The World Champion, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) won the 3rd stage of the Tour de Suisse as he sprinted to victory on the wet roads of Rheinfeldin ahead of Michael Albasini (Orica-Greenedge) and Silvain Dillier (BMC Racing).
The day began under dark skies but initially the rain stayed clear of the of peloton as they made their way on the 192km journey from Grosswangen. 8 riders formed the break of the day and with Dillier part of the move, at 13″ seconds down on the overall lead, Lotto-Soudal ensured the gap didn’t grow too quickly.
The maximum advantage the leaders had was just over 5 minutes but then Tinkoff came to the assistance of Lotto-Soudal in order to bring the race together again. As the race approached Rheinfield, where 2 laps of a 27km circuit needed to be completed, the rain started to fall just as the pace started to rise. It was a difficult circuit with 2 short sharp climbs over slick and wet roads. Greenedge were very active on the final 2 laps, attacking on the penultimate lap with Amets Txurruka although his move was soon nullified by the chasing peloton.
During the final lap though, when the gap was down to just 40″, Albasini jumped across the gap. Once the Swiss rider had caught his breath, he went again and only Dillier could follow him. The peloton had been under major stress chasing the charging break away riders and as a result, only around 30 riders made up the main group which would start the final climb together. Sagan used this last kicker as his launch pad to ride across to the duo ahead, and then the 3 worked together for the final 10km.
In the end, Sagan was able to win the sprint from of Albasini and Dillier and his heroics on the stage also saw him pull on the race leaders yellow jersey, thanks to 10 second time bonus and 3 seconds gap back to the 25 rider main group. For Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, it was not going to be our Africa Team’s day. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg came home with the 2nd group on the road, after being distanced by the main group during the final climb.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
The conditions made a hard circuit even harder once again today. I just got dropped over the top of the last climb but it looked like my group had a chance to come back, which contained strong guys like Cancellara and Durbridge. Unfortunately it was not to be. I look forward to the last sprint opportunity tomorrow.