Audacious Gorka: brilliant attack in Switzerland
17 June 2016

Tour de Suisse (st. 6)

Basque allrounder gives it all for glory into wet descent of Klausenpass to ammass four-minute gap, gets help from Sütterlin; hellish Amden climb evaporates his gap after big effort. Ion Izagirre now 4th overall, Gorka in 9th

Trying to turn things upside down into a Tour de Suisse which wasn't going as well as the Jaimerena / Laguía-led squad would have liked to, Gorka Izagirre and the Movistar Team made a strong gamble to go for the race overall. And they were incredibly close to wear yellow at the end of the day. Gorka Izagirre, the hero from the 2014 Giro's amazing stage over the Stelvio, went on another move for the legend during stage six, which featured the HC-climb of Klausenpass followed by a Cat-1 finish atop Amden.

The move, under grim conditions in fog and rain, took all favourites by surprise and granted Gorka a four-minute advantage over the field, progressively approaching a big, early breakaway which included team-mate Jasha Sütterlin. After waiting to help Gorka out, the German left Izagirre at the foot of the final ascent with about two-and-a-half minutes over the main field, which soon started to take back the gap to him. It wasn't the rivals, but unfortunately the grueling final slopes, which devoured Gorka's chances and brought him back to the yellow jersey group – the attempts by brother Ion, with a great performance today, to keep them on a leash were futile.

Weening (ROP), part of the day's escape, took the stage win as Ion crossed the line 4'35" down, four seconds behind new race leader Wilco Kelderman (TLJ). The younger from the Ormaiztegi saga now sits fourth in the GC, at 34" from the Dutchman, as Gorka, who reached the finish half a minute later, remains 9th at 59" after a move which only deserves praise from cycling fans.

Another hard day, probably the Queen stage of the Tour de Suisse, is scheduled for tomorrow with the finish on top of the Rettenbachferner in Sölden (HC; 2,669m above sea level), following a marathon route (224km) into the Ötztal valley in Austria. The ever-dependable Izagirre brothers will be back for some more fighting.