With his second stage win of the week, Peter Sagan increased his tally of Tour de Suisse victories to a remarkable 15 on Saturday in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Bora-Hansgrohe’s world champion handily won the sprint ahead of Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates) at the end of a short, 100km circuit race. Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) was third.
Simon Spilak (Katusha-Alpecin), winner of Friday’s stage 7, kept his overall lead.
Stage 8, top 10
- 1. Peter SAGAN, BORA – HANSGROHE, in 2:12:52
- 2. Sacha MODOLO, UAE ABU DHABI, at :00
- 3. Matteo TRENTIN, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :00
- 4. Magnus Cort NIELSEN, ORICA – SCOTT, at :00
- 5. NICCOLO’ BONIFAZIO, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :00
- 6. Michael MATTHEWS, TEAM SUNWEB, at :00
- 7. John DEGENKOLB, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :00
- 8. Oscar GATTO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
- 9. KEVIN REZA, FDJ, at :00
- 10. Salvatore PUCCIO, TEAM SKY, at :00
A breakaway of four animated the short circuit race. Each lap featured the Herblingen climb. Of the escapees, Lasse Norman Hansen had the most to gain. With a strong performance throughout the day, the Dane secured his lead in the mountains classification. Along with American Larry Warbasse’s stage 4 win, the Aqua Blue Sport Pro Continental team had an exceptional showing in this race.
However, Norman Hansen’s breakaway was destined to be caught. On the final trip up the circuit’s climb, Quick-Step’s Gianluca Brambilla broke clear of the peloton. He didn’t succeed in bridging to the lead group, but provoked a furious chase.
Once the break was caught, Sunweb’s Michael Matthews tried his luck with an attack at about seven kilometers to go. The acceleration stretched the bunch but didn’t create significant gaps.
Into the final kilometer, Quick-Step took charge with Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert at the front of the lead-out for Trentin.
As the Italian Trentin was about to jump out of his final lead-out man’s slipstream, Modolo scooted up the righthand barriers. Sagan was quick to react, flying off Modolo’s wheel to the left side and momentarily boxing Trentin in. This was all the Slovak champion needed to secure the stage win, emphatically confirming his title as leader in the points classification.
Spilak will face one final challenge on Sunday in his bid to win a second overall title at Tour de Suisse. Stage 9 will be a 28.6km individual time trial in Schaffhausen.
The Slovenian is no stranger to final-stage TTs. In 2015, he won the race overall with a brilliant performance in the stage 9 time trial around Bern. Among the top-five riders overall, BMC’s Damiano Caruso could present a challenge, 52 seconds behind in second. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) is third overall and a fine time trialist. However, the Dutchman is 1:05 behind, perhaps too great a gap to overcome.
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