Back in yellow! Skjlemose retakes overall lead in Switzerland.
Mattias Skjelmose moved back to the top of the General Classification after a thrilling queen stage at the Tour de Suisse.
The young Dane fought hard as the battle of the General Classification lit up the slopes of the final climb, the top of which came with 10 kilometers to go on the 211-kilometer long stage to Punt.
The day could have swung in favor of the day’s breakaway, which included Quinn Simmons for Trek-Segafredo, but ultimately those chasing the final podium on Sunday were the ones who took the spoils.
Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) made his move in the final kilometers of the Albulapass and passed the remaining riders from the early breakaway before going on to take enough time to hold off the chasers behind to take the win.
Skjelmose once again showed he knows how to ride smart not just hard and stayed calm while race leader at the start of the day, Felix Gall (AG2R Citroën Team), opened up a small advantage but, the 22-year-old’s tactics paid off and his group, the third on the road at the tine, eventually caught up with the yellow jersey group on the fast descent down to the finish.
A powerful sprint to the line from the Trek-Segafredo rider saw him net second place on the stage as well as six bonus seconds. Glass eventually finished four seconds behind Skjelmose with Remco Evenpoel (Soudal – Quick-Step) another twenty seconds or so behind.
There’s still a lot to play for on the General Classification with three stages including the final time trial to go but something tells us Skjelmose will continue to go all-in with the support of his teammates until the finish line on Sunday.
Here's what Skjelmose said at the finish:
It wasn’t what we planned but the result was the same as we planned, so a quite good day in then. I was planning to attack with 3km to go and maybe not drop Felix but at least gain some seconds on Remco. In the end I didn’t attack, I was in defend mode. I didn’t lose any time to Felix, only Juan [Ayuso] gained some time on us, and I took some time on Remco, so today is a big success.
I still don’t think it’s enough [time] but I will do my best and see what we can do. I’m feeling really good, I’ve been working a lot on my TT, I’ve been in the wind tunnel. I would say with Juan’s big performance today I’m starting to get more and more scared of him for the TT, but I hope I can beat him. I beat him in the first one and I hope we can have the same result on the last one.
I actually felt really good. When they went I wouldn’t say I had a bad moment but I was a bit afraid to go deep because I knew we went so high [altitude] that if you go deep then you pay double. I went controlled, spoke with Remco and we did our own pace, just us two, and at some point we got some help from Quinn and also Neilson and I knew I had one good effort in the end, but I started 200m late otherwise I think I would have caught them already on the top, but that’s how it was. I’m happy to get the jersey back, the only bad thing about having the leader’s jersey is to ride it on the TT but that’s something you have to take with it. I’m happy to have it and hopefully it will not mean too much.