Tour de Suisse stage 6: Andreas Kron takes stage win as Rui Costa relegated
Richard Carapaz defends the overall lead, well-protected by his Ineos Grenadiers teammates throughout the stage.
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Andreas Kron (Lotto-Soudal) was elevated to the stage 6 win at the 2021 Tour de Suisse ahead of Rui Costa (UAE-Team Emirates).
The UAE-Team Emirates rider from Portugal was relegated after moving across the road in the final 100m seemingly to prevent Kron from moving forward. This drew the attention of race officials, who docked Costa his finish placement. Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Victorious) opened the sprint but was distanced as the other two decided the top two placings.
Earlier in the week, Costa — the overall winner of the Tour de Suisse in 2012, 2013, and 2014 — suffered an ill-timed mechanical and was frustrated with his bike.
.@RuiCostaCyclist atirando sua Colnago após queda. #Tds #tds2021 #ciclismonaespn pic.twitter.com/CI7TqCA3oS
— País do Ciclismo (@DoCiclismo) June 7, 2021
Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) rode an uneventful day in the shelter of his teammates.
While Costa was the first across the line in what was a photo-finish, race commissaries later determined that he had deviated from his line, and prevented Kron’s advancement.
“I’d need to see the sprint myself, but we can say the jury [has] taken the decision and I trust the jury, and I’m the winner and I’m happy for it,” Kron said.
Before the start of the stage, previous race leader and winner of two stages Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) withdrew from the race, citing illness. Lucas Hamilton (Team BikeExchange) also did not start, suffering from gastroenteritis.
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) in the world champion’s jersey made an early split of several dozen riders in the opening of the stage.
The “Wolfpack” team captain who had been penalized by 20 seconds for taking a prohibited late feed on the previous stage was looking to regain lost time.
But the split had been reduced to half, and then half again, from which Costa’s threesome emerged to bring back David de la Cruz (UAE-Team Emirates) who remained on the front.
Closing down the break
Racing in the final 15km, only Costa’s teammate de la Cruz was up the road. He had 55 seconds on a large chase group that included American Neilson Powless (EF Education-Nippo) Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma), with the yellow jersey bunch at 3:21.
Attacks were thrown from the chase which shaved 30 seconds on de la Cruz in just 2km, bringing his advantage to just 30 seconds.
Onto the second cat 1 climb of the stage, de la Cruz’s advantage was quickly stripped by the chasing bunch.
The catch was made at 6.2km, with Costa bridging up and bringing Pernsteiner and Kron with him. De la Cruz abandoned his move when his teammate went by him and dropped back, his work for the day done.
The chasing group, reacting to the trio’s move had exploded and was in threes and fours.
Nielson Powless (EF Education-Nippo) attacked the group and forced a split at 3km to go, taking Omar Fraile (Astana-Premier Tech) but this came to nothing. The chasers would continue attacking each other, and the accelerations keep the three up the road in their sights.
On the front, Pernsteiner tried an attack and was immediately covered. He was now on the front with fewer than 2km to go.
Costa, the most experienced of the bunch, let Pernsteiner and Kron lead into the final half-kilometer.
In the final 500m, the three gamed for position for the sprint, with Pernsteiner leading out while Costa tightened his shoes.
Pernsteiner went, and Costa reacted from 200m to go, moving from the right side of the road to the left, with Kron on his left.
While the Portuguese rider gave room, race officials, after consulting the photo-finish and the video of the final 200m relegated Costa for deviating from his line.
“I think that we’ll always be discussing about it when something like that happens,” said Kron. “In my opinion, we started the sprint in the right and ended up on the left. That’s all I can say.”
Results will be available once stage has completed.