Tour de Suisse - Andreas Leknessund la 2e étape, Williams reste en jaune

Tour of Switzerland – Andreas Leknessund the 2nd stage, Williams remains in yellow

The revelation Andreas Leknessund won the 2nd stage of the Tour of Switzerland ! The 23-year-old Norwegian proved to be the strongest of the day’s breakaway by getting rid of his breakaway companions on the final climb of the day, the Challpass. The mighty runner DSM-Team then resisted the peloton perfectly until the finish in Aesch, to pick up his first World Tour success! A peloton that remained much calmer than the day before, and which was settled by Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost) – who raised his arms thinking he had won – ahead Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco). A virtual leader time of the race, Leknessund ultimately only kept 38″ on the line, allowing stephen williams to keep his precious yellow tunic for 7 short seconds.

Video – Leknessund wins alone in Aesch!

A big breakaway of 10 riders

This second step between Kusnacht and Aesch again offered a very steep profile in the final, with no less than three climbs in the last 70 kilometers. A course still potentially favorable to the favourites, but which also gave ideas to the fighters, since a group of 10 riders went to the front to form the breakaway of the day. Michael Schar AG2R Citroën Team), Leonardo Basso (Astana Qazaqstan Team), Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-EasyPost), Matteo Badilatti (Groupama-FDJ), Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal), Andreas Leknessund (DSM-Team), Joel Suter (UAE Team Emirates), Mathieu Burgaudeau (Total Energy), Claudio Imhof and Simon Vitzthum (Switzerland) have a 3’30” lead after a hundred terminals covered.

More than 7 men in front, the gap increases to 6 minutes, Leknessund virtual leader

It’s here Bahrain Victorious from the overall leader stephen williams which dictates the tempo in the deck. We then approach the first difficulties listed, starting with the coast of Gempen (5.4 km at 4.6%) about 70 km from the goal. This is the moment chosen by the leading group to accelerate. Jonas Rutsch and Joel Suter attack their companions and take about thirty seconds in advance. Claudio Imhof is distanced, imitated thereafter by Simon Vitzthum and Leonardo Basso. After having rocked at the top, the group of 7 is now recomposed on the descent. On the other hand, the peloton seems to lose interest in victory since the gap climbs to more than 6 minutes! Leknessund, Burgundy and Holmesall three ranked at 1’01” overall, are therefore virtually playing the yellow jersey.

The peloton accelerates and approaches, but Leknessund flies into the Challpass!

The favorite teams – BORA-hansgrohe, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and INEOS Grenadiers – sense the danger and raise their voices. The gap begins to narrow as the runners cross theEichenberg (3km at 7.4%). Joel Suter can’t keep up with the pace up front. The 6 leading men only have 4 minutes left at 40 km. Under the impulsion of Dylan van Baarlethe transition to the Challpass (6.3 km at 6.3%), the last and most difficult climb of the day, hurts the fugitives. At the foot of the justice of the peace of this stage (20 km remaining), their lead is only two minutes! The showdown for victory is on, but the dreams of the yellow jersey seem to be slipping away for the breakaways.

From the foot, the first attacks fuse in the lead, but the strongest is undoubtedly Andreas Leknessund. The 23-year-old Norwegian literally drops off his former companions and sets off alone. Full of power, he quickly takes a 45″ lead over his pursuers, while the pack, led by the formation Alpecin-Fenixstumbles and tips over at 1’30”! The favorites stayed warm today, it will be difficult to get in now, the last 14 kilometers slightly downhill favoring the leading man.

Leknessund wins alone, Bettiol settles the peloton, Williams remains leader

While all the pursuers are swallowed up by a reduced platoon, Leknessund does not weaken and goes to victory in Aesch. He still has a lead of more than a minute at 3 terminals from the line. With the bonuses collected, he can even still hope to steal the leader’s jersey from stephen williams ! It must be said that the formation of the latter does not seem very interested in defending him. But the Norwegian savored his victory a little too much in the last meters, and the final sprint of the peloton for 2nd place ended up condemning his hopes for a yellow jersey. 38″ later, that’s how it is Alberto Bettiol who rules the peloton in front Michael Matthews.


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