After yesterday’s climbing violence, the peloton in Switzerland was not spared today. From the start in Andermatt it went uphill, with the tough Gotthard pass that immediately hit the riders.
It inspired Julian Alaphilippe to choose the open sea early on his birthday, the world champion was allowed to blow out 29 candles. He went out with teammate Cattaneo and two companions, mBut as expected, the peloton did not grant Alaphilippe a safe-conduct.
After the passage over the Gotthard Pass, everything came together again in the valley. A little later, a modest group of no fewer than 39(!) riders sneaked away, the peloton now gave the green light.
On the Lukmanier Pass, the second giant of the day, David De La Cruz showed himself bravely up front. The Spaniard attacked early and gained a one-minute lead. Beyond that, the suit thinned out.
De La Cruz also made it through the descent well and seemed to be on his way to the stage victory, but the slow final climb – a glorified piece of false flat – turned out to be too much. The Austrian Hermann Pernsteiner sensed his chance and was accompanied by Rui Costa and the young Andreas Kron.
In the sprint of three, Costa seemed to finish it off skillfully, but he went for a walk with the emerging Kron. He made a lot of noise when he crossed the line in second. The jury later followed the Dane’s opinion: Costa was declassified.
Kron takes his second WorldTour victory of the season, after a stage in the Tour of Catalonia. Vansevenant, who also participated in the big flight, became best Belgian in 13th place. It was a quiet day for the classification men.
“It’s beautiful,” Kron said. “It is my second WorldTour victory this year. After Catalonia, I had a somewhat lesser period. I was unable to cycle for two weeks due to illness.”
“Yesterday I also had a very difficult day and I was disappointed that I lost my classification. But to hit back in this way is great.”
He sounded a bit reserved about the sprint afterwards. “Things like that are always open to discussion. The only thing I could determine was that we started the sprint on the right and finished on the left. I still have to review it myself, but the jury has decided and I am happy with the victory.”