Jasper Stuyven delivers a perfect leadout in a tricky sprint ending to stage three at the Tour de Suisse.
The Tour de Suisse third stage was for the fast men and everyone knew it was a fight for the final corner with 200 uphill meters to go. The battle heading into the last bend was fierce.
Jasper Stuyven and John Degenkolb were positioned perfectly in the final kilometer. Degenkolb had Stuyven’s wheel with the last corner looming. It was a textbook leadout as Stuyven rounded the final corner in the lead, but it was Peter Sagan (Bora hansgrohe) who was second after he out-battled Degenkolb for Stuyven’s wheel meters before the turn. Sagan easily powered up the climb to the victory, while Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step) passed Degenkolb in the last meters for second.
I had to fight with Sagan for my own teammate’s wheel and it was super crazy against him. I think it was a little bit over the limit.
Was it fair? Only those in the heat of the battle can really know. It is, after all, what sprinters do. For the tricky finale of stage three, the fight for positioning was elevated, as whoever was first around the final bend had an advantage.
“It was a good day in general, the team worked really well together. Not only the guys for the leadout but also the climbers helped for the preparation,” said Degenkolb. “It was looking really, really good until just before the last corner. I had to fight with Sagan for my own teammate’s wheel and it was super crazy against him. I think it was a little bit over the limit.”
“But anyway, I am happy to still come home in third place and super, super happy that we worked so well together,” Degenkolb continued, looking at the positives to take away from the race.
“We had the team to make a better finish than this. Yes, it’s not finished, but it was a big chance today, and it probably could have ended a little bit better, so it’s a little disappointing,” he added.
There will be chances for sprinters, who can also climb, in stages four and five.