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Tour de Suisse 2017: Stage 8


Welcome to live coverage of the penultimate stage of the Tour de Suisse. It's going to be a fast and furious day with just 100 kilometres of racing on the menu today. 

The riders have set off from Schaffausen for today's bumpy ride. We can expect action right from the start today. 


It's a lovely sunny day out there, as this photo from the UAE Team Emirates shows. 


146 riders started today, down from the 176 that started the race last weekend. 


With eight classified climbs today, all the same Alpenstrasse ascent, there are plenty of points available. Lasse Norman Hansen has just taken the full complement at the top of the first climb, but Nick van der Lijke was just behind him and their battle is going to be a fierce one. Hansen leads the way with 36 points while Van der Lijke has 34. 


Hansen and Van der Lijke are part of a four-man group that got away early and now has 1:20 on the peloton. Lotto-Soudal's Jelle Wallays is with them as is Jaco Venter (Dimension Data). 


Nice, already before the start of stage 8 handshake @s_kruijswijk for Simon Spilak. #tourdesuisse #racetowin

@katushacycling Sat, 17th Jun 2017 13:30:23

Simon Spilak is sitting comfortably in the peloton right now. He took a commanding lead in the overall classification after winning yesterday's stage. 


1 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin 26:02:16
2 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:52
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:01:05
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:28
5 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:35
6 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:51
7 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:02:54
8 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Meirda 0:03:51
9 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:07
10 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:04:10


The first lap of eight and the lead is now 1:35. The peloton are going to keep these guys close, because it will be easy to misjudge this and hand the victory to the breakaway. 


Rafal Majka wins the queen stage of the Tour de Slovenie over Visconti, Haig #tourofslovenia

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 17th Jun 2017 13:44:16

Hansen has out-kicked Van der Lijke on the climb again to extend his lead in the mountains competition by another point. He now has39 points to Van der Lijke's 36. 


Hansen looks well in control of the mountains classification. He still has a long way to go before he can secure it, but he must be confident. It has been a very good Tour de Suisse for Aqua Blue Sport, with Larry Warbasse taking an emotional win earlier in the week. 


There is a lot of racing going on at the moment and after Majka won in Slovenia, Pierre Rolland just won today's stage of the Route du Sud. 


75km remaining from 100km

As the leaders pass through the finish line for the second time today to complete 25km of racing, they have 1:50 on the peloton behind. 


None of the leaders are in any way a threat to Spilak's overall victory. Van der Lijke is the best placed of the quartet but is still 55 minutes behinf Spilak in the overall classification. 


Here is Hansen taking some mountain points earlier today, courtesy of Aqua Blue Sport. 


Three more points for Hansen in the mountains classification. Van der Lijke just can't get past him. The Dane now has 42 points compared to Van der Lijke's 38. Van der Lijke can still come back but it's looking less and less likely. 


The Tour de France is just two weeks away - I know I can't believe it either. One rider that won't be there is Bahrain-Merida's Kanstantsin Siutsou. He crashed heavily during yesterday's stage of the Tour of Slovenia and fractured his left femoral bone. You can read the full story here


60km remaining from 100km

The leaders have passed through the finish line once again. They're going flat out but the peloton is keeping them at close quarters. Katusha leads the chase and has kept the gap level at around 1:45 for the last while. 


#tourdesuisse the peloton aren't giving the breakaway too much room. The gap is hovering around 1'45" as we start lap 3.

@BMCProTeam Sat, 17th Jun 2017 14:07:37

Katusha is doing a very good job at managing. The gap has hardly fluctuated much above of below the 1:45 mark. They are looking to set Spilak up for his second overall win at the Tour de Suisse. Spilak is a curious rider, who really excels in one-day races but detests Grand Tour racing. He's not done a three-week race since abandoning the 2014 Tour de France. Switzerland has been happy hunting ground for him with overall wins at Romandie and Suisse and a string of top 10 finishes on the GC. 


Another climb and another three points for Hansen. They have to do that climb four more times before the finish. 


55km remaining from 100km

Juraj Sagan now on the front for Bora-Hansgroghe. He's setting a strong pace and is working for his brother Peter. If Peter Sagan can hold on, which he should be able to, then he would be a big favourite for the stage win today. 


Trek-Segafredo also getting interested at the front of the peloton. They've got John Degenkolb as a potential winner today, who is without a stage win so far in this year's race. 


50km remaining from 100km

The gap is pushing out now towards the 1:57 mark as the riders hit the halfway point of this stage. They want to contest the stage win. 


The peloton is strung out but it's not quite full gas. They want to keep a little bit in the legs to try and make the catch later on. We'll get an idea in about 20 kilometres if they've made the correct judgement. 


Matteo Trentin is making his way back up through the cars. We didn't see what his problem was. He's got a teammate to help him up and he'll be hoping to contest the victory today. 


Trentin is utilising the draft from the LottoNL-Jumbo car to help him get back up. The commisaires don't seem to be there but they might not be too happy with that. 


44km remaining from 100km

Trentin finally makes it back to the peloton. He had to really push hard to regain contact. That was tough. Meanwhile, the leaders have increased their gap to 2:02. It's the first time their lead has gone over two minutes. 


Hansen takes the mountains points and it looks like Van der Lijke has accepted defeat. He didn't contest that and chose instead to roll through and save his legs for later in the stage. 


The peloton is beginning to fracture as riders try to keep up the pace. This is a blistering pace that is being set today. Team Sunweb has now joined the party on the front for Michael Matthews. 


BMC shoots to the front and they've dropped the hammer. The riders behind have to sprint to keep in their wheels. The little dig is so fierce it's almost like an attack. 


38km remaining from 100km

A problem for Michael Matthews. It seems like he's had a puncture. He has to chase back on now. There are some others making their way through the cars. 


There is plenty of time for Matthews to get back, but this extra little exertion could hurt him later in the stage. 


(2/2) Ion Izagirre ⚡️Time: 17’03’’ // Speed: 40.7km/h // Power: 250W (Normalised power: 290W) // 1min peak power: 418W (on the KOM)

@VelonCC Sat, 17th Jun 2017 14:39:20

The race jury has made a call to take the time for the overall classification at the end of the seventh lap. That will prevent any of the GC riders getting caught up in the chaos of the potential sprint finish. 


That decision could hurt the sprinters' opportunities at bringing this breakaway back. The GC teams are likely to pull off and stop helping the chase. 


32km remaining from 100km

The gap is coming down but not at any great rate. With 32km to go, they've got 1:42 on the chasing peloton. 


Hansen leads over the top of the climb yet again to get three points. Van der Lijke was in his wheel but didn't bother challenging him. Hansen is too far ahead now and all he needs to do is finish the race to win the mountains jersey. 


29km remaining from 100km

The peloton has stepped things up over the last few kilometres. They realise that these four are a threat and they need to start shutting them down. With just under 30km to go they've brought the gap down to 1:23.


Plenty of teams getting interested in the front. BMC, Team Sunweb, Katusha and Trek-Segafredo all getting riders up the front. 


26km remaining from 100km

The peloton is definitely going full gas now as they try to chase these four down. It's almost entirely single file the whole way down. The leaders are pushing on and doing their best to hold them off. 1:12 the gap now and it has been holding at that level for a few kilometres. 


Home rider Michael Albasini is sitting near the front. He's yet to win a stage here, which is unusual for him. Today will be his final chance as it is for many riders. Tomorrow's stage will be a time trial. 


25km remaining from 100km

The breakaway group is working very well together at the moment and doing a good job at keeping the peloton at bay. It's going to be a very close call as they begin the penultimate lap. The gap is 1:15. 


UAE Team Emirates moving up the peloton. They've Modolo in the group and he is a potential winner for them. 


21km remaining from 100km

With 21km to go the gap has dropped under a minute for the first time since the opening kilometres of the stage. Just 57 seconds for the four leaders. 


Remember the GC will be taken at the end of this lap. 


As the peloton close in, the breakaway is not panicking just yet. They're working well together and not worrying too much about the points at the intermediate sprint. 


19km remaining from 100km

Gianluca Brambilla has attacked out of the peloton as they approach the climb. 


Hansen takes more points on the climb but he looks like he's labouring after such a fast pace. He's going to have to dig deep. 


17km remaining from 100km

Brambilla has gained a lot of ground. He's only 25 seconds behind the leaders and he's 15 seconds up on the peloton. 


16km remaining from 100km

The leaders are coming into the the finish line for the penultimate time. The peloton has almost got them in their grasp with just 20 seconds between the two groups. It appears that Brambilla has been brought back.


The peloton is fracturing as Jay McCarthy drives things on. There are some very tight corners which is making it difficult for the peloton to keep things together at points. 


McCarthy pulls off and Katusha takes things up again with Spilak in fifth wheel. Just 15 seconds now for the four leaders. 


13km remaining from 100km

The gap is crumbling now and the question is will the four accept their fate or will we see some attacks from this leading group. 


Katusha's Hollenstein catches the leading quartet and tells them to ease the pace. The group is back together as they cross the line to begin the final lap. 


Will we see any attacks before the finish. There are plenty of teams who will not want this to end in a bunch sprint, but the pace is so quick that they're going to struggle to get away.


10km remaining from 100km

It has been a brutal day and the sprinter's teams are trying to slow things down. Most of the GC riders have dropped off. They don't have to worry about losing time overall, it's down to the sprinters to contest this finish. 


BMC on the front. They're American registered but sponsored by a Swiss manufacturer and would love another stage win for this race. They won the opening time trial with Rohan Dennis last Saturday. They also led the race with Dennis and Stefan Kung. 


7km remaining from 100km

And we finally have some attacks and it's one of the Lotto-Soudal riders. 


The Lotto Soudal rider is Tomasz Marczynski. He doesn't get very far before he is brought back by Bora-Hansgrohe. 


6km remaining from 100km

And now Michael Matthews attacks.


Five riders have gone with Matthes, including Van Avermaet, Wellens and Vanmarcke. This is a strong group. 


Bora have put Burghardt into this move and he's going to try to scupper this in favour of Sagan. Matthews is having nothing of it and he pushes on. 


5km remaining from 100km

It looks like the peloton is about to bring the group back and Fabio Fellini goes on the attack for Trek-Segafredo. 


Wellens attacks and brings Felline back. The peloton is together again. 


Now one of the Bahrain-Merida riders goes. 


4km remaining from 100km

It's Ivan Garcia Cortina, but he too is shut down. Bora-Hansgrohe is doing a lot of work to keep this together in the finale. 


Sagan is looming near the front of the bunch. Can he win yet another Tour de Suisse stage?


Quick-Step has some serious numbers in the front. Can they upset Bora-Hansgrohe? They'll certainly try. 


2km remaining from 100km

Lots of shuffling at the front of the bunch as all the teams try to get riders up front. 


With all the GC riders dropping back, this is a very small peloton. Only about 30 riders remaining. 


2km remaining from 100km

Bora-Hansgrohe and Quick-Step battling at the front of the peloton. The latter has Gilbert on the front. 


There are a couple of Trek riders in there but it's not clear if any of them are Degenkolb. They might have to rely on Felline in this finish. 


Flamme rough and Glibert leads the peloton through. 


This is a really fractured peloton as Gilbert drives the pace. 


Sagan is still in there though.


Sagan goes


Nobody can catch Sagan and he storms to the win. Modolo manages to take second. 


That was a strong effort for Sagan, paying back all that work his team did to chase back all those moves. It was a similar move to his victory earlier in the week where he launched his attack from around fourth in the pack and passed the peloton with relative ease - not that it is ever easy. 


That victory sets Sagan up perfectly for the Tour de France and his bid for his sixth green jersey. His rivals will be wondering what they need to do to beat him. 


Confirmation of the top 10 in today's stage. 

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 2:12:50
2 Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
3 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
4 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott
5 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
7 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
8 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team
9 Kevin Reza (Fra) FDJ
10 Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky


The stage did little to the overall standings and Simon Spilak is one step closer to his second overall victory at the Tour de Suisse. 

1 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin 27:59:50
2 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:52
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:01:05
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:28
5 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:35
6 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:51
7 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:02:54
8 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Meirda 0:03:51
9 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:07
10 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:04:10


Most successful races for Peter Sagan Tour of California - 16 stages Tour de Suisse - 15 stages Tour de France, Tirreno-Adriatico - 7 stages

@CafeRoubaix Sat, 17th Jun 2017 15:36:03

Sagan is a man of few words and here are a few of the ones he used in his post-stage interview. 


"It was a good day and I’m very happy. My team did a great job trying to control the stage and I’m really happy with my second win at the race.”


Peter Sagan steps onto the podium to football-esque chants from his fans. He's a popular rider wherever he goes. 


Simon Spilak in his yellow jersey. Just one more day to go for the Slovenian rider. 


For results and a recap of today's action, head to our report. We also have lots of photos from today, too. 


We'll leave you with one last photo and that's Lasse Norman Hansen. He consolidated his lead in the mountains classification and provided he finishes tomorrow he will take that jersey home. 


That is it from live coverage today. We will have full coverage of tomorrow's final time trial. See you then. 


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