Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) put in an excellent performance yesterday to climb to 3rd place on the queen stage of the Tour de Suisse and is now the new leader in the general classification.
The 224.3-kilometre test marked the start of a tough final weekend in the mountains and a date with the hors-category climb to Solden in Austria. At the start of the stage, three riders eventually escaped the clutches of the peloton.
The trio formed a productive alliance, and their lead had stretched to almost thirteen minutes before our guys started putting the pressure on back in the peloton. When Team LottoNL – Jumbo added their muscle, that gap began to tumble, and their advantage had shrunk to just around five minutes when our guys led the peloton onto final climb of the day.
The main bunch set about closing down the break and inside the final 5km, the front of the race was back together and all was still to play for. With the road still rising all the way to the line, Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) attacked from the GC and soloed to victory.
After an incredibly strong stage, Barguil crossed the line in 3rd place and is now the new leader in the general classification, 24” ahead of Miguel Ángel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) before the time trial today.
Warren Barguil said: “I am happy with today’s result, it went very well. The team did a great job in controlling the race and in protecting me today.
“At the start of the final climb, I still had strong support from the team and we managed to set a good tempo in order to decimate the bunch as much as possible.”
“In the finale, I just followed the main group and when Van Garderen attacked I was expecting Team Sky to accelerate, but they didn’t. Therefore, I decided to go by myself to try and close the gap. Unfortunately, I couldn’t and then I just gave everything I had to reach the finish line.
“I am really proud that the team believed in me in achieving a good result. I will try to keep the jersey as long as possible and will not give it up without a fight. There are still two more hard stages to come with the time trial tomorrow, so we will see.”