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Tour de Suisse 2017: Stage 1


The Tour de Suisse starts today with a 6.1 km prologue/first stage.

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Welcome to the 2017 Tour de Suisse! Action starts in about 10 minutes. 

The first rider off today is Taco van der Hoorn (Roompot) at 13:44. The last to go is Matti Breschel (Astana) at 17:23. The riders go off at one-minute intervals.

Nice weather is forecast, if a bit on the warm side. Up to 26°C, with some clouds possible.

It looks as if Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) (16:48) is the top favourite today, with Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) (17:20) the second pick.

We heard that the first rider was scheduled to go at 13:44, but so far we have heard nothing more. Perhaps things have been delayed?

But now Taco is on his way! The Tour de Suisse has started!

Suisse isn't the only game in town, you know. Or should we say, not the only big race at the moment? The Dauphine is holding its Queen Stage today, with Alpe dÄHuez beckoning at the finish. Read along there with Barry Ryan, but do come back to us here! 

A little difficult to get information at the moment....

World champion Peter Sagan is here for Bora-hansgrohe. He is coming off altitude training in Colorado following the Tour of California, and has his eye firmly on the green jersey at the Tour de France.

And now we have a best time: Jack Bauer of QuickStep Floors has finished in 6:.51, the only one so far under seven minutes. 

One of the big names in this race has just taken off (if the time schedule is right....) Philippe Gilbert is on his way!

None of the absolute top names at Team Sky are here in Switzerland, as they are either at the Dauphine or taking a pause. They will probably be looking more for stage wins. In today’s time trial they have Jon Dibben and Owain Doull as possiblities.

The best time now is with Ryan Mullen of Cannondale-Drapac, who finished in 6:37.

Tejay Van Garderen is on the course. He as 4th fastest at the intermediate time check.

Van Garderen now has the third best time at the finish, 0.02 seconds down.

Both Cannondale and BMC have two riders in the top five at the moment. Cannondale has Mullen as first and Patrick Bevin (+0.14) fifth. For BMC, it is Van Garderern (+0.02) third and Daniel Oss -- he of the hair -- fourth at 0.11.

Lotto Soudal is also going for stages rather than GC. Jurgen Roelandts is the man for today’s time trial, with Tim Wellens going for the mountains. "Our main objective is to win a stage in this Tour de Suisse and we are less focused on a good result in the GC. I think we can obtain a good result in almost every stage with this versatile line-up,” said DS Frederik Willems.

Carlos Betancur, who won the Climbing portion of the Hammer Series for Movistar last weekend, is now underway. We do not really expect a top time from the Colombian.

Matteo Trentin of QuickStep has put in the fourth best time, at 9 seconds down.

Another name you may recognize has just taken off: Greg van Avermaet!

Will Jay McCarthy make his Tour de France debut with Bora-hansgrohe this year? A good performance in this race would be a huge help to him in making the team. "If I have a good race there then I will possibly be up for my first Tour de France so I'll start with a little bit of extra motivation but we have a job in hand in Tour de Suisse and I feel that we can have good results there," he said. More here....

If you don't want to know who won today in the Dauphine, cover your eyes.

Mullen has been in the hot seat for about an hour now. (We hope he has some shade or it will literally be a hot seat!) And he may well stay there a while longer.

We did a recon ride for the Tour de Suisse, with comments from Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida). Check out our podcast here.

What's happening now in the race? A lot of non-short-time-trial/prologue-expert riders are putting in their 6.1kms.

Martin Elmiger of BMC is very much looking forward to stages 1 and 2. “For me, it is special that the first two stages are in Cham. This is the area that I call home. It’s where I raced for the first time, and it is special to come back for my last Tour de Suisse. I’m looking forward to a good week with the team and I hope to have a good start on home soil. My main role will be to protect our leaders and try and help the team go for stage wins and a result on the General Classification.”

Last year Ion Izagirre was second in this race, winning the closing time trial. He is just coming off altitude training and is using this as his final preparation to leading Bahrain Merida at the Tour de France.

We just had a break between groups of riders, things are starting up again.

Swiss rider Martin Elmiger (BMC) has put in an excellent ride and is now in 3d place, only 1 second down.

Things are happening now! Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) has now zipped into 5th place, at 8 seconds.

Who else but Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin will lead Team Sunweb in Suisse? He has good chances in not only the two time trials but also the mountains. The question, of course, is how much he has left in his legs and whether he has recovered from Italy. Michael Matthews, aka “Bling”, will go for the sprints.

Sagan has won more stages in this race than anyone else, with 13. Second behind him is Fabian Cancellara, with 11.

Tom Dumoulin starts in about 15 minutes, and we might well see a new best time from him.

"We have Tom racing in his first WorldTour race after his Giro d'Italia victory. With him we will take a day-by-day approach to see how the legs are after an intense period of racing," Sunweb coach Marc Reef said. "Our first focus will be the prologue and from there we will make a plan for the remainder of the race."

You will also remember that Dumoulin just extended his contract with Team Sunweb, through the 2021 season. And for a pretty penny, no doubt!

One sees that the faster men are now underway. Rohan Dennis (BMC) now has the best time at the midway point  and is the first to go under 3 minutes (2.59). And Jan Barta (Bora-hansgrohe) is second there, 2 seconds down.

Rohan storms into the lead, by 13 seconds!

Barta loses a bit of time in the second half of the stage and puts in the fifth best time, at +0.15.

Meanwhile, Dumoulin is underway and we will soon see how he has recovered from his exertions at the Giro.

He is only 4th at the time check, 5 seconds down.

No win today for Dumoulin. He is now 2d at the finish, 9 seconds down.

Jon Castroviejo of Movistar is now third, at 11 seconds.

Sorry, it looks as if some of the links we post are not working properly.

Former hour world champion Matthias Brändle (Trek Segafredo) is now underway.

Lasse Hansen of Aqua Blue Sports is fourth  at the halfway time check, at 3 seconds. He was third but was knocked down one by Lars Boom (LottoNL-Jumbo) at 2 seconds.

Brändle now moves into third at the halfway mark, also 2 seconds down.

Boom has finished the race and at the moment is 4th, 12 seconds down.

Brändle comes to the finish and knocks Dumoulin down to third.

And now Dumoulin is not even the fastest Sunweb rider! "Bling" Matthews is in the same time and takes third.

TAylor Phinney and Peter Sagan are both on the course now. They will be folllowed by Mathias Frank, Stefan Küng and Matti Breschel, as the last rider.

Interesting. The Tour live report tells us that based on the intermediate time check, Sagan cannot be expected to achieve a top result.

Küng comes in with a time only 8 seconds down for second place.

Top 10 on the stage: 

Of course, as might be expected, the top ten in GC is the same as the stage.

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