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Tour de Suisse 2017: Stage 5


Good morning and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Tour de Suisse. It's stage 5 today, 222km from Bex to Cevio - the longest stage of this year's race - with the Simplonpass appearing in the middle of the stage. 

As we pick up the action, the riders have completed the neutralised section and the race is underway and in its early kilometres. There's a fight to get into the breakaway - after Larry Warbasse's win yesterday, today could provide more fertile ground for the baroudeurs

Here's a look at the stage profile



There has been no shortage of interest in the breakaway today, with several riders trying their luck, but nothing sticking with 15km on the clock. 

Damiano Caruso is in yellow today, taking over the race lead from Michael Matthews to become the third BMC rider to wear yellow so far. 


You can read about how Caruso took the jersey - on a day when a tearful Larry Warbasse took Aqua Blue Sport's first ever victory - in our stage 4 report. 

Tour de Suisse: Warbasse wins on first summit finish in Villars-sur-Ollon


A crash takes out Darwin Atapuma, Simone Petilli, and Simon Spilak, but all three are back in the bunch. 


192km remaining from 222km

30km in and still there's no break.


Oscar Gatto, Matej Mohoric, and Antoine Duchesne try their luck but they, too, are brought to heel. 


In situations like this the race leader's team has to keep a watchful eye on who's trying to get up the road, but also there are so many teams who want to be in the break that if one sees a move go without themselves represented, they'll pull it back. 


There was a minute's silence on the start line in Bex this morning in honour of former UCI president Hein Verbruggen, who passed away on Tuesday evening.


Here's our story on his death


#TourdeSuisse Unfortunately R.Plaza has crashed in the early stages of today's stage, he will go to hospital for checks. More info to follow

@OricaScott Wed, 14th Jun 2017 10:24:20

Still nothing sticking. 


A group with Alexis Gougeard, Luke Dubridge, Jack Bauer, Lasse Norman Hansen, Jonathan Hivert, Steve Morabito, and Pieter Weening opened up a small advantage but they were pulled back. 


172km remaining from 222km

We're 50 kilometres into the stage and still we wait for a successful breakaway. 


Those 50km were ticked off in just over an hour - it's been a brisk start to the day. 


Pretty difficult to keep track of each and every move here. It's non-stop. Attacks are pinging off the front, groups are forming, but it's all coming back together. Rinse and repeat. 


One rider to keep an eye on this week is Astana's Miguel Angel Lopez, who won the Tour de Suisse last year but is only now making his first appearance of the season after a protracted comeback from a broken leg. He was 8th on the summit finish yesterday and was understandably pretty happy with that. Here's what he had to say. 


Lopez shows signs of form at Tour de Suisse


152km remaining from 222km

We've covered more than 70 kilometres and the peloton is strung out, still all together. 


Here we go, another group goes but this time they work up a decent advantage. This could be it...

In there it's: Arman Kamyshev (Astana), Ben King (Dimension Data), Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal), Sam Bewley (Orica-Scott), Lars Petter Nordhaug (Aqua Blue Sport) and Jesper Asselman (Roompot).


140km remaining from 222km

That group has two minutes now, and rising, as the peloton finally eases up.


BMC hit the front of the bunch as the race settles into a more familiar pattern. The lead of the six riders has grown to more than four minutes. 


The riders are already nearing the foot of the Simplonpass, the major feature on today's stage profile. It's nothing to be sniffed at - 20 kilometres long with an average gradient of over 6%, and heading up to 2000m altitude. 


How much of an advantage can the breakaway men carve out? Riders like Peter Sagan and Michael Matthews will be hoping to stay in contention in the aim of contesting stage honours later in the day. 


Au sommet du #SimplonPass, col HC du jour ! Nice landscape in #SimplonPass #allezalm #tourdesuisse

@AG2RLMCyclisme Wed, 14th Jun 2017 11:28:54


The riders are on the Simplonpass, and the break has a lead of nearly six minutes.


Trek and Sunweb come to the front of the bunch to help set the pace on the climb. Trek have Degenkolb and Sunweb have Matthews, both of whom can survive climbs and sprint at the end. 


Kamyshev has been distanced from the breakaway, where Ben King is looking strong as he sets the pace.


#TourdeSuisse We're climbing the Simplonpass, the six-men breakaway has a lead of 6'00".

@LottoJumbo_road Wed, 14th Jun 2017 12:11:50


Kamyshev is dropped again, having made his way back to the break.

The gap is down to below the five-minute mark now as the peloton make their way steadily up the climb. No big names dropped, as far as we can tell. 

The breakaway riders are in the final few kilometres of the climb. Kamyshev is back in there. 


100km remaining from 222km

The six breakaway riders hit the top of the Simplonpass.


Ok Switzerland We get it. You're gorgeous. #viewsfromthebus #simplonpass

@Ride_Argyle Wed, 14th Jun 2017 12:27:12


Nordhaug collects maximum points at the top of the climb after a fiercely contested sprint. His Aqua Blue teammate Lasse Norman Hansen sits atop the mountains classification.


The peloton comes over the top of the climb 3:50 in arrears. 


#TourdeSuisse Live from the in-race car, sports director Oli Cookson gives us an update on the situation with…

@TeamDiData Wed, 14th Jun 2017 12:50:43


Cookson says King's chances are strong, but the gap is only 3:50, with a long time for the teammates of Sagan, Matthews et al to bring the break back. There's a long descent now before another, shorter, categorised climb, but after that there are still over 50km to the line. 


Geraint Thomas was second at the Tour de Suisse two years ago. He's not here this time out but will be riding the Route du Sud ahead of the Tour de France. After a crash wiped out his hopes at the Giro d'Italia, he has hit re-set and turned his focus to July. 


You can hear from Thomas on his Giro disappointment, his hopes for the Tour, and his future as a Grand Tour rider, in this exclusive interview with Cyclingnews editor Daniel Benson.  


Geraint Thomas: My Giro what ifs and bouncing back for the Tour de France


The descent is a fast one, with long, straight stretches of roads rather than technical bends. Bewley punctures in the break but gets back on. 


Katusha's Marco Haller pings off the front of the bunch for a brief period as the peloton charges down the descent. The gap to the break is down to just 2:30 now.


The breakaway riders are nearing the foot of the descent. From there it's almost straight into the second categorised climb of the day - the third-cat hike to Druogno. 


Heavy crash of @SupermanlopezN #TourdeSuisse

@AstanaTeam Wed, 14th Jun 2017 13:25:35

That's Astana's Miguel Angel Lopez, last year's overall winner, who has crashed hard. The Colombian can't catch a break.


162km remaining from 222km

#TourdeSuisse @lars_boom descending the Simplon pass! Gap of the breakaway on the bunch is 3'50".

The breakaway have 58km to go, just one little category 3 climb to get over, then a nice downhill or flat run to the finish. But Kamyshev just can't stop from swinging at the back - the gap yawns to his former breakaway companions and he seems to be distanced for good.

Velon have provided some data on Ben King's power numbers while he's been on the attack today. Time: 1h30’45’’ // Speed: 49.7km/h // Power: 305W (Normalised: 315W) // 1 min peak power: 571W.

He's clicking off around 4.5W/Kg, with a one minute peak around 8.4W/Kg. What does that mean? It means he's earned dessert at the dinner table tonight.

Meanwhile, Trek-Segafredo are keeping the breakaway riders in check - the gap has fallen to 3:15 to the five riders up front.

The peloton has passed into Italy, but there's no time to stop for passport controls. The chase is on!

Ben King will be hoping that this breakaway sticks so he can have a chance to follow up on the performance of his compatriot Larry Warbasse. Unlike the Texan, King has had a couple of pro wins - a stage of the Criterium International and one in Tour of California - but he's never won at the WorldTour level. That could change today.

55km remaining from 222km

Back in the peloton, Kamyshev has been caught, and poor Miguel Lopez has been dropped out the back after his crash. 1km to go to the top of the climb for the breakaway.

There is only one rider in the breakaway who has won a WorldTour race, Nordhaug - who won the GP Montréal in 2012. But he'll surely be itching to freshen up his palmares today.

The details of North America's newest UCI race, the Colorado Classic, have been unveiled. Check out the stage information and maps in our news story:

Colorado Classic releases route details for inaugural race

51km remaining from 222km

The pressure has been cranked up in the peloton, and they've slashed the lead of the breakaway to just 2:10, with 51km to go. The five riders up front must be feeling a great sense of urgency to hold their gap - it is going to be hard to hold onto.

Miguel Angel Lopez has been taken to hospital for checks following his crash.

37km remaining from 222km

The five remaining breakaway riders are still making their way down this sinuous descent. They now have just 1:40 on the peloton, however. 


UAE Team Emirates lead the peloton down the descent in full formation. They have Sacha Modolo as a potential winner of today's stage. 


31km remaining from 222km

The UAE charge brings the gap down to just 51 seconds now. The road continues to twist and turn on this gentle descent. 

Nordhaug waves his arm in remonstration with a convoy of police motorbikes. Given the snaking nature of the roads, they can't get best the breakaway riders. Nordhaug is slightly off the back of the break and the motos nip in ahead of him, making for hairy moments when they have to slow for corners and Nordhaug tries to come back through. 


26km remaining from 222km

Nordhaug is back on as the heavens open and the rain starts to come down. 


The peloton comes off the descent now and onto the flat. It's still a very large bunch but UAE are still hammering it on the front and the bunch is strung out here. 

The rain is absolutely hammering it down now. 


30 seconds for the five breakaway riders as the visibility deteriorates. There's an intermediate sprint coming up now. 


Asselman skips away to take the sprint points. No one else is bothered. 


21km remaining from 222km

20 seconds now. Asselman continued his effort but the others are back with him. It won't be long before it's all together again. 


#GreenArgyle bus has just arrived at #TourdeSuisse stage five finish in Cervio. It's pouring.

@Ride_Argyle Wed, 14th Jun 2017 14:21:57

The breakaway quintet look at each other and ask how long to drag it out for. As they look round they see the advancing peloton in the periphery. 15 seconds now. 


Asselman and King forge on as Bewley, Wallays, and Nordhaug sit up. 


18km remaining from 222km

Trek-Segafredo take it up now for Degenkolb. 


It's Trek, UAE, BMC in that order on the front of the peloton. 


Asselman and King continue their effort, and they still have 16 seconds on the bunch, where the pace has eased slightly.


15km remaining from 222km

Lars Boom takes a flyer off the front of the bunch. 


Philippe Gilbert drops back to the neutral service vehicle. There must be another group of riders dropped from the bunch some way behind, as the team cars are stuck behind. 

Trek continue to lead the peloton but the breakaway duo have taken their lead back up to 30 seconds. Boom is somewhere in between. 


There was a second intermediate sprint point there, and as well as sprint points, it also carried bonus seconds of 3, 2, and 1 for the first three riders across. After Asselman and King mopped up the first two, race leader Caurso skipped away from the peloton to increase his overall lead by a second. 

10km remaining from 222km

35 seconds is the gap now. Boom has been brought to heel. 


Bora take a look at what Trek have been doing and decide more needs to be done. They hit the front for Sagan, with Matthews' Sunweb team also coming through. 


King and Asselman are giving it everything, and collaborating well together. 30 seconds it is, with 9km remaining. 


Bora continue to drive the peloton on. Unless there's a complete breakdown back there, this one's going to come back for a sprint. 


Giro d'Italia Tom Dumoulin hits the front now for Sunweb. 16 seconds is the gap now. 


7km remaining from 222km

13 seconds as King and Asselman continue to trade turns. Bora take back over from Dumoulin. 


6km remaining from 222km

All together


King and Asselman's adventure comes to an end. 6km to go and we're heading for a sprint finish. 


Bora set up on the left. Orica on the right. Trek down the middle. 


4km remaining from 222km

The pace is really high now as the riders fight for position. 


BMC are up there in the middle, looking after Caruso's yellow jersey. 


3km remaining from 222km

3km to go now, Bora still on the left, Sunweb now moving up on the right. 


And now Quick-Step finally come to the fore, squeezing up on the left. 


Quick-Step and Trek slugging it out now. 


2km remaining from 222km

2km to go. Quick-Step have Trentin and Gilbert. 


1km remaining from 222km

It's full gas as the riders take a left-hander over a bridge. Quick-Step lead. 


1km remaining from 222km

Flamme rouge


Gilbert takes it up now. 


Three QS, two Trek, two Sunweb, then Sagan. That's how it's ordered...


Late attack from Sunweb


Sagan tracks it and launches his sprint...


Peter Sagan wins stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse by a country mile


The world champion finally has his customary Tour de Suisse victory. 


Michael Albasini was second, Matteo Trentin third. 


Nikias Arndt threw in a surprise there with an early burst. Sagan jumped out left to get on his wheel and then surged clear with an incredible burst of speed. No one could get near him. 


Replays show that as Sagan was coming past the Quick-Step lead-out, Trentin had to check and very nearly crashed. He came back well for third, but there was no living with Sagan there - the timing and the speed. 


Sagan whipped out a new celebration for the cameras there, which my colleague Sadhbh O'Shea is describing as a 'hula dance'. Whatever it is, it'll be plastered all over social media soon and we'll have a picture of it from our finish-line photographer shortly. 


Stage result


1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 5:15:50
2 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott
3 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
4 Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac
5 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
7 Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team
9 Aaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue Sport
10 Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky


General classification after stage 5

1 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 12:08:35
2 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:16
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:25
4 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin
5 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:32
6 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:34
7 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:01:10
8 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:11
9 Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:21
10 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:38 


Sagan's victory celebration a Polynesian dance? Appropriately enough he holidayed in Bora Bora last winter

@inrng Wed, 14th Jun 2017 15:01:36

Peter Sagan speaks


"I'm very happy for this victory, because the team sacrificed everything today. We went all-in, and in the end I'm very happy. Thank you to all my teammates, it's very good for us. 


"The first stage was a little bit of a mess in the end, there were a lot of attacks - a race without control. Then two days ago was a good finish but I did a big effort before the final on the climb, then maybe I missed a little bit. But today was very good for me, I was very concentrated. It was good day, there was a small shower in the end and I felt much better."

The real debate about Sagan: that victory celebration. Is it a dab, a hula or him conducting an imaginary orchestra?

@Andymcgra Wed, 14th Jun 2017 15:09:20

Sagan (I'm ruling out a dab) now has 14 Tour de Suisse stage wins to his name, with at least one in each of the past seven editions. 


The Slovak makes a double trip to the podium - one for the stage win and one to pull on the black jersey as the new leader of the points classification. 


A sobering image here of the aftermath of Lopez's crash. The Colombian was put in a neck brace and taken to hospital. He has had no luck with crashes so far in his young career, and this is a further set-back in what was only his first race of the season. We'll have a full story later with an update on his condition. 



A happier picture



For full results, a report, and some photos (more to come), check out our stage 5 report page.


Tour de Suisse: Sagan claims stage 5 in Cevio


We shift back to the GC battle tomorrow with another tough GC day. Here's what's in store. 


That's all from us today. I'll leave you with this shot of Sagan's celebration. 



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