Unscathed before big mountains

14 June 2016
Imagen de la noticia ‛Unscathed before big mountains’

Tour de Suisse (st. 4)

Gorka Izagirre takes care of Ion into late splits at bunch kick on stage four; both Basques from Movistar Team remain fully in contention before Carì's hilltop finish on Wednesday. Richeze leads Etixx's one-two

Stage four of the Tour de Suisse -193km between Rheinfelden and Champagne- ended up on the hands of Etixx-QuickStep as their duo Richeze-Gaviria took the day's leading two places into the sprint against GC leader Peter Sagan (TNK). A dangerous corner right with 150m to go meant Gorka Izagirre had to use full energy until the very finish line, so as to avoid a split between Rui Costa (LAM) and him meaning a brief loss for both him and team-mate Ion into the GC, just before the big mountains start on Wednesday with two demanding climbs -Furkapass (HC), Gothard (Cat-1) and the HC Carì at the finish.

It took 20km before a slippery, four-man break including Brammeier (DDD), Maison (FDJ), Jaun (ROT) and Van der Lijke (ROP) held a significant gap. Peter Sagan's Tinkoff squad kept the peloton well organized and always under four minutes' gap behind the leading group, and the 100+ kilometers between the cols of Breithöhe (Cat-2; 8km at 4.4% average) and Orges (Cat-3), combined with good weather finally joining the race -an extra release of difficulty for the Jaimerena/Laguía-directed squad, which faced headwinds all day long-, all guaranteed a group sprint that leaves Ion and Gorka in fifth and seventh overall before the hellish second half of the Helvetic stagerace.