Tour de Suisse Stage 3: Boonen, Terpstra Make Escape Group, Velits Top Finisher
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Tom Boonen and Niki Terpstra were able to make an 18 rider breakaway at Tour de Suisse Stage 3 on Monday. The lead group was reduced to about 9 riders heading into a section of back-to-back climbs that included Category 4 and Category 1 ascent before reaching the last summit at km 183.9 of 200km.
However, Boonen and Terpstra were unable to maintain contact somewhere between those two climbs, with about 30km to go in the stage. That breakaway was further reduced to four riders, but it was caught with 24km to go as the race began to animate heading into the descent.
On the descent, Roman Kreuziger (Saxo-Tinkoff), Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling), Rui Costa (Movistar) and Mathias Frank (BMC Racing Team) went ahead of a select group, while race leader Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE) was dropped.
Those riders went on to decide the stage. Costa and Sagan had a small gap at 500m, and Sagan went on to win the stage. Costa was 2nd, and Kreuziger 3rd. Frank took over the race lead.
Peter Velits was the top OPQS finisher, in 24th place.
OPQS looks next to a 174.4km Stage 4 on Tuesday. The stage favors a sprint finish, but a Category 2 climb at km 120.5, and a Category 4 climb at km 135.8 leave the possibility for some excitement that could prevent such a finale.