- Major pre-stage news as Jumbo-Visma, Adam Yates (Ineos-Grenadiers) pull out because of a COVID-19 outbreak. A further 10 riders are DNS today, for various reasons, including Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) and Soren Kragh Andersen (DSM).
- Stage win for Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) and overall lead as race shredded on final climbs
- Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) loses 2 minutes.
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Hello and welcome to the live coverage of stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse
Today's stage is a 190.1 kilometre hilly run from Ambri to Novazzano, and the riders are due to roll out on the depart fictif in about 10 minutes time at 1230 CET
However, the key race news so far today is to do with a team, Jumbo-Visma, that won't be at the start-line of stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse, as they have had to pull out en masse because of a COVID-19 outbreak. My colleague Stephen Farrand has all the latest details here.
The riders are heading through the neutralised section of stage 5 as there's breaking news of another high-profile abandon because of COVID-19: Britain's Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers).
The news broke through a Tweet from the team.
In line with team and UCI protocols, @AdamYates7 has withdrawn from #TourDeSuisse2022 this morning after experiencing mild symptoms and returning a positive lateral flow test. pic.twitter.com/QLn7Lr0PDfJune 16, 2022
190.1 kilometres to go
And the race is underway. Multiple more reported none-starters, details shortly.
127 starters today in stage 5. Race website has officially confirmed that the following riders are DNS today: all of Jumbo-Visma, Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers), Gino Mader and Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain Victorious), Yevgeniv Fedorov (Astana-Qazaqstan), Otto Vergaede (Trek-Segafredo) and Michael Gogl (Alpecin-Fenix). And race radio has just added three more DSM riders out, Soren Kragh Andersen, Michael Gogl and Casper Pederson.
That's a huge number of abandons in one day, 16 in total. Only Jumbo-Visma and Adam Yates are known for now to be out for COVID-19, but we'll bring you further updates as the information comes through.
178 kilometres to go
Amid all the tumult of the mass non-start news, a bike race breaks out as well. Five riders ahead with 34 seconds on the bunch: Johan Jacobs (Movistar), Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo), Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Claudio Imhof (Switzerland).
Just while the stage is beginning to get underway, here's a reminder of the stage 4 results and current overall standings. Although there are obviously some significant gaps in that now after the mass DNS today.
163 kilometres to go
The gap between the five leaders and the bunch has expanded enormously to 3-55. Looks like we have the break of the day.
A reminder of the five breakaways: that's Johan Jacobs (Movistar), Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo), Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Claudio Imhof (Switzerland).
160 kilometres to go
More updates on the various abandons from earlier today: Gino Mader and Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain Victorious) quit because of gastro'. Otto Vergaerde (Trek-Segafredo) quit because of fatigue. And on stage 4, also worth remembering that Thymen Arensman (DSM) quit midway through because of heat exhaustion.
And DSM have just confirmed that their three abandons, Soren Kragh Andersen, Michael Gogl and Casper Pederson, have all quit with COVID. So of the 16 DNS, four confirmed cases in total at the Tour de Suisse including Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) and an unspecified number of cases in Jumbo-Visma (which could be team staff and/or riders).
Here's the official Tweet from DSM regarding their 3 positive cases
Unfortunately @kraghsoren, @pedersencasp & @ceesbol1995 have returned positive results on routine lateral flow tests & will leave #TourdeSuisse2022. In consultation with the race organiser & UCI the team will continue as we monitor the situation & continue our protective efforts. pic.twitter.com/bQhejFDwm9June 16, 2022
150 kilometres to go
And the gap is now up to a whopping 7-37 for our breakaway. Lotto-Soudal are doing some chasing behind, but it seems pretty nominal for now.
So what's coming up for the 121 riders on today's stage? The first real test is at km 66, (roughly 20 kilometres on from now), the 2nd cat. Monte Ceneri, not excessively difficult, but the toughest climb of the day. A further 60 kilometres further on, though, we hit the first of three ascents of the 3rd category Pedrinate, close to the finish town of Novazzano. The race tackles the Pedrinate three times on a large finishing circuit at kms 125, 153 and 181.7. The last time over the summit is a fraction under 9 kilometres from the finish.
Cycling history buffs will be pleased to note that there's also a hot spot sprint in the town of Mendrisio at km 139 and km 166 in the Via Stefano Franscini. Mendrisio was the scene of the 2009 World Championships, and part of the circuit used will feature on today's finishing circuit as well. For the record, the elite men's road-race was won in a lone attack by Cadel Evans for Australia. If you want to delve down memory lane a bit, the report from Cyclingnews is here.
141 kilometres to go
The gap has finally stabilized at around 7-30 for the five riders in the break. And they are, let's remember, Johan Jacobs (Movistar), Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo), Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Claudio Imhof (Switzerland).
A quick note on the newly absent faces from the Tour de Suisse peloton. Two of them were top ten overall, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) in 7th place at 10sec on Stephen Williams (Bahrain Victorious; Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) in 10th place at st; Sam Oomen and Pascal Eenkhorn (Jumbo-Visma) were both just over a minute adrift, as was Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious). Of those who've quit, the only top three finisher overall was Rohan Dennis (Jumbo-Visma), who claimed second overall in 2019, as well as having three stages in his palmares, but who was more than half an hour down already this year when he had to abandon.
130 kilometres to go
And we're now at the foot of the first classified climb of the day, the second category Monte Ceneri. The hardest climb of stage 5, it peaks out at km66 after a 5.2 kilometre ascent averaging 6 percent. (And yes, I did have to look all that info. up).
128 kilometres to go
At the foot of the Monte Ceneri, the break has a gap of 6-35 as EF Education-EasyPost join forces with the chasers behind.
And here is a video of the Tour de Suisse director Oliver Senn run by our colleagues at Cyclingpro.net talking about the Jumbo-Visma mass abandon
if you don't succeed at first...
In the interview, the race director says that Jumbo-Visma reported 4 COVID-19 cases amongst their riders that abandoned the Tour de Suisse prior to stage 5. Which means there were 8 reported cases in total amongst those 16 DNS for stage 5.
120 kilometres to go
The Tour de Suisse stage 5 breakaways have reached the summit of the 2nd cat. Ceneri. Their advantage is 6:40, about a minute less than their maximum, and the first rider across the top was Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo).
And here is a picture of the day's break. Warm weather again as you see, but at least according to the official race ticker 25 degrees right now, so nothing too out of the ordinary.
And we're getting confirmation through of yet another DNS this morning, Joey Rosskopf (Human Powered Health) because of a positive test for COVID-19.
You can read our full report on the numerous withdrawals from the Tour de Suisse here while the link to the Tweet from Human Powered Health about Rosskopf's abandon is here.
Following the guidance of our medical team and in line with UCI protocol, having returned a positive antigen test this morning, @joeyrosskopf did not take to the start of stage 5 at the #TourdeSuisse2022.#HumanPoweredHealth pic.twitter.com/Ah7SzDeZcCJune 16, 2022
100 kilometres to go
And the gap on our five breakaways is now at 5-50.
Just a brief round up of the number of DNS riders we have news of so far in this stage of the Tour de Suisse. Rosskopf was not officially confirmed but it's been announced by his team.
Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers), Yevgeniy Fedorov (Astana Qazaqstan), Gino Mader and Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Victorious); Otto Vergaerde (Trek-Segafredo); Michael Gogl (Alpecin-Fenix), Rohan Dennis, Robert Gesink, Pascal Eenkhorn, Sepp Kuss, Sam Oomen, Timo Roosen and Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma); Soren Kragh Andersen, Casper Pedersen, and Cees Bol (DSM), Joey Rosskopf (Human Powered Health).
That's 17 in total.
87 kilometres to go
And the gap on our five leaders, Johan Jacobs (Movistar), Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo), Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Claudio Imhof (Switzerland), is beginning to drop. Now down to 4:30.
Seems the current temperature is higher than race organisation estimates, by the way. According to at least one team temperatures are over 30 degrees again, much higher than the 25 degrees on the live race ticker and more in keeping too with previous days' scorchers.
And on the TdS live ticker, the current temperature has now been switched upwards to 31 degrees. Anyone would think they'd be reading this live blog.
Claudio Imhoff (Swiss Cycling) and Johan Jacobs (Movistar) are both dropped from the lead group.
That leaves us with Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo), Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix) and Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) out front
And now Turgis is getting dropped
68 kilometres to go
Turgis gets back on. So we have three riders out in front, Sylvain Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix) and Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo) with a gap of 4:05. Ineos Grenadiers drive the peloton, meanwhile, which is steadily losing units off the back.
The race is now on the final, lengthy, finishing circuit of which it'll complete three laps.
The race is at the foot of the Pedrinate, the third cat. climb it'll tackle three times on the finishing circuit. It's a 2.4 kilometre ascent with a stiff-ish gradient of around 8.2 percent.
65 kms to go
4:00 gap for the break, which is splitting up again as they scale the upper slopes of the Pedrinate for the first time. Kamp and Dillier lead.
It's worth noting that even though we're well over two thirds of the way through the stage, the riders still have more than half the day's ration of vertical climbing yet to come. 1,400 metres remaing of about 2,600 metres in total.
Yellow jersey Stephen Williams is struggling on the Pedrinate.
Gap from the break to the bunch is now 3:40
In the break which has now shrunk from five to two, Dillier led Kamp over the summit of the 3rd category Pedrinate.
55 kilometres to go
While former breakaway Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) sits up and waits for the bunch, Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo) and Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix) push on at the head of the race. But their advantage is ebbing away, and currently stands at 2:30.
The two race leaders cross the finish line at Novazzano for the first time. They've got two laps of 27 kilometres left to go, and a lead of 2:30.
50 kilometres to go
And the gap for our two remaining breakaways of the day, Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo) and Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix), has now risen a little to 3:05.
Race leader Stephen Williams (Bahrain-Victorious) grinds his way through the finish in a bunch of stragglers, his time at the top of the GC definitively over.
Official hot spot sprint classification from km 139: Dillier ahead of Kamp, while Andreas Kron (Lotto-Soudal), currently lying second overall, has snatched a second's time bonus with third.
With race leader Stephen Williams (Bahrain Victorious) currently 8 minutes back, if there were no further changes in the stage from this point onwards, Kron would currently lead overall by 2 seconds over Geraint Thomas (Inoes Grenadiers). Watch this space.
42 kilometres to go
And the time gap for the breakaways remains at 2:25. Roads on this finishing circuit, by the way, seem technical, including at least one very steep descent, but all well-surfaced.
40 kilometres to go
Riding on home soil, reigning Swiss National Champion Dillier is logically unwilling to throw in the towel without putting up a major fight and the former Paris-Roubaix runner-up and fellow breakaway Kamp are still leading by 2:00 as they reach 40 km to go
Time for the second ascent of three of the Pedrinate third cat. climb (2.4km at 8.2 percent).
Ineos Grenadiers lead in the main bunch, cheerfully shredding the advantage of the duo ahead to 1:35.
Kamp is dropped and Dillier presses on in the break
36.2 kilometres to go
Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix) heaves his way up the final sunbaked part of the Pedrinate to reach the summit alone and with an advantage of 1:24 on the bunch.
Kamp, meanwhile crosses the summit some 50 seconds back, and is then quickly sucked in by the peloton.
The solid chasing by Ineos Grenadiers in general and Dylan van Baarle in particular on the Pedrinate and then on a very twisty descent is paying off dividends as Dillier's advantage drops to 1-15.
30 kilometres to go
The climb has flattened out and after a spell of riding along a rather unappealing mish-mash of industrial estate roads, the gap stays the same: 1:15.
After 2,000 metres of vertical climbing, the bunch, it should be said, is a fraction of its full size and is down to 40 riders at most.
27 kilometres to go
Onto the final kilometre for a second last time, which is uphill but not too hard. It's mostly a gently rising series of urban highways with a broad 'A' road leading up to the finishing gantries.
Dillier's advantage as he went over the finishing line, by the way, was still around 1:15. But he's still got one more ascent of the Pedrinate to go and a leader's jersey is now up for grabs...
25 kilometres to go
Dillier ploughs on resolutely. 1-15 the gap. He's got about 10 km to the foot of the Pedrinate.
Lots of cheers for the man out front with the Swiss national colours on his back. If Dillier should win, by the way, it'd be his first since he took that title just under a year ago.
Evenepoel is struggling, according to race radio.
21 kilometres to go
Dillier's lead is shrivelling away. Just 40 seconds now on a series of draggy little climbs.
Evenepoel, plugging away at the head of a small delegation of QuickStep-AlphaVinyl riders, is around 15 seconds adrift of the main group.
20 kilometres to go
He's not going down without a fight. 25 seconds of freedom left for Dillier, while Evenepoel is back on.
Crash for Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) on a short but technical descent.
Covi is back up after his fall on a sweeping righthand bend, jiggling his handlebars to try and straighten them out.
17 kilometres to go
17 seconds between the stage leader Dillier and the main group.