Two CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders – Victor de la Parte and Jan Hirt – finished the “queen stage” of Tour de Suisse in the top 10.
Stage 7 was the longest stage of this year’s Tour de Suisse and was 224km long. There were two HC ascents ahead of the riders – Hochtannbergpass at 85,5km mark and at the top of arguably hardest climb of this stage event, in the Austrian ski resort in Solden. This was also where the finish was located.
Long distance and hard terrain didn’t terrify two attackers – Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling) and Iljo Keisse (Etixx Quick Step). They established around 13-minute gap, but they were never a big threat for the bunch. For some time also Antwan Tolhoek (Roompot – Oranje Peloton) was part of the leading group. He joined the duo after a solo chase, but that effort exhausted him and he got dropped.
Brändle and Keisse kicked off the final climb with 8-minute lead, but on the ascent it was being quickly reduced. Keisse got caught with 7km to go and Brändle stayed up front 2 kilometers longer. The strong pace in the GC group sparked the natural selection, whittling down the main pack to just 10 riders. Among them there were two CCC Sprandi Polkowice representatives – Jan Hirt and highest ranked “rider in orange” in GC, Victor de la Parte. The former put on a spectacular performance in Solden also last year, when he finished 7th.
Teyay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) launched a winning attack with 4km to go and soloed to the summit. He claimed the win, reaching the line 16 seconds ahead of Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin).
Both, De la Parte and Hirt managed to claim top 10 places, taking 9th and 10th respectively, crossing the line with the same time, 59 seconds back. The Spaniard moved up one spot in the overall standings to 13th and is 5:32 behind the new leader, Barguil.