Suisse’18 Stage 5: Diego Has His Day – Porte Leads!
PeloPics: UAE Team Emirates’ Diego Ulissi out-sprinted a reduced group at the finish of stage 5 getting the better of Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) and Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data) in second and third place. Stefen Küng lost the overall lead to his BMC teammate, Richie Porte, who has 20 seconds over the Sunweb pair of Wilco Kelderman and Sam Oomen.
Stage 5 was classed as a mountain stage, and the race organizers had made sure the riders knew it from the very first kilometer. The first 15km of the stage’s 156km parcours were made up of the first category Col du Pillon, putting the riders into the red instantly. There would be some respite with a fast downhill followed by 60km of relative flatness, but in a race like the Tour de Suisse, even the flat sections are full-on, and riders would also be well aware that further up the road, the race’s first Hors Catégorie climb was waiting for them – the Montana – 13km long and with a maximum gradient of 9%. As if that wasn’t enough, the final climb of the day would see riders taken on almost 20km of first category climbing into the finish in Leukerbad.
The peloton allowed the group to go three minutes down the road on the long flat stretch between the first two climbs, but at the foot of the penultimate climb Küng suffered an untimely puncture and was forced to time trial his way back to close the one-minute gap. Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport) attacked from the breakaway approaching the final 40km and at the summit of the hors categorie climb, Warbasse had a 2:10 advantage over the peloton, led by Greg Van Avermaet at the front of the BMC Racing Team train.
At the foot of the final climb to Leukerbad, Alessandro De Marchi led the chase and brought Warbasse to within 45 seconds and just a handful of riders remained in between Warbasse and the bunch including Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) who attacked and overtook Warbasse with 12km remaining.
Van Avermaet resumed his duties at the front of the reduced peloton and with 10km to go, Calmejane’s advantage was down to 24 seconds.
Landa attacked 6km before the finish line at which point Stefan Küng pulled off and Tejay van Garderen put in a big effort in the strong headwind, with Richie Porte in his wheel, to close in on Landa approaching the final few kilometers of racing. Van Garderen kept Landa, who started the day 33 seconds behind Porte, within reach and under the flamme rouge, Landa was just 15 seconds ahead of the select General Classification group.
Attacks from Porte’s group saw Landa caught just meters before the line which allowed Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) to take the stage win, while Porte crossed the line in eighth place to move into the race lead. Richie Porte has a 20-second advantage over Wilco Kelderman and Sam Oomen (Sunweb) with four stages remaining.
Tour de Suisse Stage 5 Result:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 3:37:31
2. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
3. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
6. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
8. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC
9. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb
10. Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal.
Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 5:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC in 17:03:53
2. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:20
3. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb
4. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 0:21
5. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:29
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:33
7. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:36
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:40
9. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:46
10. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 0:47.