Vuelta a Suiza (st. 5)
Gorka & Ion close to GC contenders into Carì climb -first mountain stage in Tour de Suisse-, remain 7th and 8th overall at half a minute from new race leader Latour (ALM) with four days to go. Winner Anacona -shortlisted for the Tour, as his Basque team-mates- livens up final climbs
Aged just 22, and exactly twelve months after battling against the likes of Nairo Quintana or Alberto Contador in the 2015 Route du Sud, Frenchman Pierre Latour (ALM) donned today the yellow jersey of the Tour de Suisse after reaching the finish of Carì (HC climb) in 3rd place. Stage five, a short (126km), yet tremendously demanding -with the ascents towards the Furkapass (HC) and the Gotthard (Cat-1)- and extra difficult due to rain at some points of the course, saw the Movistar Team directed by Jaimerena and Laguía doing more aggressively and combinedly better than ever so far in this race.
Winner Anacona had a prominent role into the 24-man breakaway that led the whole race, with fellow countryman Darwin Atapuma (BMC) conserving a slender gap against the GC favourites across the finishing line. Anacona created the final selection -five riders, with Dupont, Berhane and Wellens- into the Gotthardpass and later on went on the attack several times into Carì, till he started suffering from halfway through the ascent.
Behind, struggling as their form still builds up -and well supported by an excellent Jorge Arcas, who got through the two opening climbs and helped them out into a group of barely thirty riders-, Gorka and Ion Izagirre were close to make the GC group after lots of attacking in the finale. However, the last kick uphill cost the Basque duo a handful of seconds on the main field -Gorka was 13th, Ion finished 15th- and took them into seventh and eighth overall, half a minute behind Latour.
The Tour de Suisse will offer some new, big mountains on Thursday, with a longer (161km) route yet with only two climbs at lesser altitude: the long Klausenpass (HC; summit at 61km from the end) and the Category-1 Amden ascent, prelude to the astonishing Rettenbachferner on Friday.