Cycling News

Adam Yates pads Tour de Suisse lead with mountain stage victory

Adam Yates pads Tour de Suisse lead with mountain stage victory

On Thursday’s second consecutive Tour de Suisse summit finish, yellow jersey Adam Yates bolstered his lead over teammate João Almeida by taking his second win of the season. Atop Carì Yates was the strongest, claiming the mountains classification lead, and once more Egan Bernal exhibited his return to form after a long road back from injury. Bernal is third with three stages to go.

The Course

A route with a Cat. 2 and Cat. 1 within the first 30 km of 148 km seemed tailor-made for a breakaway. That Cat. 1 was Carì, assailed from the shorter, steeper side. Carì would return 100 km later as the summit finish ascent, this time climbed from the 10.2-km, 8 percent side.

Adam Yates, who has the 2021 Volta a Catalunya, last season’s Tour de Romandie and a Tour de France podium on his palmares, took the race lead on Wednesday after coming second on the Gotthardpass.

Yates gleaming in yellow. Photo: Sirotti

Although six riders were loose on the Cat. 2 Ronco, only Alexey Lutsenko remained on the first passage of Carì. He crested and took over the KOM lead. It was a long, mostly flat way to Carì II. Only 26 riders remained in the peloton as it descended Carì on the same roads it would later ascend. Lutsenko returned to the fold. Just before the long valley floor, the peloton grew before the intrepid Lutsenko skipped away again with four other cats.

By Thursday’s midway point, the gap back to the now-normal-sized peloton was just under 2:00. UAE-Emirates managed the peloton. The fugitives were brought to heel by the foot of Carì II.

The peloton was shredded early on the final climb.

Ineos and UAE swapped the engine role before Almeida whipped up the pace. With 4 km to go Almeida, Yates, Bernal, Enric Mas and Israel-Premier Tech’s young American Matthew Riccitello remained. Almeida continued to drive.

Yates launched with 1.6 km to go. Bernal and Mas went with him.

Yates, Bernal and Mas on Cari.

First Bernal cracked and then Mas. Almeida found Bernal’s wheel, went by him and finished second.

Stage 6 was supposed to be 151 km long and contain HC-rated Nüfenenpass, but the queen stage was cut down to 42.5 km, still finishing on the Blatten climb, because Nüfenenpass is impassable due to large amounts of snow.

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