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Tour de Suisse 2019: Stage 2

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse.

 

Race hub
Stage 1: Dennis wins opening time trial

 

Today's stage is another around the town of Langnau im Emmental in Bern. This time it's a road stage featuring three circuits and six second-category climbs (two climbs repeated three times).

It could be a day for a break or for classics specialists, especially those with a sprint like Greg Van Avermaet, Michael Matthews or Peter Sagan.

 

The two climbs aren't too tough, meaning that which fastmen make it to the finish depends on how hard they're raced.

 

Yesterday's opening stage was a 9.5km time trial around the same town. Rohan Dennis took the win, his first for Bahrain-Merida and first since taking the rainbow jersey last season. He's in the race lead but could lose it today with Matthews and Sagan lurking a few seconds down.

 

 

Read our report on yesterday's stage, along with a photo gallery and full results, here.

 

The riders will start and ride the neutralised section in just a few minutes.

 

The peloton are rolling through the neturalised zone now.

 

Here's a reminder of the GC top ten as the riders get stage 2 underway.

 

1 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida 0:10:50
2 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:00
3 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:00:02
4 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:00:02
5 Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:03
6 Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First 0:00:05
7 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:08
8 Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC Team 0:00:09
9 Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:09
10 Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education First 0:00:11

 

The stage proper has started now as the neutralised zone ends.

 

Fabian Cancellara kicked off today's stage, firing a starter pistol into the air as the riders set off. Here's a video of the start.

 

Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ) was the only non-starter today.

 

The riders are approaching the first climb of the day, Schallenberg. It's 8km long at an average of 5.1%, though the 4km of false flat in the middle does bring that figure down.

 

Several attempts at breaking away have been made, but none have stuck yet.

 

Four riders have a small advantage right now. They are Guillaume van Keirsbulck (CCC Team), Gavin Mannion (UHC Cycling Rally), Cladio Imhof (Switzerland) and Fabien Greiller (Total Direct Energie).

 

145km remaining from 159km

The break are a minute up the road now, after 15km of racing.

Imhof is the best-placed rider on GC in the break. He's 19 seconds down on Dennis, so is already in the virtual race lead. Mannion and van Keirsbulck lie within a minute, while Grellier is 1:16 down.

 

The break aren't getting much time here. In fact, their advantage is waning a little.

 

Grellier led Imhof and Mannion over the top of the climb. They got 6, 4 and 3 points respectively.

 

128km remaining from 159km

The break has flown down the descent and they're now on the second climb, Chuderhüsi. It's 3km long at an average of 9.3% – shorter but harder.

 

Imhof got away from the rest of the break on the descent, taking the intermediate sprint.

 

123km remaining from 159km

The break are currently around 2:30 up on the peloton.

 

The break's advantage has now gone up to four minutes. Imhof is back with them now. 

 

Imhof led the way over the top of the climb.

 

Meanwhile, our live coverage of the Dauphiné has started. You can follow live here.

 

Imhof is reportedly out ahead on his own, over a minute up the road.

 

The leaders pass through the finish line for the first time. They're in the valley now.

 

A bit delayed, but the results of the second climb saw Imhof take 6 points, Mannion take 4 and Grellier take 3.

 

Imhof is still out there in the valley, a minute up on the chasers.

 

Imhof and Grellier lead the mountain classification with 9 points, while Mannion is on 8. There are four climbs left to race today and a maximum of 24 points up for grabs.

 

Bahrain-Merida are leading the peloton.

 

Imhof reaches the foot of Schallenberg. He's two minutes up on the chasers now.

 

85km remaining from 159km

Imhof is, of course, the virtual leader at this point.

 

Grellier has dropped back to the peloton now. Mannion and van Keirsbulck are only 40 seconds up.

 

The peloton are closing in on Mannion and van Keirsbulck.

 

Bora-Hansgrohe are working at the head of the peloton for Peter Sagan.

 

Mannion and van Keirsbulck are back in the peloton now. Imhof is 2:50 up the road.

 

75km remaining from 159km

Sagan leads the peloton over the second intermediate sprint of the day, beating Matthews to take 2 and 1 bonus seconds respectively.

 

Imhof led over the second ascent of Schallenberg and is now tackling the second ascent of Chuderhüsi.

 

Over at the Dauphiné, Adam Yates has surprisingly abandoned. He was running in second place and there are still 50km to race on the final stage, so a bit of a shock. Follow live here.

 

70km remaining from 159km

A few riders are dropping from the back of the peloton, who are still on the climb. Shouldn't be a problem with 70km to race though. Imhof's lead is down to 1:45 now.

 

65km remaining from 159km

Imhof takes a drink from his team car as he reaches the valley once again.

 

He's holding the gap pretty well here. Imhof should have a chance to take points over the final climbs too.

 

Bahrain-Merida drive the peloton.

 

54km remaining from 159km

Imhof passes through the line and takes the bell for the last lap. There's still over 50km to go though.

 

His gap is back up to two minutes with 50km to go.

 

There's little change in the situation at the moment. The gap fluctuates between 1:40 and 2:00. It's just a matter of when the peloton want to step up the pace and make the catch at this point.

 

42km remaining from 159km

Imhof has a mechanical and has to change his bike without any drama. The gap goes down to 1:20 as a result.

 

There's around 10km to the top of the next climb for Imhof now. 

 

His advantage has suddenly dropped to 35 seconds. I was going to say he looks good to last up the next climb at least, but now it looks a big ask.

 

38km remaining from 159km

Astana take it up on the front of the peloton

 

And Imhof is caught.

 

He's out the back, but has a teammate for company after his big effort today.

 

36km remaining from 159km

Numerous riders drop off the back of the peloton under the pace set by Astana, who have their whole team on the front now.

 

The peloton is maybe 50 riders strong now.

 

Rui Costa is, surprisingly, among the dropped riders.

 

32km remaining from 159km

Astana are still on the front with three riders.

 

Young American climbing talent Brandon McNulty (Rally UHC) is dropped too.

 

31km remaining from 159km

Omar Fraile (Astana) goes on the attack!

 

Nobody can immediately follow.

 

Fraile leads over the top of the climb.

 

Fraile is 11 seconds up on the peloton as he tackles the descent.

 

28km remaining from 159km

Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Roland Thalmann (Switzerland) attack from the peloton and catch Fraile.

 

20 seconds separate the lead trio and the peloton.

 

21km remaining from 159km

Lotto Soudal lead the peloton onto the final climb, the third ascent of Chuderhüsi. Meanwhile, Fraile is pushing it up front and Asgreen struggles to keep up.

 

Fraile ups the pace and cracks his companions. They're not going to bring him back on these steep slopes.

 

Fraile is 25 seconds up on the peloton.

 

Mathias Frank (AG2R La Mondiale) tries a move. Dalmann is brought back by the peloton.

 

18km remaining from 159km

Fraile and Asgreen are caught now.

 

Asgreen held on to take 6 points over the top but he's back in the peloton now.

 

Michael Matthews is at the rear of the group. He has a chance to make it back before the finish.

 

Merhawi Kudus (Astana) attacks the descent and he has a few riders on his wheel. They're quickly caught by the peloton though.

 

Elsewhere, Jakob Fuglsang has sealed his Dauphiné victory. Stay tuned for the report and results here.

 

We're not sure which other sprinters are chasing on, if any. Matthews is definitely in the chase group though.

 

13km remaining from 159km

It's a twisting, technical descent, but the roads are in good shape and it's a fast one.

 

Asgreen leads the peloton.

 

11km remaining from 159km

Luis León Sánchez (Astana) attacks on the flat.

 

Sagan, Matthews and Van Avermaet are back in the peloton, which is 8 seconds behind Sanchez.

 

CCC have a man on the front of the peloton, and Sunweb have a man up there too. Astana have a few riders trying to disrupt though.

 

7km remaining from 159km

The gap is rising, up to 26 seconds for Sanchez now. Not sure how accurate that time gap is...

 

6km remaining from 159km

Sanchez has 30 seconds now.

 

Still only one rider apiece for Sunweb and CCC at the head of the peloton. Bora don't have anyone up there.

 

5km remaining from 159km

Into the final 5km now. The gap is still 30 seconds.

 

The Slovakian flags of the Peter Sagan fanclub indicate that Sanchez is turning into a headwind now. Advantage peloton?

 

The time gap shows 40 seconds but Sanchez's advantage isn't that large.

 

3km remaining from 159km

The gap is showing as 29 seconds now.

 

1km remaining from 159km

Sunweb, CCC and QuickStep lead the peloton, but they're not making any inroads into the gap. 

1km remaining from 159km

Sanchez heads into the final kilometre. Still 30 seconds up the road.

 

Sanchez wins! The peloton charges home 5 seconds later.

 

Sagan led Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) and Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) over the line for the minor placings.

 

Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is the new race leader, despite only finishing fourth. He took bonus seconds earlier on, and is level on time with Sagan.

 

Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) is third, one second down.

 

Stage 2 result

 

1 Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team 4:01:21
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:06
3 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
4 Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team
6 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
7 Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team
8 Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
9 Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin
10 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Ineos

 

General Classification after stage 2

 

1 Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 4:12:16
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:01
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
5 Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First 0:00:06
6 Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:10
7 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:17
8 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:18
9 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:19
10 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep

 

Asgreen is also the best young rider, while Rohan Dennis retains in the points jersey. Imhof takes the mountains jersey for his efforts in the break today.

 

Tomorrow's stage is a nailed-on sprint stage, with just two third-category climbs on the road from Flamatt to Murten. Look out for Sagan and Matthews to battle for the win – and the race lead.

 

That's all from our live coverage of stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse. Join us again tomorrow for live coverage of stage 3.

 

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