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Tour de Suisse stage 5: Richard Carapaz betters Jakob Fuglsang in two-up sprint

Carapaz took over the lead of general classification from Mathieu van der Poel, while Julian Alaphilippe dropped to third.

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Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) came around Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech) in the final 50m of stage 5 of the 2021 Tour de Suisse.

With the bonus seconds for the stage win and the margin of victory, the Ecuadorian took control of the general classification.

“We came here thinking about preparing for the Tour. Of course, we wanted to try and win this,” said Carapaz. “We wanted to think about the general classification of course and the possibility of winning a stage was there. I did both so I’m happy.”

How it happened

A break with race-leader Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain Victorious), Sergio Samitier (Movistar), and Claudio Imhof (Switzerland) were off the front with 75 seconds margin at 40km to go, but the chase after them had this margin tumbling faster than the kilometers were ticking by.

Van der Poel, wearing the leader’s jersey, was on the front of the break doing the majority of the work, and his tempo popped Imhof from the back of this small group.

Luke Rowe and Rohan Dennis (both Ineos Grenadiers) were on the front of the chasing peloton, and this squad was trailed closely by Bora-Hansgrohe.

The pursuit was in single-file formation, and in just 3km, the gap was narrowed by 30 seconds.

Van der Poel tossed in the towel, and dropped from the break, leaving Pernsteiner and Samitier to continue on with a 30-second gap, however, this did not last for long.

At 27km to go, at the base of an 8km climb with an average grade of 8 percent, the race was back together.

Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo Visma) attacked the group on the climb, and Esteban Chaves chased after him, using this move to slingshot himself into a solo move for the stage win.

Fuglsang countered at 18.7km to go when Chaves had a one-minute gap, and this exploded the front of the race.

Fuglsang, Carapaz, Lucas Hamilton (Team BikeExchange), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo), Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) went after the climbing specialist Chaves, but it was only Fuglsang who got away from the pursuing group.

Chaves submitted solo and was onto the decent with a 30-second margin when he overcooked a turn and rode onto a residential driveway. While he did not go down, he lost most of his advantage to Fuglsang, now less than 9 seconds back.

Once Fuglsang made it up to Chaves the two worked together for some 3km until Chaves was dropped. While this was happening, Carapaz had attacked from the front and had built a lead on Alaphilippe’s group.

The world champion had dropped back to get a feed from a team car and was yelled at by a commissaire, with Carapaz and Fuglsang nearly 14 seconds up the road.

Carapaz, wearing bib number 1, worked with Fuglsang for the remaining kilometers, and onto the small but steep final climb.

Fuglsang forced Carapaz to the front at 1km to go, and the two kept the pace high, and the chasers well behind.

Carapaz led into the final 500m, but in a series of small bends in the road, and the grade ramped up, Fuglsang was forced into the lead where he remained until 50m to go.

Coming around the Astana rider, Carapaz punched in the final 30m to take the stage win, and bonus seconds to land him on the top of the stage and overall podium.

Results will be available once stage has completed.

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