Tour de Suisse: Demare wins stage 8 in Bellinzona

Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) won the penultimate stage of the Tour de Suisse, coming from behind to outsprint Fernando Gaviria (Quick Step Floors) in Bellinzona. Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) claimed third place ahead of world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).

On a rare flat day at the Tour de Suisse, the break was caught in the final 10km, all was set for the final sprint showdown of the race. Quick-Step Floors, Groupama-FDJ and Bora-Hansgrohe all battled for prime position in the final 5km but it was the Belgian team who looked to have gotten a jump on their rivals in the final kilometre.

Gaviria and his leadout man Maximilano Richeze hit the front 500 metres out, with Démare, Kristoff and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) lined out behind. The Colombian launched first, hugging the barriers with 200 metres to go. Gaviria was locked in a head-to-head battle with Démare for the line, but the Frenchman had too much pure speed and won the day. Sagan was closing quickly in the final 100 metres, but could only manage 4th behind Kristoff.

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Ahead of Sunday’s final stage, a 34km time trial around Bellinzona, Richie Porte (BMC) remains in the overall lead. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) lies second at 17 seconds down, while Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) retains third place 52 seconds back, just one second ahead of Enric Mas (Quick Step Floors).

How it unfolded

After a day in the mountains, the Tour de Suisse headed south to the Italian borderlands and the town of Bellinzona for its final weekend. The 120km stage, made up of five and a half laps of a 21km circuit set in the Ticino River valley, would be the last chance for the sprinters to get a result.

With no hills on the route, the only attractions for the breakaway were three intermediate sprints in the town of Claro, coming after 66km, 87km, and 108km.

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