Bonifazio sprints to 5th place in Cevio
Tour de Suisse – Stage 5 Bex-Cevio 222 km
Cevio, June 14th – Team BAHRAIN MERIDA contested the reduced bunch sprint of Stage 5 at the Tour de Suisse with Niccolò Bonifazio, who took 5th. The Italian sprinter was in the wheel of Sagan, who claimed a clear win.
The longest stage of this edition turned out to be a day for the sprinters, despite it was not at all completely flat. In the middle of the race, there was indeed the climb up to the Simplon pass (20 km at 6.5% and almost 2.000m of elevation). Then, before the finish, another categorised climb, the ascent to Druogno (6.7 km at 7.2%). Unlike yesterday the breakaway – with several attempts in the first part of the race – was not successful, due to the good work of the peloton and maybe the rain, that relented the attack before the finale. With 6 km to go, everything was set for a spectacular showdown of the sprinters, with definitely no more rain at the finish in Cevio.
The fastest wheels of the peloton were there to fight for the win, but the World Champion Peter Sagan blew the rivals away, claiming is 14th victory at the Tour de Suisse.
“Sagan is really impressive” said Bonifazio speaking just after the finish “In the sprint I was in his wheel, but he started early, accelerating at around 350 m to go. I waited a little bit because it seemed to me too early, instead it was the right wheel to take. I’m happy anyway because it was a hard stage with the Simplon pass in the middle of the race.The peloton went very fast and no one of the sprinters dropped down. Let’s see if I can have another chance later this week”.
Satisfied, but with a bitter smile, the Sports Director Tristan Hoffman, who explained: “Bonny was in the wheel of Sagan, so he had a very good position. But then, when Peter went to the left, he did not follow him and was a little bit boxed in. If Bonifazio could beat him we don’t now, but for sure he could be second. We’re satisfied anyway. He showed that he has the legs. It was not an easy stage, it was a long stage and he was there, competing with the strongest riders in the peloton”.
Tomorrow the Tour de Suisse continues with Stage 6 Locarno-La Punt (166.7 km), that is this year’s Queen Stage. Valerio Agnoli will not start tomorrow. After the hard work done in yesterday’s stage, he did not recover well and he was force to abandon the race during the climb up to Simplon pass.
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