Tour of Switzerland: Evenepoel still concedes time on the 6th stage, Nico Denz winner at Moosalp

The 6th stage of the Tour de Suisse, contested Friday between Locarno and Moosalp over 178 kilometers, was marked by the withdrawal of 30 riders due to positive tests for Covid-19. After the withdrawal of the Jumbo-Visma team on Thursday, it was the Russian leader in the general classification, Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe), who had to leave the race at the same time as three teams (Alpecin-Fenix, UAE Team Emirates and Barhain Victorious). 93 riders took the start of the stage which knew a new wearer of the leader’s jersey, Jakob Fuglsang.

The 6th stage of the Tour de Suisse marked the entry of the peloton into two days in the high mountains. Eleven riders took to the front of the race in the first hour: Fausto Masnada (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl), Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), José Herrada (Cofidis), Clément Champoussin ( AG2R-Citroën), Rolland Thalmann (Swiss national team), Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Brent Van Moer (Lotto-Soudal), Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), Nico Denz (DSM) and Michael Matthews (BikeExchange- Jayco).

The advantage of the leading group remained around six minutes for a long time. With 25 kilometers to go, the 11 men were still 5:50 ahead of the peloton, as the foot of the ascent of the Moosalp pass in the Pennine Alps in Switzerland approached.

Denz, Simmons and Masnada took a few steps ahead in the first foothills of the Moosalp, while the rest of the group gradually withered away. Masnada, followed by Denz, placed an acceleration at 11 kilometers, putting Simmons in difficulty, while Champoussin and Herrada tried to make the connection and the peloton, led by the riders of Ineos-Grenadiers, remained at 5:50. The team-mates of leader Jakob Fuglsang (Israel Premier Tech) revived the pace of the yellow jersey group reduced to around twenty riders 8.5 kilometers from the finish, after an attack by Kazakh Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) had taken a few dozen meters ahead. So many maneuvers that failed to reduce the advantage of the leading duo.

Champoussin and Herrada came back to the leading duo 4 kilometers from the finish. Masnada restarted the pace in the lead 3 kilometers from the goal, without effect. Quinn Simmons, back to the 700 meters, launched the sprint which finally saw the German Nico Denz emerge, who signed his first success in the World Tour, narrowly ahead of the Frenchman Clément Champoussin and the Spaniard José Herrada. On the Belgian side, Remco Evenepoel finished 3:06 from the winner. The Dane Jakob Fuglsang kept his leader’s jersey with a second advantage over the Briton Geraint Thomas. Evenepoel is 15th at 3:08 from the leader.

The 7th stage of the Tour de Suisse will be contested on Saturday over 194.6 kilometers between Ambri and the village of Liechtenstein Malbun at the top of which (1,600 m) will be judged the finish.

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