Stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse was a day to forget to Trek Factory Racing with Stijn Devolder withdrawing from the race after the first feedzone while Fränk Schleck and Gregory Rast both crashed on the descent of the Grimselpass. Fränk Schleck was not able to regain contact with the peloton after the crash and finished the stage over 16 minutes down on Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) and is a doubt for the start of stage 3.
The fog on the Grimselpass made the descent treacherous and as a Rast explained, it was was one of the "scariest" he has ever done.
"On the Grimsel there was a lot of fog and I said to Andy and Fränk they should go in the front for the descent," Rast said. "And they did. I think first Andy was hit from behind because everyone had a hard time to control their bikes, and you could not see more then 10 meters. And for me, I came from the back and I could not stop in time and rode full gas into a Europcar guy – sorry for that but I could do nothing.
"The problem was that you could not see anything and the wet roads made it more dangerous; it was one of the worst descents that I ever did. It was so scary."
The weather conditions meant that Rast didn't realise Fränk Schleck had crashed and by the time he heard, it was too late to stop.
"Fränk was in the same crash - he was on the right side and I had just passed him and I crashed 20 meters below him. I didn't see him. I jumped on my bike, and I was looking back and I saw another guy, but I did not know who it was. So I continued. Then Kim [Andersen, director] came on the radio and said it was Fränk, but he was so far back it made no sense to wait for him."
The peloton rolled into Sernen 14 seconds behind the successful breakaway with Andy Schleck, Laurent Didier, and Matthew Busche all present. For Andy Schleck, it was a long wet and stressful day with nothing to be gained after the 182km stage.
"I think today could be considered the queen stage of the tour," Andy Schleck said. "There were three mountain climbs in a row, two which were hors catégorie. The weather conditions did not make it easier, either. It was not a good day for us because Fränk crashed. We hope he is okay for the next days and more so for the upcoming races. But it was a lot of stress for gaining nothing in the end.
"Personally, I felt pretty good, not super, but good. When they attacked in the last climb I could follow the top 5-10 top guys and that's good for the morale for the next days," Andy Schleck said.
In his crash, Fränk Schleck sustained injuries to his hip and head and was taken to the local hospital where scans revealed no broken bones with his condition to be re-evaluated before the start of stage 3.
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