Bonifazio sprints to 7th place in Cham
Cham, June 11th – At the Tour de Suisse Team BAHRAIN MERIDA fight for the win in Stage 2 (Cham-Cham 172.7 km). In a hectic finale, with many attacks, a reduced group of around forty riders come to the finish line, where Gilbert sprints to victory. Good result for Bonifazio (7th) ahead of the World Champion Sagan (8th).
High temperatures and a beautiful sunny day welcomed riders and fans in Cham, start and finish of today’s stage too. On the menu 4 laps of a circuit around the town, through fields and beautiful hilly landscape. Key point of the race was the climb in Horben, a little hill of 2 km at 11.4%. Here sprinters tested their legs and only with enough energy they could manage to organise the sprint. After the peloton caught the early breakaway of five riders, with around 25 km to go, a crash in the middle of the group forced four our riders (Agnoli, Gasparotto, Moreno and Cortina) to slow down and stop. Happily they were safe, but they lost a lot of time.
The group of reduced forty riders faced the Horben climb for the last time and until the final km many attacks enlivened the race. That made the race harder for sprinters, that with difficult could try to find the right way to sprint to victory. Philippe Gilbert succeeded to take it, over Bevin and Roux. 7th place for Niccolò Bonifazio, praised by the Sports Director Tristan Hoffman: “It was not a simple finale. We hoped of course a little bit more, but to see Bonny there with forty guys is pretty special, because he means he has a good condition and he just told me he has good legs. Also Tsgabu was there and Izagirre too, our main guy for the GC so that’s good”.
Speaking just after the finish, Bonifazio was a little bit disappointed because he was looking for the win, but then he analyzes his result and he can be happy with this: “I did a big effort on the climb, because it was challenging and in the downhill I tried to come back to the front position. Then in the finale there was another short uphill, where around ten riders took advantage. I thought it was important to move up the sprint and I tried to overtake some riders, but it was difficult. I’m happy anyway, because my form is very good and I feel good too, let’s see next stages”.
Tomorrow, indeed, Stage 3 can offer another chance for a bunch sprint.