Aleksandr Vlasov is the happy victor of the 5th Stage. The stage took the riders through Ticino in sweltering heat. Remco Evenepoel, a firm favourite, lost a lot of time. Both Stefan Küng and Sébastien Reichenbach performed strongly and finished in the top ten.
It seemed as if he had started the sprint of the five-man group too early. But Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) held his head and his lead, claiming his victory in style. “I like Switzerland. I race well here,” the stage winner, who won the Tour de Romandie in Spring, said joyfully. “My legs were good today. And I also coped well with the heat, although it was as hot as an oven.” But his fiercest rivals for the overall competition remain within striking distance. Geraint Thomas (Ineos), Jakob Fuglsang (Israel Premier) and Andreas Kron (Lotto-Soudal) trail by only a few seconds. The Swiss performed strongly. Stefan Küng (7th) and Sébastian Reichenbach (9th) boasted top ten finishes. Marc Hirschi (UAE) was unable to take best advantage of his team’s hard work and finished in 21st place. Previous leader Stephen Williams (Bahrain Victorious) lost more than 27 minutes and subsequently the gold jersey, finishing 99th. Gino Mäder, the Swiss hope in the General Classification, did not start due to a gastrointestinal complaint.
Elimination race around Novazzano
It took about 10 kilometres for the day’s breakaway group to escape the peloton. Included were two Swiss cyclists, Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix) and Claudio Imhof (Swiss Cycling). The group quickly built up a lead of over seven minutes but fell apart on the demanding circuit race around Novazzano. Silvan Dillier was the last man standing but was caught with 15 kilometres to go. The tremendous pace of the peloton also claimed victims like Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step). In the end, a leading group of five fought for the win, with Aleksandr Vlasov coming out on top.
Preview of the next Stage
After some preliminary hilly sections the first real mountain stage is on the agenda for tomorrow. The riders start in Locarno, ride up the Leventina and cross the highest Alpine pass in Switzerland, the Nufenen Pass. After the descent through Goms, the General Classification contenders will need to show what they’ve got. The first mountain finish on the Moosalp, an 18 kilometre long and 8% steep climb, rounds off the stage.