PeloPics: Sunweb’s Søren Kragh Andersen took the Queen Stage 6 victory from the ‘break of the day, 10 seconds ahead of Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin). Richie Porte (BMC) attacked the chase peloton to extended his overall lead to 32 seconds over Wilco Kelderman and Sam Oomen (both Sunweb).
The 186km stage featured two Hors Catégorie climbs and they were certainly worthy of their classification. The first, the famous Furkapass, summited 40km into the stage after more than 16km of climbing and the maximum gradient hitting almost 12%. Riders would then take on the challenging, winding roads of the other side of the Furkapass, towards the second HC climb of the day, the Klausenpass, which would go on for 23.7km, with an average gradient of 6.1%. The remaining 60km of the day were either downhill or flat, but racing on technical Swiss roads, these would tax even the most skilled bike handlers, and anyone looking to go for the stage win would have even more work to do. A relatively small third category climb shortly before the finale could be where the fireworks would happen – if the breakaway hadn’t already spoiled things for the GC favorites.
Even with the bright sunshine and warm weather at the start line, one might expect the break to take a while to form with the Furkapass looming large on the horizon. As the Queen Stage though, this was the day to make an impact, and a large group of eighteen riders formed early on. The escapees built an advantage of 3:30. With the breakaway then splitting on the flatter road section, six men were left on the front, with the remaining four behind them being swept up by the bunch. In spite of the efforts of the peloton, the catch wasn’t made.
Andersen, Haas, Izagirre, Gautier, Gogl, and Monfort had 3 minutes with 20 kilometers to go. After an attack from Gogl, Andersen jumped up to him and passed him as they came to the 1K to go. The Dane held on to the finish for a 10 second win over Haas.
Behind; Porte attacked the peloton to take 10 seconds on the Sunweb pair of Wilco Kelderman and Sam Oomen and the rest of the GC men.
Tour de Suisse Stage 6 Result:
1. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb in 4:59:53
2. Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:10
3. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:24
4. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:25
5. Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:27
7. Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo at 0:29
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:39
9. Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
10. Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale.
Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 6:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC in 22:04:13
2. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:32
3. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb
4. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 0:33
5. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:41
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:45
7. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:48
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:52
9. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:58
10. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 0:59.