Suisse (st. 6) / Route du Sud (st. 1)
Rui Costa still in 3rd overall in Suisse after winning break stays away in Meilen; Rast (RLT) wins. Ventoso 4th in Route du Sud GC after eventful opener
A four-man strong breakaway -including Kolobnev (KAT), Grabsch (OPQ), Hayman (SKY) and eventual stage winner Rast (RLT)- was the main feat on day six of the Tour de Suisse, over 188km between Leuggern and Meilen. The escape, jumping away after ten kilometers, found green light from a bunch not worried by their GC aspirations -Matthias Frank (BMC) still leads- and with their minds on the two stages destined to define the overall result.
The slopes of the Albulapass (HC; 17km, 6.5% average, 11% maximum) and the fast downhill into La Punt (206km in total from Meilen) will decide, as well as Sunday’s mixed TT up the Flumserberg, the chances by Rui Costa, who continues in 3rd place overall -35″ off the leadership- and still hopes to repeat last year’s success.
Blues active at first day in France
In turn, Yannick Martinez (LPM) took the day’s honours on stage one of the 2013 Route du Sud, held over 209 kilometers from from Castres to Mirande with several small climbs in the last third of the race and strong drizzle that made the riders suffer harder. Movistar Team played their role as one of the favourites for the win by pushing at front of the bunch, most notably with Argiro Ospina, who keeps learning in his first days of European racing.
An attack by Ángel Madrazo at the Côte de Loubersan (10k from the finish), shortly neutralized, showed the will of protagonism from José Luis Arrieta’s squad, which earned three bonus seconds at the last intermediate sprint with Fran Ventoso, who struggled at a technical finish -with the last turn just 200m from the end- and couldn’t get better than 13th, still jumping into 5th overall after the rush prior to the finale. Friday’s stage, the second one on French soil, will offer a similar story on paper, with 183km in a loop around Villecomtal-sur-Arros.