While Peter Sagan (Team TotalEnergies) grabbed headlines for his first victory of the season on stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse, a crash within 4km of the finish line in Grenchen unravelled the race plans of Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Kasper Asgreen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl).
While Schachmann will take the start on stage 4 on Wednesday, Asgreen's team confirmed he would not continue.
Schachmann was part of a front group with Luke Rowe and Geraint Thomas of Ineos Grenadiers at the second intermediate sprint with 10km to go and looked to be sailing toward a move up in the general classification.
The German was just four seconds back from race leader Stephen Williams (Bahrain Victorious) in second overall. He picked up two points in the intermediate sprint 10km out from the line, but never got a chance to get in the mix for the sprint finish, hitting the pavement along with teammate Frederik Wandahl.
"Today was supposed to be a sprinter's stage, yet it was very demanding with 3,100 metres of elevation gain over 178 kilometres," said Jens Zemke, Bora-Hansgrohe sports director, in a team statement after the stage. "Nevertheless, we wanted to give Marco a chance in the sprint. The guys worked well together, but unfortunately there was a big crash in the last five kilometres involving Max and Frederik."
"Marco then immediately recognised the situation and gave Max his bike so that hopefully we could still keep Max as an option for the overall classification. That was really a pity for our two guys. Today we had promised ourselves more and also hoped for a better outcome."
Schachmann managed to finish, but was 53 seconds off Sagan’s winning time and dropped 15 places in the GC standings, now 55 seconds behind Williams. It was more than three minutes later before Wandahl completed the stage.
Three riders from QuickStep-AlphaVinyl were also part of the same crash. Asgreen, who was 17th overall after the first two days of racing and 34 seconds off the GC lead, was not able to continue.
“As a consequence of the crash, Kasper has multiple road rash on the arms and legs and a deep wound on his left knee, which needed stitches. After further medical examinations, it has been decided he will not start Wednesday’s stage 4 to Brunnen, so that his body can recover,” the team said in a statement.
The 27-year-old Dane was disappointed not to continue in the Tour de Suisse, and said in the team report, “The feeling in these first couple of days had been good and I was looking forward to the coming stages."
"I want to thank the team’s medical staff for how they looked after me and at the same time express my hope that the recovery will be a fast one. Best of luck to my teammates for the next days.”
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