The Tour de Suisse opens today with a short time trial – flat but technical.
Welcome to the Tour de Suisse, part of the final countdown to the Tour de France! Today we take on a 6.4km time trial starting and ending in Baar. Will the win go to Fabian Cancellara in his final appearance in his homeland race?
There is only one tiny climb today, too small to be ranked as a climb – so no advantage to the climbers today. The middle part of the race is the technical part, with many turns. We don’t expect any major time gaps today.
The first rider is scheduled to go off at 14:37 is Kamil Gradek of Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team. The final rider is defending champion Simon Spilak of Katusha, at 17:32. You might also want to catch the next-to-last rider – Fabian Cancellara (Trek).
They are calling for thunderstorms today – but in the morning. It looks as if most of the afternoon is expected to be around 18°C and mostly cloudy.
Apparently the first rider off was actually Karel Hnik of the VAT team......
Because this is a relatively short course, all the riders will be going off at one minute intervals.
The weather forecast seems to have been a little overly optimistic. Dark clouds are rolling in and we might have some rain or even thunderstorms.
A quick look back at last year shows us these results:
1 Simon Spilak (Katusha)
2 Geraint Thomas (Sky) 0:05
3 Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) 0:19
4 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) 0:45
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R) 2:21
6 Bob Jungels (Trek) 2:58
7 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) 3:06
8 Steve Morabito (FDJ) 3:17
9 Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) 3:19
10 Rafal Makja (Tinkoff) 3:20
Spilak, Thomas, and Lopez are the only ones of those who are here gain this year.
Several riders have come to the finish now, and the best time belongs to Reto Hollenstein of IAM, with a time of 7:52.
The whole listing of who is starting when can be found here.
Hollenstein still has the best time. Second is
Ariel Maximiliano Richeze (ARG/EQS), 11 seconds back.
Danny van Poppel had the third best time at the intermediate time check, but ended up over a minute down. We figure he either crashed or had a mechanical. Hope all is ok!
Matthias Brändle of IAM came close to knocking his teammate off the throne. He had the best intermediate time but at the end was 2 seconds slower than Hollenstein.
One interesting new aspect of this race is that Velon will be publishing live the “real-time data showing speed, power, cadence, heart rate and acceleration stats for the 11 riders” for each stage. Today’s candidates include some pretty obvious ones: Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Alpecin), Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep), Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo), Samuel Sanchez (BMC), Andrew Talansky(Cannondale), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and Geraint Thomas (Sky).
We have Velon data on Stybar and Ludvigsson. Stybar covered the course at a speed of 61.2 km/h and Ludvigsson with 50.3 km/h.
Many top riders are skipping this race in favour of the Dauphine or training, but we still have some very big names here, some names which hope to be in contention at the Tour de France – like Geraint Thomas (Sky) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC.
Van Garderen currently 14 seconds down in sixth place at the finish.
Sagan third, five seconds down.
A knee injury has held Leo König (Sky) out of racing since February, but the Czech rider is finally back in action here. He has his eye firmly fixed on the Rio Olympics.
Curious about this race? Who is riding, who will do well, what are the stages like? Check out our race preview here.
Our top five at the moment:
Hollenstein 7:52, ahead of Brändle (0.02), Sagan (0.05), Ludvigsson (0.08) and Richeze (0.11)
So of course we now have a new leader! Yves Lampaert of Etixx-QuickStep came in 4 seconds faster, at 7:48.
Lots of action now! Wilco Kellerman of LottoNL-Jumbo now leads, in the same time as Lampaert!
Manuele Boaro of TInkoff is now fourth, also at 4 seconds down
The entire start list for the Tour can be found here.
Can't get enough live cycling action? Neither can we! Check out the Air Force Cycling Classic from Arlington, Va., live later on today!
This is Peter Sagan’s last race before the Tour de France, and he has proved that he loves it – and it seems to love him. He has won 11 stages here over the years and won the points jersey for five years in a row. We can reasonably expect him to add to both of those again this year.
No change in the top five, but Lars Boom has moved into sixth place.
It rained earlier in the stage, but now the sun is out.
Geraint Thomas (Sky) doesn’t get the chance to captain many races, so when he does, he is willing to go “full gas”. He wants to take advantage of the opportunity in this race, in which he last year finished second.
Warren Barguil of Giant-Alpecin is using this race as a run-up to the Tour de France, and is just off an altitude training camp.
Tejay van Garderen says his form has to be right at the Tour de Suisse, as he takes aim at the Tour de France podium.
Darwin Atapuma of BMC is the next rider off. Number 107 out of 176.
A tricky corner for Atapuma, and he clipped the grass, but held on for no problem.
A good day so far for LottoNL-Jumbo. Bert-Jan Lindeman has moved into 4th place at 0:04 down.
Michael "Bling" Matthews is at this race and wants to take a stage win with him on his way to the Tour de France.
Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar) has the new best time! Also the same time as Kellerman and Lampaert!
World TT champion Kiriyienka is now ready to go!
Izaguirre leads Kelderman by 86 one-hundredths of a second.
Trek-Segafredo might have some big plans for the future: they are talking to Alberto Contador next week, and there are lots of rumours that John Degenkolb might move there as their next Classics man.
Kiriyenka has finished 12 seconds down. This is not really his kind of time trial -- too short and too technical.
And yet another good showing for LottoNL-Jumbo! Paul Martens now fourth at 2 seconds.
Alex Dowsett has crashed. He went down on his right shoulder and slid a long way. He is up and going again.
Either he hit a pothole or his wheel slipped out on him on a turn.
Martin Elmiger now has the best time, four seconds ahead of the others!
Jurgen Rolandts (Lotto Soudal) has put in a best time at the intermediate time check, by one second.
Roelandts smashes the best time! He takes the top spot by five seconds!
you can see we are getting into the big names now. Luke Durbridge has the best time at the halfway mark, by 7 seconds.
Swiss TT Champion Silvan Diller (BMC) now fourth at the finish, 8 seconds down.
Durbridge couldn't hold on to that lead, though. He finished 1 second slower than Roelandts.
And the "other" Izaguirre -- Jon -- slips into fourth place at 5 seconds.
According to Lotto-Soudal, this is Roelandts' first time ever in the hot seat! Congratulations to him and we hope he enjoys it!
Johan Le Bon (FDJ) in at +0.08
Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) now fifth at 0.06 seconds.
Spilak is on the course now -- won't be long until this stage is over!
Cancellara takes the lead! By one second!
Splice finished 31 seconds down.
Congratulations to Fabian Cancellara, who has won the first stage of his last Tour de Suisse! No doubt a sentimental moment for the Swiss rider.
Top ten today, and of course also top ten in GC:
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo 0:07
2 Jürgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:01
3 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:02
4 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:00:06
5 Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:06
6 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:07
7 Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ 0:00:09
8 Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:09
9 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:10
10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:10
That's it for today. Join us again tomorrow for more exciting action!
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