Tour de Suisse stage 2: Sanchez escapes to frustrate sprinters, Asgreen takes yellow
A late attack sees Spain's Luis León Sánchez seize an opportunistic stage win ahead of Peter Sagan
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Luis León Sánchez (Astana) won the second stage of the Tour de Suisse Sunday after launching a solo escape in the final 12km.
The Spanish rider crossed the line in Langnau im Emmental with six seconds in hand on the peloton. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgroe) won the bunch sprint for second place ahead of Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) and Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick Step).
Courtesy of bonus seconds gained in the stage, Asgreen nudged stage 1 time trial winner Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) out of the race leader’s yellow jersey. Sagan also moved ahead of Dennis into second overall.
Sánchez’s attack came on valley roads after descending the last of six climbs tackled over the course of a three lap race. Taking advantage of a lull in the peloton as sprinters still chased back on after the climb of Chuderhüsi, he put in a fast dig down the right hand side and opened up a gap of around half a minute.
As the sprinters regrouped, their teams got organised. But it was it was a case of too little, too late, against a committed time trial style effort from the 35 year old.
“I am so happy I could win today, I did not expect I could be so strong in the final,” he said. “I was lucky to hold the gap until the end.”
Although a noteworthy individual performance, it was also another strong showing from the Astana team on the same day they secured Jakob Fuglsang’s victory in the Critérium du Dauphiné. After setting the pace on the circuit’s other climb -the Schallenberg- on the final lap, an attack by Omar Fraile did damage to the bunch that would later help Sanchez’s cause.
“We knew we had to do this race as hard as possible since with many big sprinters in the peloton we had to try to escape […] to get a chance to fight for the victory,” noted Sánchez. “The team was super strong on the last two climbs and later when I saw a moment, I made my attack.”
Results will be available once stage has completed.