Race report

Punchy final climb and tricky weather conditions at Tour de Suisse

Tour de Suisse

After yesterday’s opening time trial, the peloton were back on the open road today as they took on a hilly and punchy 178 kilometre long route from Neuhausen am Rheinfall to Lachen. It was a quiet start to the stage with a four rider breakaway able to escape early on, quickly building up their advantage. With all Team DSM riders in the bunch, focus remained on staying safe ahead of the difficult finale.

As the race entered the final 40 kilometres and the rain lashed down, the peloton upped the tempo on the penultimate climb of the day and cut the breakaway’s advantage to two minutes and 30 seconds. The pace stayed high on the descent and the peloton split into several groups with Andreas Leknessund, Søren Kragh Andersen, Tiesj Benoot and Jasha Sütterlin making the front group for the team. With other teams continuing to ride a strong tempo at the front of the bunch, the gap to the breakaway fell drastically as the race charge towards the final climb of the day.

On the steep ramps of the ascent, numerous explosive attacks were made, with the team digging deep to try and follow at the front of the race. Just missing out on the move, Benoot would be the first rider home for the team at the finish, crossing the line in the second group on the road, just 20 seconds behind the winner.

“I am a bit disappointed I wasn’t up there today, but I think we still need to open up the legs a little bit after altitude camp,” explained Benoot. “In the end we weren’t too far behind. Some riders left a gap on the descent, I think without that I could have been in the group with Uran at around ten seconds. It’s the first road stage done though, with some nice teamwork, and hopefully the shape will continue to improve throughout the week.”

Team DSM coach Marc Reef added: “It was a hilly day at the Tour de Suisse which took place in changeable weather circumstances, with a lot of rain in the final. We did a good job going into the descent off of the second last categorised climb and when the bunch split, we were in the front group with four riders: Jasha, Søren, Tiesj and Andreas. On the final climb it exploded with a lot of attacks and Tiesj gave it his all, but he wasn’t able to follow the front group, and finished just behind the leaders in a chasing group.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 VAN DER POEL Mathieu Alpecin-Fenix 4:12:30 60
2 SCHACHMANN Maximilian BORA - hansgrohe 0:01 25
3 POELS Wout Bahrain - Victorious 0:04 10
24 BENOOT Tiesj Team DSM 0:22 -
38 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM 1:06 -
39 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM ,, -
49 SÜTTERLIN Jasha Team DSM 1:56 -
95 DONOVAN Mark Team DSM 4:55 -
125 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM 10:07 -
133 COMBAUD Romain Team DSM ,, -