Tour de Suisse Stage 8: Martin Amazes Yet Again on Crucial Mountain Stage, Extends GC Lead
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tony Martin once again held on to the yellow jersey at Tour de Suisse. This time, it was at 219.1km Stage 8 of Tour de Suisse with back-to-back ascents of 3rd Category and HC in the final kilometers.
Attacks began flying out of the peloton on those climbs as the breakaway of eight riders was eventually reeled in as riders dropped kilometer-by-kilometer inside 30km to go, and the gap at 4 minutes and 41 seconds.
After Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) reeled in some attacks out of the peloton, he himself attacked and Johan Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) went with him. Eventually, it was Davide Formolo (Cannondale) with Chaves at about 2.3km to go in the race. Meanwhile, Martin showed amazing fortitude, sitting on the wheel of UCI World Road Champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) in the yellow jersey as they approached the Verbier finish at the front of the peloton.
Chaves went on to went solo, holding off Kreuziger and Bauke Mollema (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) who passed Formolo with 1.6km to go.
Martin actually extended his GC leadership to 51" on Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano), and maintained a 1'05" advantage over Costa in 3rd.
OPQS looks next to a 156.5km Stage 9 on Sunday, with back-to-back climbs of 1st and HC category. The final climb (Saas-Fee) will surely feature fireworks with the GC contenders.
"It was a hard, fast stage," Martin said. "The final climb to Verbier didn't surprise me. I did it already in 2009 at the Tour de France. So, I understood how it was already. I knew that it was steep, but that I could handle it. I was aware of the guys I had to stay with. I tried to stay with them as best I could, and stay in control as much as I could. I think I handled it well. The condition and morale is good and I go into the last stage with a will to try and do my best."