Well-supported by his Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka teammates, Merhawi Kudus, showed great tenacity to finish in 17th place on the queen stage of Tour de Suisse. He now sits 15th overall before the last three stages of the race.
Like yesterday, the beginning of the stage took place in a furious pace. On paper, this looked to be a good day for a break to make it all the way and therefore, countless occurred before a group finally got away. The 10 riders at the front worked well together but the peloton never them get a gap of more than just a few minutes.
On the last climb, only one rider remained at the front; Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac). For a long time, it seemed like Woods would solo to victory but on the final part of the ascent, Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r) attacked from the select group of favorites and bridged across to Woods. The following descent towards the finishing line was very wet but Pozzovivo showed no sign of fear as pushed through the slippery corners. He opened up a small gap but even though the chasers came close, they didn’t managed to catch Pozzovivo who took both the stage win and the yellow leader’s jersey.
Kudus fought hard on the steep slopes to stay within contention and at the end, his effort was rewarded as he moved into Top15 overall. Tomorrow, another difficult mountain stage awaits the riders in Tour de Suisse. After a long flat part, the last 14 km of the stage kick up with a staggering average gradient of 9.5 %. Only the best climbers in the race will have a chance to fight for glory.