Tour de Suisse stage 6: Nico Denz wins photo finish mountain sprint, GC hits stalemate

'Queen stage' of Tour de France tuneup race overshadowed by COVID cases and team abandons.

Photo: Getty Images

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Nico Denz (DSM) won a two-up sprint on the high-altitude finish of the Tour de Suisse.

Denz bettered Clément Champoussin (Ag2r Citroën) as Friday’s “queen stage” of HC climbs came down to a five-rider breakaway kick for the line on the Moosalp climb.

José Herrada (Cofidis) took third on the podium.

Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) threw fireworks into the final after catching back to the breakaway group in the closing meters and lighting up the final sprint, only to narrowly miss the top-three.

Denz’s victory came on another day of searing sun in the Swiss summer.

“I felt fantastic during the day, I have to thank the staff in the car who kept me cool all day. I think that was key,” he said.

The burly rouleur is better known for his work as a domestique, making victory on a stage dominated by two HC climbs all the more unlikely.

“I knew I had a fast finish so I could live with the other guys coming back but I almost think I lost it because I launched the sprint late. I do a lot of work in the shadows for teammates so today is really special for me.”

Back in the GC group, Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) led out a sprint of classification contenders but couldn’t do enough to overhaul Jakob Fuglsang (Israel Premier Tech).

Fuglsang started the day in the leader’s jersey after Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora Hansgrohe) exited early with COVID. The Dane now takes a one-second lead into the closing weekend.


Suisse stage 6: Lots of uphill.

The day started with concerning COVID news after Jumbo-Visma and Adam Yates had already taken early exits Thursday.

Vlasov was among one of many confirmed to have caught the virus Friday morning. UAE Emirates, Bahrain Victorious and Alpecin-Fenix pulled their whole teams from the race after they saw a swath of infections.

Almost 30 riders were on the DNS list for the day due to illnesses, injury or infection, and the peloton was an empty place.

With Vlasov out, Fuglsang inherited the yellow jersey and took to the start of another super hot stage with his new garment after organizers scrambled to make it ready at late notice.

KoM jersey Simmons starred in the break once again. (Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

The break finally formed after around an hour of racing, with KOM category leader Simmons one of a strong 11-rider move including Denz, Masnada, Herrada and Champoussin.

Simmons led the race over the top of the huge 2,5000-meter Nufenenpass to grab more mountain points as the break held around six minutes of a gap over the Israel Premier-Tech-controlled peloton.

Not much changed until the escapees hit the bottom of the relentless 18km climb to the line.

Denz attacked first and Simmons and Masnada followed.

Simmons’ big day in the mountains looked likely to come to a close at 11km to go when he dropped, leaving just two at the front until when Champoussin and Herrada bridged across at 4km. Nonetheless, Simmons kept motoring in his relentless chase back.

Masnada was aggressive after the group swelled to four, but couldn’t shake his rivals.

The stage looked set to go down to a four-rider sprint until Simmons appeared from nowhere in the final meters and lit up the surge.

The Coloradan kicked clear but soon faded after his huge chase and had to make do with fourth and a tightening on his KOM classification lead.

Denz and Champoussin overhauled Simmons at 50m to go and went to the line in a photo finish. It took several minutes before Denz was confirmed as winner before the German rouleur roared in delight as he celebrated the biggest win of his career.

GC action

With Vlasov out of the race, Thomas started the day just one second down on Fuglsang and the race lead.

Ineos Grenadiers set the pace early on the Moosalp before Fuglsang and Co took control in the peloton.

The GC action only lit up at 5km to go. Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) made the first move before Fuglsang and Ineos Grenadiers countered.

A series of following accelerations in the group saw Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) pop out the back as Daniel Martínez (Ineos Grenadiers) set a crushing pace in bunch of favorites. The young Belgian ended the stage three minutes down and far off the back of the GC pack.

The contenders came to the final hundred meters together, and Thomas accelerated in the hunt for GC scoring seconds but couldn’t get the gap he needed.

Up next: Extra tough weekend

The GC will be decided on two equally important closing stages this weekend.

A cruel summit finish on the 8.5km, 9.2 percent Malbun climb could zap the legs Saturday before the decisive 26km Vaduz TT Sunday.

Tour de Suisse Stage 6 Results

1DENZ NicoTeam DSM5:11:14
2CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R Citroën Team0:00
3HERRADA JoséCofidis0:00
4SIMMONS QuinnTrek - Segafredo0:00
5MASNADA FaustoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team0:11
6PACHER QuentinGroupama - FDJ1:33
7THALMANN RolandSwitzerland1:46
8THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers2:14
9HIGUITA SergioBORA - hansgrohe2:14
10FUGLSANG JakobIsrael - Premier Tech2:14
11GROßSCHARTNER FelixBORA - hansgrohe2:14
12PINOT ThibautGroupama - FDJ2:14
13POZZOVIVO DomenicoIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux2:14
14MARTÍNEZ Daniel FelipeINEOS Grenadiers2:18
15JUNGELS BobAG2R Citroën Team2:18
16POWLESS NeilsonEF Education-EasyPost2:18
17LEKNESSUND AndreasTeam DSM2:22
18WARBASSE LarryAG2R Citroën Team2:50
19KÜNG StefanGroupama - FDJ2:53
20LUTSENKO AlexeyAstana Qazaqstan Team2:55
21PEDRERO AntonioMovistar Team2:55
22EVENEPOEL RemcoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team3:06
23SCHACHMANN MaximilianBORA - hansgrohe3:06
24HOULE HugoIsrael - Premier Tech3:06
25SWIRBUL KeeganHuman Powered Health3:06
26KRON AndreasLotto Soudal3:06
27REICHENBACH SébastienGroupama - FDJ3:06
28MATTHEWS MichaelTeam BikeExchange - Jayco4:12
29BURGAUDEAU MathieuTotalEnergies4:12
30ROCHAS RémyCofidis4:22
31VOISARD YannisSwitzerland6:06
32PASQUALON AndreaIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux6:22
33RODRÍGUEZ ÓscarMovistar Team6:41
34BERTHET ClémentAG2R Citroën Team8:01
35SCHÄR MichaelAG2R Citroën Team8:01
36OLIVEIRA NelsonMovistar Team8:17
37NEILANDS KristsIsrael - Premier Tech8:41
38TORRES AlbertMovistar Team10:21
39RUTSCH JonasEF Education-EasyPost10:56
40HOELGAARD MarkusTrek - Segafredo11:47
41MONIQUET SylvainLotto Soudal11:47
42IZAGIRRE IonCofidis12:53
43VAN MOER BrentLotto Soudal13:28
44ARMÉE SanderCofidis13:40
45DUCHESNE AntoineGroupama - FDJ13:40
46OURSELIN PaulTotalEnergies13:40
47ARNDT NikiasTeam DSM13:53
48DECLERCQ TimQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team14:33
49PELLAUD SimonTrek - Segafredo14:33
50AASVOLD KristianHuman Powered Health15:49
51HOLMES MatthewLotto Soudal15:58
52BAUER JackTeam BikeExchange - Jayco16:06
53GILBERT PhilippeLotto Soudal16:06
54REUTIMANN MathiasSwitzerland16:23
55VITZTHUM SimonSwitzerland16:23
56BADILATTI MatteoGroupama - FDJ17:05
57MOSCON GianniAstana Qazaqstan Team17:05
58GRUZDEV DmitriyAstana Qazaqstan Team17:26
59VAN BAARLE DylanINEOS Grenadiers17:26
60NIBALI AntonioAstana Qazaqstan Team17:26
61JACOBS JohanMovistar Team17:47
62PRODHOMME NicolasAG2R Citroën Team19:41
63COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R Citroën Team19:41
64DE GENDT ThomasLotto Soudal19:41
65BEVIN PatrickIsrael - Premier Tech21:44
66IMPEY DarylIsrael - Premier Tech21:44
67SMITH DionTeam BikeExchange - Jayco21:44
68KNOX JamesQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team21:44
69MANNION GavinHuman Powered Health21:44
70HALLER MarcoBORA - hansgrohe22:43
71HAGA ChadHuman Powered Health24:16
72KAMP AlexanderTrek - Segafredo24:19
73COQUARD BryanCofidis24:35
74ASKEY LewisGroupama - FDJ24:50
75VAN WILDER IlanQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team24:52
76FRAILE OmarINEOS Grenadiers25:28
77ROWE LukeINEOS Grenadiers27:06
78RÜEGG LukasSwitzerland27:43
79FROIDEVAUX RobinSwitzerland27:43
80PLANCKAERT BaptisteIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux29:00
81OSS DanielTotalEnergies29:25
82BOHLI TomCofidis29:25
83TURGIS AnthonyTotalEnergies29:25
84MANZIN LorrenzoTotalEnergies29:25
85PETIT AdrienIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux29:25
86KRISTOFF AlexanderIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux29:25
87SAGAN PeterTotalEnergies29:25
1FUGLSANG JakobIsrael - Premier Tech 27:30:30
2THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers0:01
3HIGUITA SergioBORA - hansgrohe0:10
4POWLESS NeilsonEF Education-EasyPost0:26
5GROßSCHARTNER FelixBORA - hansgrohe0:34
6LEKNESSUND AndreasTeam DSM0:46
7KÜNG StefanGroupama - FDJ0:49
8KRON AndreasLotto Soudal1:00
9POZZOVIVO DomenicoIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:07
10REICHENBACH SébastienGroupama - FDJ1:29
11JUNGELS BobAG2R Citroën Team1:36
12SCHACHMANN MaximilianBORA - hansgrohe1:47
13MARTÍNEZ Daniel FelipeINEOS Grenadiers1:52
14HOULE HugoIsrael - Premier Tech2:44
15EVENEPOEL RemcoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team3:08
16PEDRERO AntonioMovistar Team3:53
17BURGAUDEAU MathieuTotalEnergies4:36
18PINOT ThibautGroupama - FDJ6:20
19MASNADA FaustoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team6:54
20HERRADA JoséCofidis9:03
21PACHER QuentinGroupama - FDJ10:22
22BERTHET ClémentAG2R Citroën Team10:59
23MATTHEWS MichaelTeam BikeExchange - Jayco11:17
24LUTSENKO AlexeyAstana Qazaqstan Team11:24
25CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R Citroën Team13:45
26WARBASSE LarryAG2R Citroën Team15:37
27ARNDT NikiasTeam DSM18:19
28ROCHAS RémyCofidis19:09
29THALMANN RolandSwitzerland19:10
30OLIVEIRA NelsonMovistar Team20:17
31PASQUALON AndreaIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux27:35
32NEILANDS KristsIsrael - Premier Tech29:53
33SCHÄR MichaelAG2R Citroën Team30:31
34RODRÍGUEZ ÓscarMovistar Team33:42
35MONIQUET SylvainLotto Soudal34:42
36BADILATTI MatteoGroupama - FDJ34:54
37VAN WILDER IlanQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team35:00
38SIMMONS QuinnTrek - Segafredo35:39
39MANNION GavinHuman Powered Health36:51
40GILBERT PhilippeLotto Soudal38:48
41VOISARD YannisSwitzerland38:52
42IMPEY DarylIsrael - Premier Tech39:02
43HOLMES MatthewLotto Soudal39:06
44RUTSCH JonasEF Education-EasyPost39:53
45IZAGIRRE IonCofidis40:57
46SMITH DionTeam BikeExchange - Jayco41:32
47DENZ NicoTeam DSM42:25
48DUCHESNE AntoineGroupama - FDJ45:08
49PRODHOMME NicolasAG2R Citroën Team46:20
50VAN MOER BrentLotto Soudal47:18
51PELLAUD SimonTrek - Segafredo47:39
52OURSELIN PaulTotalEnergies51:31
53GRUZDEV DmitriyAstana Qazaqstan Team54:30
54MOSCON GianniAstana Qazaqstan Team55:04
55COQUARD BryanCofidis55:53
56BEVIN PatrickIsrael - Premier Tech56:17
57BAUER JackTeam BikeExchange - Jayco57:51
58SWIRBUL KeeganHuman Powered Health59:25
59RÜEGG LukasSwitzerland1:00:22
60VAN BAARLE DylanINEOS Grenadiers1:02:32
61HOELGAARD MarkusTrek - Segafredo1:02:59
62AASVOLD KristianHuman Powered Health1:03:21
63NIBALI AntonioAstana Qazaqstan Team1:03:28
64HALLER MarcoBORA - hansgrohe1:05:23
65ARMÉE SanderCofidis1:06:38
66DECLERCQ TimQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team1:07:05
67VITZTHUM SimonSwitzerland1:07:51
68KAMP AlexanderTrek - Segafredo1:08:40
69DE GENDT ThomasLotto Soudal1:09:29
70TURGIS AnthonyTotalEnergies1:09:46
71JACOBS JohanMovistar Team1:12:19
72PLANCKAERT BaptisteIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:12:46
73TORRES AlbertMovistar Team1:13:12
74COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R Citroën Team1:13:25
75OSS DanielTotalEnergies1:15:09
76HAGA ChadHuman Powered Health1:16:59
77REUTIMANN MathiasSwitzerland1:19:04
78FROIDEVAUX RobinSwitzerland1:20:05
79KRISTOFF AlexanderIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:20:15
80ASKEY LewisGroupama - FDJ1:23:23
81FRAILE OmarINEOS Grenadiers1:23:25
82SAGAN PeterTotalEnergies1:24:39
83ROWE LukeINEOS Grenadiers1:25:52
84PETIT AdrienIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:26:20
85BOHLI TomCofidis1:27:51
86KNOX JamesQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team1:32:56
87MANZIN LorrenzoTotalEnergies1:42:20
1MATTHEWS MichaelTeam BikeExchange - Jayco22
3SIMMONS QuinnTrek - Segafredo18
4IMPEY DarylIsrael - Premier Tech12
5DENZ NicoTeam DSM12
6SAGAN PeterTotalEnergies12
7HOLMES MatthewLotto Soudal12
8SCHACHMANN MaximilianBORA - hansgrohe10
9THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers8
10POWLESS NeilsonEF Education-EasyPost8
11CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R Citroën Team8
12COQUARD BryanCofidis8
13KRON AndreasLotto Soudal7
14FUGLSANG JakobIsrael - Premier Tech6
15PASQUALON AndreaIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux6
16KRISTOFF AlexanderIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux6
17REUTIMANN MathiasSwitzerland4
18BURGAUDEAU MathieuTotalEnergies3
19MASNADA FaustoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team3
20THALMANN RolandSwitzerland3
21HOELGAARD MarkusTrek - Segafredo3
22LUTSENKO AlexeyAstana Qazaqstan Team2
23VAN BAARLE DylanINEOS Grenadiers2
24KAMP AlexanderTrek - Segafredo2
25JACOBS JohanMovistar Team2
26HAGA ChadHuman Powered Health2
27ASKEY LewisGroupama - FDJ2
28VITZTHUM SimonSwitzerland1
29ROWE LukeINEOS Grenadiers1
30HERRADA JoséCofidis-4
1HIGUITA SergioBORA - hansgrohe 27:30:40
2LEKNESSUND AndreasTeam DSM0:36
3KRON AndreasLotto Soudal0:50
4EVENEPOEL RemcoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team2:58
5BURGAUDEAU MathieuTotalEnergies4:26
6BERTHET ClémentAG2R Citroën Team10:49
7CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R Citroën Team13:35
8MONIQUET SylvainLotto Soudal34:32
9VAN WILDER IlanQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team34:50
10SIMMONS QuinnTrek - Segafredo35:29
11VOISARD YannisSwitzerland38:42
12RUTSCH JonasEF Education-EasyPost39:43
13PRODHOMME NicolasAG2R Citroën Team46:10
14VAN MOER BrentLotto Soudal47:08
15JACOBS JohanMovistar Team1:12:09
16FROIDEVAUX RobinSwitzerland1:19:55
17ASKEY LewisGroupama - FDJ1:23:13
1SIMMONS QuinnTrek - Segafredo60
2DENZ NicoTeam DSM20
3MASNADA FaustoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team19
4CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R Citroën Team15
5GILBERT PhilippeLotto Soudal12
7KAMP AlexanderTrek - Segafredo10
8VITZTHUM SimonSwitzerland10
9THALMANN RolandSwitzerland10
10HOLMES MatthewLotto Soudal9
11RUTSCH JonasEF Education-EasyPost8
12REUTIMANN MathiasSwitzerland8
13REICHENBACH SébastienGroupama - FDJ6
14FUGLSANG JakobIsrael - Premier Tech6
15JACOBS JohanMovistar Team6
16MATTHEWS MichaelTeam BikeExchange - Jayco6
17TURGIS AnthonyTotalEnergies5
18PASQUALON AndreaIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux4
19THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers3
20SCHÄR MichaelAG2R Citroën Team3
21POWLESS NeilsonEF Education-EasyPost2
22SCHACHMANN MaximilianBORA - hansgrohe2
23EVENEPOEL RemcoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team2
24BURGAUDEAU MathieuTotalEnergies2
25BADILATTI MatteoGroupama - FDJ2
26HOELGAARD MarkusTrek - Segafredo2
27HAGA ChadHuman Powered Health2
28VAN BAARLE DylanINEOS Grenadiers1
29MANZIN LorrenzoTotalEnergies1
30HERRADA JoséCofidis-6
1BORA - hansgrohe 82:32:46
2Groupama - FDJ2:13
3AG2R Citroën Team13:18
4INEOS Grenadiers16:33
5Israel - Premier Tech21:07
6Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team30:41
7Movistar Team31:48
9Team DSM45:06
10Lotto Soudal55:34
11Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:08:34
12Trek - Segafredo1:26:01
13Team BikeExchange - Jayco1:32:47
15Astana Qazaqstan Team1:45:05
17Human Powered Health2:18:24

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

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