Race report

Nico Denz climbs to stage 6 victory at Tour de Suisse

Tour de Suisse

Nico Denz raced to his first WorldTour win on stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse, out sprinting the remainder of the day’s breakaway atop the day’s mountain top finish.

Denz made it into the day’s early break of 12 riders early in the stage, a strong group which quickly built an advantage over over six minutes on the peloton behind. Their advantage held firm over the first of the day’s two mountain climbs and by the foot of the final climb they still have over five minutes with 17 kilometres to race.

As the road ramped up Denz was the first to push on and move clear, eventually forming a lead duo at the front of the race. Despite the efforts of Masnada on the steep slopes of the final climb, Denz held strong and was still in contention when the two of them were joined by two more, eventually becoming five inside the last 1000 metres.

Denz opened up his sprint early on the uphill drag to the line, timing his final move and bike throw to perfection to take the stage win after a photo finish review – Team DSM’s second stage win of the race.

Behind, in the GC group Andreas Leknessund rode a strong final climb to place 17th on the stage, moving back up to sixth on GC going into the final two days of racing.

Nico said after the race: “The start was a bit strange with so many riders dropping out but we were still super motivated to race. I tried to be in the break early and bridged across to the guys in front. I felt really good all day and had a huge help from the car with ice and water all day to cool down and stay hydrated – this was key for me today.

“On the last climb I just knew I had to follow, it was also a headwind too. I dug deep to stay in the front and when we got to the flatter part I thought that this really could be for me.

“For the sprint I got some really good information from Wilbert in the car knowing what it would be like. I knew I had to come late with the steep part – actually I almost waited too long. But I’m really happy that it came good for me and to take this incredible win. There’s no words to describe how big this is to me.”

After the stage Team DSM coach Phil West said: “It was a nice day for the team today. Stage win with Nico and also we move up on GC with Andreas. We started the day with the goal of going for a stage result and conserving our GC position with the plan of getting Nico in the break, primarily to help Andreas in the valley road after the main climb. But as it panned out they gave the break a lot of time and there was some gamesmanship between the GC guys behind.

“Up front Nico rode a really good race and was up there with some strong climbers but he played it well and was able to come into the final in contention the sprint. Credit to the team today, they supported each other and delivered a result which was really good.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 DENZ Nico Team DSM 5:11:14 60
2 CHAMPOUSSIN Clément AG2R Citroën Team ,, 25
3 HERRADA José Cofidis ,, 10
17 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM 2:22 -
47 ARNDT Nikias Team DSM 13:53 -