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Adam Yates wins on Tour de Suisse’s first summit finish, springs into lead

Adam Yates wins on Tour de Suisse's first summit finish, springs into lead

The breakaway might have carried off the victory, but runner-up Adam Yates benefitted most from Wednesday’s fourth stage of the 2024 Tour de Suisse, a day that marked the midpoint of the 87th edition. Norwegian Torstein Træen took the day’s flowers, and Yates grabbed the yellow jersey, leading Dane Matthias Skelmose by 27 seconds at the top of the GC.

The Opening Stages

On the day that Derek Gee was wrapping up third place in France, Yves Lampaert took the opening prologue, his yellow leader’s jersey still secure after Stage 2 when Cofidis fastman Bryan Coquard won the sprint in Regensdorf. Stage 3 saw Lidl-Trek’s Thibau Nys continue to flex his road legs with his sixth victory of the season and Alberto Bettiol of EF Education-Easypost take over the race lead.

Bettiol receives congratulations from the race mascot, Tourli. Photo: Sirotti

The Course

The first summit finish of the Tour de Suisse came at the end of a mostly flat day and warm-up Cat. 2 Schöllenen. The Gotthardpass is 9 km, averaging 6.79 percent grade and containing 2.5 km of cobbles. It actually peaked 850 metres from the finish line.

Coquard was among the eight breakaway riders who pluckily attacked Wednesday’s 110 flat kilometers between the climbs. Michael Matthews was +1:27 of Bettiol and soon the race leader on the road. After having already changed his bike, Bettiol crashed just before the 100-kilometer mark, shredding his shorts. With 60 km to go, Matthews and company were nearly 7:00 up the road.

When the tarmac tilted up the escape started to fragment. Bahrain-Victorious’ Træen and Tudor’s Roland Thalmann dropped the others and lit out for glory. Once Gotthardpass began Træen dumped Thalmann. A few digs in the peloton saw Bettiol fall off the back. Yates attack over top of an Ineos Grenadier, a strong move that drew a later counterattack from Mattias Skelmose and Yates’ teammate João Almeida, who ended up third and fourth respectively.

Yates on the attack.

Yates finished 23 seconds behind Træen and 25 seconds clear of Skelmose and Almeida. Egan Bernal continued to impress with fifth, and he sits at fourth on GC.

The Cat. 1 Carì climb will be assailed twice on Thursday from different sides, the second acting as another…

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