Race report

Tiesj Benoot claims 7th in punchy sprint finish in Pfaffnau

Tour de Suisse

A 182 kilometre long rolling stage in the hills of Switzerland lay ahead of the riders this afternoon as they left the start town of Lachen. With a tricky climb almost immediately from the flag drop, a big fight was expected to make the morning breakaway. Yet, a four rider move was able to slip away relatively easily and with the peloton fanning across the road, their gap was allowed to expand quickly.

The peloton slowly started to reel in the breakaway throughout the afternoon and as they approached the final categorised climb with 25 kilometres to go it was all but back together. A really strong pace was set at the front of the bunch and the group exploded on the ascent, with a dangerous counter attack going clear. The rest of the peloton was quick to respond though and eventually things regrouped and proceedings calmed down for a few minutes.

Heading into the final 15 kilometres though there were a flurry of attacks, with Andreas Leknessund riding strongly to cover the moves while Tiesj Benoot stayed in the bunch behind. One solo rider hit out, but the sprint teams took over at the front and made the catch at the flamme rouge. With Leknessund dropping Benoot towards the front, he used his good bike handling skills to move up a few places going around the last corner. In the punchy sprint to the line Benoot gave it his all to take a good seventh place at the finish for the team.

“We can be satisfied with how today went for us,” expressed Leknessund after the stage. “We rode well and stayed out of trouble all day, keeping Tiesj in the front group. Coming into the finish it came back together and Tiesj also managed to do a nice top ten in the sprint for us.”

Team DSM coach Marc Reef added: “We expected a hard start, which it was, but the bunch didn’t really want to race so in the end four riders got away pretty easily and it was controlled from then. When we hit the local lap with 45 kilometres to go, the race was really on. There were a few crashes, that thankfully we weren’t in, so the guys were in a good position to avoid them. Then on the last categorised climb we were in an okay position around two corners before, but we took the wrong side of the road and that cost us a few spots. In the end Tiesj and Andreas had the legs to move up again so they were in the first part of the group going to the line. Andreas supported Tiesj as good as possible and at the finish Tiesj sprinted to seventh for us. Feeling wise, it was a better day for us so we’re looking forward to the upcoming days.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 VAN DER POEL Mathieu Alpecin-Fenix 4:24:26 60
2 LAPORTE Christophe Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ,, 25
3 ALAPHILIPPE Julian Deceuninck - Quick Step ,, 10
7 BENOOT Tiesj Team DSM ,, -
42 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM ,, -
81 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM 1:32 -
83 SÜTTERLIN Jasha Team DSM ,, -
89 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM ,, -
90 COMBAUD Romain Team DSM ,, -
116 DONOVAN Mark Team DSM 1:47 -