Tour de Suisse Stage 6: Trentin Wins Long Sprint After Selfless Martin Leads out in Yellow
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tony Martin once again kept himself in great position near the front in the yellow jersey — this time, at 183.5km Tour de Suisse Stage 6 on Thursday.
Despite attack after attack going into the final kilometers, including Peter Sagan (Cannondale) on the descent of the final categorized climb, Martin kept himself in position to chase down actions, and still save enough energy to lead out teammate Matteo Trentin. The German rider's leadout for Trentin was so strong going into the final kilometer that a six rider group had a gap on the field. While the rest of the peloton caught back on in time for the sprint, Trentin was still first wheel in the group and he launched from long distance. He held off the competition to the finish line.
Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo) was 2nd by about half a wheel. Francesco Gavazzi (Astana) was 3rd.
Trentin's win was his first individual victory of 2014. It was also the 41st overall win (39th road) for OPQS in 2014.
Martin kept yellow due to his efforts, and he will defend his leadership at the stage the 24.7km ITT. The three-time UCI World TT Champion has been focused on the time trials of Tour de Suisse, and will do his best on the undulating parcours.
"Of course I am super happy about this victory," Trentin said. "It's funny that I almost lost the possibility to be there in the final, at about 35 kilometers to go. There was road work on the road and I was a little bit in the rear of the peloton. The road went from double lane to single lane when the first part of the peloton passed that area. I was stuck in the back and had to put my feet down when the pace came to a stop. So, I had to chase the group ahead after that situation. When I reached them again at the bottom of the second to last climb I was always trying to recover. Then on the final climb I was in front of the group again and I helped Tony. I was always with him on the downhill. But at 4 kilometers to go Tony looked at me and said 'OK, we do the sprint.' It was a question of 1 second time difference, so we knew the yellow jersey was safe at that point and we went. Tony did an unbelievable job. He split the peloton into two groups in the last kilometers, in the middle of village. When he does a pull like that it is unbelievable the engine he has. He left me at 200 meters to go. The finish was slightly uphill. I accelerated and was able to do a good sprint. I like this kind of sprint. But of course I want to share this victory with the team and Tony who did a selfless, great job. I'm also happy because of all the work I did after AMGEN Tour of California at Lake Tahoe. I spent some weeks there at an altitude training camp. It was a great experience and there and I trained well. Now the work is paying off. So, I am happy about it. I also want to thank again this unbelievable team. It's a pleasure to ride with a team like this, where everyone works for each other. Yesterday we pulled for Tony, today he pulled for me. That's exactly the team spirit that we have. It's really a pleasure to ride for this team and wear this jersey."
Niki Terpstra did not take the start due to bronchitis that affected him since the beginning of the week.
"Going on with racing was not useful for me or the team," Terpstra said. "I'm sorry I can’t help my OPQS teammates to defend our GC position. But with some races coming up in the following weeks, starting with the Dutch National TT Championship next Wednesday, it’s important to take my rest and hopefully I will recover as soon as possible."