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Tour de Suisse 2013

Date range:
June 8-16 2013

June 15, Stage 8: Zernez - Bad Ragaz 180.5km

Complete live report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

Cyclingnews' coverage of the Tour de Suisse continues today, as the penultimate stage runs 1805 kilometers from Zernez to Bad Ragaz.
 

  1. 15:14:42 CEST

    Only two stages left in this year's Tour de Suisse. Today we have two climbs on offer -- but suspect we will see a sprint finish.

  2. 165km remaining from 180.5km

    15:17:35 CEST

    As we join the race, we have four riders with a 4:50 lead after only 15 kms: Maxime Bouet (AG2R), Manuele Mori (Lampre), Robert Vrcer (Euskaltel) and Reto Hellenstein (IAM).
     

  3. 15:22:08 CEST

    I would like to apologize for mis-stating Rui Costa's nationality yesterday.  Of course he is Portugese and not Spanish.  Sorry!

  4. 155km remaining from 180.5km

    15:26:28 CEST


    Bouet is the highest-ranked of the group, 20th overall at 5:59 down. That is probably why the peloton reacted a few minutes ago when the gap got up to 5:10. It has now dropped some 20 seconds.

  5. 15:29:26 CEST

    The early fight today will be for  the mountains classification. Thibaut Pinot of FDJ leads with 26 points, but is not in the break. Vrecer is second with 19 points, while Mori is fourth, with 15 points.
     

  6. 15:32:36 CEST


    Bouet is the highest-ranked of the group, 20th overall at 5:59 down. That is probably why the peloton reacted a few minutes ago when the gap got up to 5:10. It has now dropped some 20 seconds.
     

  7. 149.5km remaining from 180.5km

    15:37:53 CEST

    Everyone has passed through the famous resort of St. Moritz, and the gap has dropped to 4:30.

  8. 15:40:24 CEST

    The day's break got away right at the beginning, looks like they jumped just as ssoon as the netural section was done.

  9. 15:44:14 CEST

    It's an odd course today. It starts out with a slow ascent, then a steep climb up the cat. 1 Julierpass, topping out at km 44. From there, we see a very long descent which goes nearly to the end of the stage, becoming more gradual as it goes along. Just to keep everyone awake, the cat. 3 Steigsr. pops up only six km from the finish.

  10. 15:50:52 CEST

    We have already mentioned the mountains classification, and here are the top five:

    1     Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ     26      pts
    2     Robert Vrecer (Slo) Euskaltel-Euskadi     19      
    3     Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) Movistar Team     17      
    4     Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida     15      
    5     Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha     15      
     

  11. 15:58:42 CEST

    The first over the cat. 1 climb gets 12 points, so if it is either Vrecer or Mori, they will move into at least the virtual KOM jersey.

  12. 139km remaining from 180.5km

    16:05:21 CEST

    As everyone goes up this first big climb, the gap has skyrocketed to 5:48. Another 11 seconds, and Bouet will be the virtual leader.

  13. 16:09:48 CEST

    The leaders have hit the top of the climb, but as so often, we are having a bit of trouble getting news from the race.

  14. 16:12:12 CEST

    Here is our top ten coming into this stage:

    1     Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team     25:42:36      
    2     Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) Movistar Team     0:00:13      
    3     Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff     0:00:23      
    4     Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ     0:00:44      
    5     Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team     0:00:46      
    6     Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team     0:01:17      
    7     Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp     0:01:23      
    8     Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge     0:01:42      
    9     Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team     0:01:43      
    10     Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha     0:01:50

  15. 16:19:59 CEST

    Vrecer has reclaimed the mountains lead. He was the first at the banner, followed by Mori, Bouet and Hollenstein.  Pinot lead the peloton over the top, but he was too late.

  16. 16:21:48 CEST

    As it now stands, Vrecer hs 31 points, Pinot 28 and Mori 23.  There is one more climb today, the last one of the race, and it gives out 5,3,2,and 1 points. So the question as to the ultimate winner of the mountain ranking has not yet been answered.

  17. 16:29:32 CEST

    Now here's an interesting development: At its emergency general meeting, the Irish cycling federation voted NOT to support Pat McQuaid's bid for the UCI Presidency.

  18. 108km remaining from 180.5km

    16:37:28 CEST

    At the mountain ranking, the gap was 5:17. On this long descent it has now fallen to 4:17.

  19. 16:44:51 CEST

    • Green Jersey

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) – who has to be a favourite to win today – leads the point rankings.

    1     Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling     55      pts
    2     Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ     50      
    3     Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha     41      
    4     Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team     35      
    5     Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge     30    

  20. 16:50:05 CEST

    The riders don't seem to be in a hurry today. So far they are 15 minutes behind the slowest time planned in the timetable.

  21. 95km remaining from 180.5km

    16:57:03 CEST

    At the almost exact halfway mark, the gap has dropped to 4:00.

  22. 85km remaining from 180.5km

    17:09:32 CEST

    The gap is really shrinking dramatically now, and is only at 2:08.

  23. 17:13:06 CEST

    Bradley Wiggins's future at Team Sky is looking bleak, according to one media report, while Chris Froome's star is ascending. Read about it here.

  24. 17:20:19 CEST

    At least there is good weather at this race. Nice to see sunshine and blue skies.

  25. 17:26:42 CEST

    Just a reminder, our four leaders are: Maxime Bouet (AG2R), Manuele Mori (Lampre), Robert Vrcer (Euskaltel) and Reto Hellenstein (IAM)
     

  26. 71km remaining from 180.5km

    17:29:56 CEST

    The gap is now under 2 minutes and the peloton is racing along in not-quite-single flie.

  27. 17:32:53 CEST

    Argos-Shimano, Cannondale and Orica-GreenEdge are leading the chase. We suspect they are all intending a mass sprint finish.

  28. 17:37:54 CEST

    This race has a separate sprint classification.

    1     Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team     13      pts
    2     Adrian Saez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi     13      
    3     Robert Vrecer (Slo) Euskaltel-Euskadi     9      
    4     Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Team Blanco     7      
    5     Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha     7      
     

  29. 61km remaining from 180.5km

    17:44:49 CEST

    The gap has crept backupover the two minute mark, as the 4 leaders approach the day's first intermediate sprint.

  30. 17:46:25 CEST

    A Cannondale rider has crashed in a roundabout. Looks like he hit the curb with his back.  Ouch!

  31. 17:47:09 CEST

    Vrecer has won that sprint, which gives him the lead in the sprint ranking, in addtion to the mountain ranking!

  32. 17:53:17 CEST

    The Cannondale rider who crashed is back in the field now, but rubbing his lower back.

  33. 17:55:45 CEST

    To wrap it all up, the teams classification:

    1     Astana Pro Team     77:16:31      
    2     BMC Racing Team     0:01:38      
    3     Movistar Team     0:03:15      
    4     AG2R La Mondiale     0:05:12      
    5     Katusha Team     0:08:01      
     

  34. 17:59:49 CEST

    Remember, there are a lot of other races going on now too -- for example, the Ster ZLM Toer in the Netherlands (which was actually in Belgium, today...)

  35. 18:04:57 CEST

    And today was the queen stage in the Route du Sud.  Not really a surprise winner there...

  36. 18:09:03 CEST

    The gap is holding steady between 1:45 and 2:00. Don't want to catch these guys too soon, now do we.

  37. 43km remaining from 180.5km

    18:15:06 CEST

    Still 43 km to go. What a slow race this is....

  38. 18:18:32 CEST

    The four leaders cross the finish line for the first time, setting off the bell lap -- the bell being a good large Swiss cowbell.

  39. 18:20:44 CEST

    The peloton now crosses the finish line, about 1:45 back.

  40. 18:26:26 CEST

    There was another stage in the Tour of Luxembourg today as well. And the winner was....

  41. 32km remaining from 180.5km

    18:31:36 CEST

    Looks like things are getting serious now, the gap is down to 1:09.

  42. 18:35:42 CEST

    Blanco's Steve Kruijswijk is at the back of the peloton.

  43. 27km remaining from 180.5km

    18:37:35 CEST

    The gap continues to fall, and is now only 35 seconds.

  44. 18:39:12 CEST

    That was too close for Hollenstein, and he jumps from the group, quickly building up a nice little lead.

    Mori and Vrecer are behind him, as Bouet is already back in the field.

  45. 18:40:56 CEST

    Cannondale has upped the speed, looking to bring Sagan in for the win in 24 kms.

  46. 18:43:09 CEST

    With 22 km to go, Hollenstein has a gap of only 22 seconds.

  47. 18:45:51 CEST

    A vacansoleil rider had a puncture -- this is a bad time, with the speed so high.

  48. 18:46:48 CEST

    10 seconds for Hollenstein, as they cross the Rhine River.

  49. 18:48:47 CEST

    Movistar leads the chase which finally catches Hollenstein with only 17 kms to go.

  50. 18:49:17 CEST

    He was underway in the escape for 163 kms!

  51. 18:50:07 CEST

    And now a defect for Cam Meyer of Orica-GreenEdge. He will have to hurry to catch up again.

  52. 18:51:00 CEST

    16 km to go, and in about 10 km we will have the final climb of the race, the cat. 3 Steigstr.

  53. 18:51:41 CEST

    Katusha now at the head of the peloton.

  54. 18:53:07 CEST

    Katusha, Blanco, Sky, all have riders at the front now. Meyer is now back with the peloton.

  55. 18:53:40 CEST

    The road here is very wide and the peloton is spread all across at, at very high speed.

  56. 18:55:23 CEST

    Lots of traffic islands here, but everyone is being careful. Looks like two Garmin riders now at the head of things.

  57. 18:58:11 CEST

    And the group heads up the final climb of the 2013 Tour de Suisse!

  58. 19:00:20 CEST

    They near the top of the imb, and Köden jumps from the group.

    we had a crash, looks like 3 or 4 riders.

  59. 19:01:26 CEST

    Sagan, Martin, Frank all near the front on this climb.

  60. 19:03:19 CEST

    An AG2R rider takes off and grabs the mountain points.

  61. 19:04:52 CEST

    Philippe Gilbert tries to jump, but Sagan isn't hving any of that.

  62. 19:06:00 CEST

    It ws Peraud who won the mountain points. So Vrecer will take home the mountain jersey!

  63. 19:07:19 CEST

    ONly 3 km to go and a very high pace.

  64. 19:08:09 CEST

    They are flying through Maienfeld in single file.

  65. 19:08:56 CEST

    Sagan is third wheel, behind two teammates. The yelow jersey is still to be seen.

  66. 19:09:36 CEST

    There is a lead group of about 40 riders now.

  67. 19:10:10 CEST

    The sprint opens!

  68. 19:10:32 CEST

    Sagan vs. Albasini....

  69. 19:11:13 CEST

    And who else takes the win, but Peter Sagan?

  70. 19:11:40 CEST

    He came off the wheel late, but turned on the speed and won easily.

  71. 19:12:53 CEST

    Third was World Champion Phiippe Gilbert, with a Saxo-TInkoff rider in second -- Benatti, perhaps.

  72. 19:15:26 CEST

    Benatti was indeed second.

  73. 19:16:23 CEST

    It looks like at least the top three of the GC will remain the same, but we will wait for official confirmation.

  74. 19:19:42 CEST

    Top ten on the stage:

    1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 4:33:26
    2 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
    3 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
    4 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge
    5 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
    6 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
    7 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
    8 Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun
    9 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard
    10 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano

  75. 19:24:32 CEST

    And the top ten in GC, going into tomorrow's final stage:

    1 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 30:16:02
    2 Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:00:13
    3 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:00:23
    4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:00:44
    5 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:00:46
    6 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:01:17
    7 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 0:01:23
    8 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:01:43
    9 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha 0:01:50
    10 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 0:02:09

  76. 19:25:35 CEST

    Join us again tomorrow as we wrap this race up. Thanks for reading along with us today.