Sutherland into early break; Sütterlin close to top GC guys in the hills, still 9th overall; Erviti also in good pace at ‘mini-Liège’ – a trio of great performers for Movistar Team in BinckBank Tour’s penultimate stage
Three of the Movistar Team’s best rouleurs -Rory Sutherland, Jasha Sütterlin and Imanol Erviti- fought to leep the green ‘M’ into a good place on stage six of the BinckBank Tour, a 203km hilly route from Riemst to Houffalize covered under intense rain in the land of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Sutherland made part of a powerful, six-man break -including Tony Martin (KAT), Gougeard (ALM) or Weening (RNL)- which was caught with just 30km to go, at the demanding slopes of the Côte de Saint-Roche (1km at over 10% gradient), where the GC group got reduced to 20 riders, including Sütterlin and Erviti.
Despite Jasha’s impressive efforts to follow the top guns at the Bois des Moines, the last main climb of the day, the German was forced to pursue them in company of his Spanish team-mate and no less than Peter Sagan (BOH), who dropped back due to a puncture. Sütterlin and Erviti ended up in 19th and 20th in the stage, 1’42” behind winner Tim Wellens (LTS), as the German now sits in 9th place overall, 2’13” in arrears of new race leader Tom Dumoulin (SUN) -Erviti is 17th, 3'04" down-.
The BinckBank Tour will get decided on Sunday with a final circuit around some of the most famous hills in the Tour of Flanders: 191km with the Kapelmuur, the Bosberg and a finish at the Vesten cobbled slope, the start of the ‘Muur’, in Geraardsbergen.