Sagan celebrates second triumph, 15. June 2013

Slovak rider wins sprint finish in Bad Ragaz – Frank tackles last stage in yellow jersey.

The 180.5 kilometre of the 8th stage of the Tour de Suisse from Zernez to Bad Ragaz was another perfect stage for the fast Slovak rider, Peter Sagan, in more ways than one: his Cannondale team had set everything up perfectly for a great performance from the 23-year-old, who won in the sprint finish ahead of Daniele Bennati (Saxo-Tinkoff) and world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team). Best Swiss Rider was Michael Albasini (Orica GreenEDGE) who came in fourth. Sagan celebrated his second stage win in this year’s Tour de Suisse, having been first across the finishing line in Meiringen in the third stage. “I’m delighted with the success I’ve had in this stage, and I have my team to thank for their impeccable work. Moreno Moser and Damiano Caruso really pulled out all the stops for me on the final climb. We’ve shown that we’re ready for the Tour de France,” he declared, determined to defend his 2012 points jersey in next month’s event. He leads the points classification and was given a jubilant reception by his fan club who had made the trip to Bad Ragaz specially.

Quartet contest the day’s group action
Right at the start of the stage, an escape group of Robert Vrecer (Euskaltel), Manuele Mori (Lampre), Maxime Bouet (AG2R), Thurgau’s own Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) broke away. They built up a lead of about five minutes ahead of the field which shrank to 1:48 minutes when they passed the finishing line in Bad Ragaz for the first time with a 40.1 kilometre additional lap through Sargans and Liechtenstein still to complete. 35 kilometres before the finish, the field began to chase, and it was mainly Peter Sagan’s team who kept up a cracking pace. At 27 kilometres before the end of the stage, IAM rider Hollenstein tried an attack but was swallowed by the field after another nine kilometres – but the local lad had led from the front for 162 kilometres.Going into the final stage, the mountain time trial, Vrecer wears both the mountains jersey and the sprint jersey. 

Frank retains the yellow jersey
There was no change in the overall classification. Mathias Frank of BMC Racing Team leads Rui Costa (Movistar) by 13 seconds and is 23 seconds ahead of Roman Kreuziger (Saxo-Tinkoff).