
100 Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini 0:26:21
101 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors 0:28:14
102 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
103 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal 0:29:53
104 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
105 Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
106 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
107 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
108 Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Sky
109 Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
110 Matti Breschel (Den) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
111 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
112 Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
113 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
114 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
115 Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data
116 Filippo Zaccanti (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
117 Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
118 Peter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
119 Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
120 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
121 Calvin Watson (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport
122 Alan Marangoni (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
123 Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
124 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
125 Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
126 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:29:57
127 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team
128 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
129 Sho Hatsuyama (Jpn) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
130 Masakazu Ito (Jpn) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
131 Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
132 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
133 Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
134 Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team
135 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
136 Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
137 Edward Theuns (Bel) Team Sunweb
138 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
139 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
140 Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNF Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott
General Classification after Stage 7 :