Attacking at the start of the final climb to Leukerbad Austrian Felix Gall (AG2R Citroen Team) took more than a minute out of his rivals. Stage winner Gall, previous leader Skjelmose and the current Vuelta champion Evenepoel are within 16 seconds of each other in the overall classification. Swiss Gino Mäder tested his luck in a breakaway but it cost him dearly.
First Pro Victory and Leader Jersey
Austrian Felix Gall attacked brilliantly on the climb to Leukerbad to take the Tour de Suisse lead. “I am in the form of my life. I already felt yesterday my legs were good and told myself that I will try again if I felt equally good today,” Gall said in the winner’s interview. He took over a minute out of the previous leader Mattias Skjelmose, who had to relinquish the yellow jersey after one day but remains within striking distance, only 2 seconds down coming into the Queen Stage. For Gall it is clear that he “needs to ride strongly again tomorrow in order to be able to aim for a top placing in the overall classification”. The World Champion and current Vuelta winner Remco Evenepoel remains in good shape, taking second place in the stage, and lying only 16 seconds behind Gall in third place in GC.
Mäder in the Leading Pack
The first 80 kilometres were a flat run along the Lower Valais. A group of 10 riders formed the early breakaway, with Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder along for the climb to Crans Montana. A stage win was not in the cards for the breakaway however. The biggest gap was just over two minutes. At the foot of the final climb to Leukerbad yesterday’s stage runner-up Felix Gall (AG2R Citroen Team) attacked. The 25-year-old Austrian kept a one-minute buffer between himself and the seven-strong chasing group
Queen Stage from Upper Valais to La Punt
The Queen Stage, the most difficult stage of the Tour de Suisse in terms of topography (total altitude difference of 4346 metres), gets underway tomorrow, Thursday. Starting in Fiesch in the Upper Valais the riders cross the Furka, Oberalp and Albula passes on their way to La Punt. The former and the latter belong to the highest category of climbs. The Albula summit is only 10 kilometres from the finish in La Punt, so this pass will be a decisive one.