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Press Releases | 16.06.2019

Peter Sagan surges to second as sprinters denied by late attack on Tour de Suisse stage 2

After yesterday’s individual time trial decided who would wear the Tour de Suisse’s yellow jersey, the race broke out of Langnau im Emmental to see what Switzerland had to offer. The first road stage would see riders tackle a circuit ridden three times, taking in two second category climbs over the 159.6km total distance. While the climbs themselves weren’t the hardest riders would face, they were tough enough to make it a challenge for the pure sprinters to contest the flat finale, meaning an all-rounder or classics specialist would be more likely to take the win today, while also serving as a reminder of how draining this nine-day race will become. After a few attempts to escape, a small group of four managed to break away, steadily building their lead to four minutes before the peloton started chipping away at this. From early on, the escape looked uncomfortable, with attacks from within leading to one rider soloing ahead, while another dropped back to the peloton. With points up for grabs in the intermediate sprint, Marcus Burghardt took to the front for BORA-hansgrohe to help the Slovak National Champion, Peter Sagan, surge ahead to pick up both points and bonus seconds, and it was this injection of pace that brought the last member of the break within touching distance, everything coming back together with 38km to go. With a lot of the race remaining – not to mention the two final climbs – another attack was certain, with one rider going it alone. While they were caught 20km later, this injection of pace saw the peloton shrink in size as only the more able climbers were able to keep up, with another attack coming from 11km out. With 10km to go, the all-rounders – Peter Sagan included – had made it back on for the finale, but with the solo attacker still out ahead, there was a lot of work to be done if the catch were to be made for the predicted sprint finish, with thirty seconds separating them from the peloton with just 3km to go. While the win was out of reach for the bunch, starting his sprint from 200m out, Peter passed the rest of the field to take second spot with apparent ease, the time bonuses from the intermediate sprint and at the finish line moving the Slovak National Champion into second in the GC on equal time with first.

 

Results

01 L. Sanchez             4:01:21

02 P. Sagan                +0:06

03 M. Trentin              +0:06

24 P. Konrad               +0:06

 

From the Finish Line

"It was a very hard stage! Our strategy today was to go for the stage win and the yellow jersey. We knew all bonus seconds would be valuable, not only at the finish but also the intermediate sprints. The team did again an excellent job of pulling and controlling and in the finale I was in the smaller leading group, ready to contest the sprint. Astana did a good job for Luis León Sanchez while in the group there wasn't a lot of collaboration, so we couldn't bring him back. It's a pity I missed the yellow jersey by less than a second but I'm satisfied with the performance of the squad. I'm tired after today's effort but I feel well. The next two stages could suit me but we take nothing for granted and we will give our absolute best every day." – Peter Sagan

"With 2,500 metres of altitude gain, today's stage was really tough. Our plan was to take our chance at stage victory with Patrick Konrad while Peter Sagan would try to be there and see how he feels. The guys worked very hard and Marcus Burghardt was in charge of pulling in the first part of the day. Peter showed he had very good legs and made it to the front group. Unfortunately, we weren't able to catch Luis but we did the best we could. The whole team performed perfectly. You could say we are a bit unlucky. Yesterday, Bodnar was tied in first place for less than a second, today Sagan is tied as well for the yellow jersey. However, this is all part of the race and the only thing we can do is fight every day." – Jan Valach, Sports Director

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