Simone Ponzi sprinted to 17th place on the stage of Tour de Suisse to Cevio.
Info: Stage 5, June 14th, Bex- Cevio, 222km
Course: hilly with flat finale (Simplon Pass – 20km, avg. 6,6%, cat. HC; Druogno – 6km, 5,6%, cat. 3)
How it unfolded
Stage 5 featured exceptionally fast start, as after first two hours of racing the average speed was 48km/h. It’s not hard to imagine that forming a breakaway at such pace is nearly impossible and it took over 70km to establish the move of the day. Aman Kamyshev (Astana), Benjamin King (Dimension Data), Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal), Sam Bewley (ORICA-Scott), Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Aqua Blue Sports) and Jesper Asselman (Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij) were part of it.
The gap on HC category Simplon Pass was hovering around 5 minutes, but after descents and another climb, Druogno, the leaders’ advantage was down to 2 minutes, with 40km to go. At that point there was no Kamyshev in the front, as he was first escapee to get dropped.
Inside 30km it’s started to rain and at the time the peloton was tackling short descent. It was long enough though to break the field. Simone Ponzi was able to fight his way into the first group, while Jan Hirt and other “riders in orange” didn’t want to take too much risk and fell behind.
The escapees were getting caught one by one and in the end Asselman and King were the last ones to get reeled in with 6km to go. Sprinters’ teams had already their engines warmed up. Bora-Hansgrohe set the most efficient train, as their Peter Sagan took a convincing win. He outsprinted Michael Albasini (ORICA-Scott) and Matteo Trentin (Quick Step Floors). Ponzi finished in 17th place.