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Tour de Suisse 2018: Stage 1

Welcome to Stage 1 of the 2018 Tour de Suisse, a rolling 18.3km team time trial.

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Grüezi! Welcome to the Tour de Suisse 2018, one of two very important Tour de France preparation races! We kick things off today with an 18.3km team time trial.

The teams will go off at five minute intervals, with Nippo-Vini Fantini first at 15:20 and Katusha-Alpecin last at 17:00.

Don’t look for mountains or serious climbing today. There are several rises along the way, and the final third is relatively flat. It is a circuit course, with start and finish in Frauenfeld, the capital of the Canton Thurgau in northern Switzerland.

 Nippo-Vini Fantini is underway. The Tour de Suisse has started!

Direct Energie is now on the road as well. Aqua Blue will be next.

 

The 2018 Tour de Suisse is under way as @NIPPO_Fantini head down the start ramp on Stage 1's 18km team time trial i… https://t.co/iaD5W0bIIp

@VelonCC Sat, 9th Jun 2018 13:23:28

Yes, there was also a team time trial in the Dauphine. So will it really surprise you to learn that there is also a TTT in this year’s Tour de France?

UAE Emirates is about to take the start, the first of the WorldTour teams to go.

 

In case you missed it, Pello Bilbao of Astana won the mountain stage today in the Dauphine. Geraint Thomas (Sky) finished second to build up his lead in the GC. We will have all the details here.

 

Nippo Vini Fantini is already down to five riders.

 

We hear that those two Nippo riders had already dropped after only 8 km. Ouch!

 

Team Sky is now at the start and ready to roll!

 

Aqua Blue comes to the intermediate time check with six riders, in second place behind Direct Energie.

And Nippo Vini Fantini is down to only four riders as they come to the finish.

 

Nippo Vini Fantini is in, with, naturally the best (and so far only) time.

LottoNL Jumbo starts.

 

UAE Emirates blast through the intermediate time check some 11 seconds ahead.

 

Direct Energie comes to the finish in a time of 21:34, well ahead of Nippo Vini Fantini.

 

Here the top ten from 2017:

1 Simon Spilak (Katusha-Alpecin) 28:37:11

2 Damiano Caruso (BMC) 0:00:48

3 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) 0:1:08

4 Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R) 0:02:37

5 Rui Costa (UAE Emirates) 0.03:09

6 Jon Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida) 0:03:51

7 Mathias Frank (AG2R) 0:04:00

8 Marc Soler (Movistar) 0:04:14

9 Mikel Nieve (Sky) 0:04:47

10 Pello Bilbao (Astana) 0:05:30

Next off is EF-Education First.

 

Sky is only third at the intermediate time check, some 16 seconds back.

 

Aqua Blue second at the finish, only .28 hundredths of a second behind Direct Energie.

 

LottoNL - Jumbo still with all 7 riders at the time check, as Dimension Data takes off.

 

LottoNL-Jumbo only 4 seconds down at the time check.

 

Four UAE Emirates riders cross the finish line in a time of 21:08 to take the lead.

 

Of the 2017 top ten, only Spilak, Kruijswijk, and Izagirre are here again this year.

QuickStep has now started.

Watching this, we have pretty much failed to see any kind of climbing or much of anything other than a slight hill.

 

Sky heads to the finish with five riders. They cross the line with a time of 21:20.

 

There is no shortage of big names here, though. Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa (Movistar), Richie Porte (BMC), and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) will do their best to wrest the title away from last year’s winner Simon Spilak (Katusha-Alpecin).

The sprinters are out in full force as well. Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) is always good for a win or two, and he will be going up against Michael Matthews (Sunweb), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Fernando Gaviria (QuickStep), amongst others.

Movistar is now underway. They were planning to start here with all three of its top stars – Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa – which would have been pretty incredible. They are down to only two, though, as a cold has struck down Valverde.

LottoNL-Jumbo also comes in with four riders and slots into second place with a time of 21:11.

 

We have 21 teams, seven riders each, here today. That is of course all 18 WorldTour teams, plus Aqua Blue Sport, Direct Energie, and Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini.

QuickStep down to six, and as we write that, the next one drops off.

The other Belgian team, Lotto Soudal, now takes off. 

 

QuickStep may be dropping riders, but they are fast, with a new best time at the intermediate time check.

 

EF brings five riders together to the finish, but only in fourth place at 21:23.

 

Groupama-FDJ now on the road. Movistar second at the intermediate time check.

 

Dimension Data's five riders finish in a time of 21:28.

 

What actually happened in the last week of the Giro d'Italia? Fortunately we can answer that question for you with our incredible new Cyclingnews film CRESCENDO. You can buy it or rent it -- and do that! 

 

Much excitement as Bora-hansgrohe prepares to start. And why not, with superstar Peter Sagan there!.He will no doubt pull off some of his usual spectacular feats. Speaking of which, check out the video of his training in the gym. We would like to say that looks like our daily routine as well, but actually just watching it makes us whimper in pain.

Meanwhile, QuickStep has blasted to a new best time at the finish -- 20:45, some 23 seconds faster than UAE Emirates.

 

Bora is only ready to start. Trek Segafredo sneaked in there before the German team.

 

How odd to see Sagan in a Bora-hansgrohe jersey and not the World Champion rainbow stripes!

 

Rui Costa (UAE Emirates), who won this race in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and finished fifth here in 2017, was supposed to ride this year, but had to cancel out. He is having knee problems and is just not back to full power.

Movistar has crossed the line nearly seven seconds slower than QuickStep, putting them in second place at the moment.

 

Bahrain Merida now on the road. Only six more teams left to start.

Trek Segafredo fourth at the time check.

 

Fifth place at the finish for Lotto Soudal, with a time of 21:16.

 

Here the time differences for the top five so far.  

1 Quick-Step Floors 00:20:45

2 Movistar Team 00:00:06

3 UAE Team Emirates 00:00:23

4 LottoNL-Jumbo 00:00:26

5 Lotto Soudal 00:00:31

AStana is underway, Bora only five seconds down at the intermediate time check, and Groupama FDJ into the finish but we missed the time :-(

 

Groupama FDJ put in a fine time of 21:03, putting them in third at the moment.

 

AG2R now on their way.

 

Quick Step is leading the field with a whopping 38 victories so far this year, and Ferndando Gaviria has seven of them. He will be looking to add to that total here. But the Belgian team can also look to former World Champion Philippe Gilbert on the more rolling stages.

Not a particularly fast time for Trek-Segafredo, 21:14´6, which will put them either sixth or seventh.

 

Sixth place for Trek-Segafredo.

 

Sunweb is now on the road, with Wilco Kelderman. He broke his collarbone in a crash at Tirreno-Adriatico and due to complications, is only now returning to racing. He is the team’s GC rider, while Michael Matthews will be going for the sprints.

A very very close second place for Bora-hansgrohe at the finish, as they are only half a second slower than QuickStep.

 

Mitchelton-Scott has taken to the start as Bahrain Merida comes into the finish. Their five riders put in a time of 20:54.

 

Next up will be BMC, which has sent its big guns to this race: Porte, van Garderen, Van Avermaet and De Marchi. Porte is the team captain, and this is his first time in the race.

 

 

Sunweb's Edward Theuns looks to have a mechanical problem as he totally drops back. Another Sunweb rider slowly loses contact.

 

BMC is a real powerhouse in the TTT and one of the favourites today. DS Marco Pinotti says no rider has been picked to cross the line first and thus take the leader's jersey, if they should have the best time. 

 

Only 14th place for Astana with a finishing time of 21:36.

 

Sunweb may have had some problems earlier but they are moving fast, having put in a best intermediate time. 

Now Katusha-Alpecin starts, the last team to go.

 

Mitchelton-Scott third at the intermediate check.

 

AG2R into the finish in 21:25, which puts them in 12th place. 

Only four Sunweb riders left, and at moments it looks as if Kelderman is having problems. He is safely in the pack now though.

 

Meanwhile, BMC has already dropped De Marchi.

 

Sunweb -- who you will remember is World TTT champ -- heads into the last km.

BMC comes to the intermediate time chek and sets a new best time, 5 seconds faster than Sunweb.

 

A new best finish time for Sunweb: 20:37!

 

Only three times still out there: Mitchelton-Scott, BMC and Katusha-Alpecin.

 

Katusha 8th at the intermediate time check, and Mitchelton-Scott 4th at the finish.

 

BMC down to five riders, but that shouldn't be a problem for them.

 

Kelderman was teh first across the line for Sunweb, so if BMC doesn't beat their time, he will be the race leader.

 

Last km for BMC.

 

BMC now down to four. It looks as if they will win by a huge gap.

 

BMC wins this thing with a time of 20:18! Stefan Kung is the first over the line. 

 

The stage is of course not yet over. Katusha is still on the road, and even still has all seven riders together.

 

If Kung is confirmed as the first across the line for BMC, we would have a Swiss rider leading the Tour de Suisse. Which only seems appropriate, doesn't it?

 

Katusha cross the finish line in a time of 21:04, in ninth place.

 

Congratulations to BMC for their victory. There was never much question about it.

 

Here the official results for today:

1 BMC Racing Team 00:20:18

2 Team Sunweb 00:20:37

3 Quick-Step Floors 00:20:45

4 Bora-Hansgrohe 00:20:45

5 Mitchelton-Scott 00:20:47

6 Movistar Team 00:20:51

7 Bahrain-Merida 00:20:54

8 Groupama-FDJ 00:21:03

9 Katusha-Alpecin 00:21:04

10 UAE Team Emirates 00:21:08

11 LottoNl-Jumbo 00:21:11

12 Lotto Soudal 00:21:16

13 Trek-Segafredo 00:21:16

14 Team Sky 00:21:20

15 EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 00:21:23

16 AG2R La Mondiale 00:21:25

17 Dimension Data 00:21:28

18 Direct Energie 00:21:34

19 Aqua Blue Sport 00:21:34

20 Astana Pro Team 00:21:36

21 Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini 00:22:19

BMC on the podium as stage winners.

 

Here is our page on today's stage. We have a short report up now, more will come: full report, photos and complete results.

 

Kung is indeed the race leader, and he is received with much cheering and applause.

 

BMC wipes up all the awards today: Kung is best young rider and most active rider; Gilbert is KOM (not that we saw any mountains...) and Porte has the points jersey.

 

General classification after stage 1

1 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team 00:20:18

2 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team

3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team

4 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team

5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:00:20

6 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb

7 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb

8 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb

9 Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 00:00:25

10 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:27

Thanks for reading along. Join us again tomorrow for stage 2!

 

For a full stage report and photo gallery, click here. 

 

Join us tomorrow and throughout the week for more live coverage from the Tour de Suisse. 

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