Spaniard Jon Izagirre won the stage eight time trial and Miguel Angel Lopez of Colombia moved into the overall lead on a stunning day at the Tour de Suisse on Saturday.
Both riders finished ahead of time-trial specialist Fabian Cancellara and overall victory favorites such as Tejay van Garderen, Andrew Talansky and Geraint Thomas on the 16.8km race against the clock over rolling terrain in Davos, Switzerland.
What was most surprising is that neither are known as top time-triallers, although both have won relatively minor races against the clock in the past.
However, the lumpy nature of the course played into the two specialist climbers’ hands.
Movistar’s Izagirre won in a time of 21 minutes, 31 seconds, with Astana’s Lopez 18 seconds back and Cancellara of Trek-Segafredo third, 19 seconds back.
“It was a really tough day, both due to the duration of the the time trial and how to manage it,” Izagirre said. “I gave everything and I’m delighted with the victory. It’s a great day and a great season for me.”
Previous leader Warren Barguil of Giant-Alpecin finished 57 seconds back and dropped to fourth overall in the race for the yellow jersey, 18 seconds back.
Lopez, 22, now leads by 8 seconds from American Talansky of Cannondale, with Izagirre third at 16 seconds.
Team Sky’s Thomas and Van Garderen of BMC Racing Team, two of the favorites for overall victory before the race began, finished ninth and 10th on the stage at 33 seconds and 34 seconds respectively.
Thomas was eighth overall at 1 minute, 30 seconds, with Van Garderen a place and four seconds better off.
Last year’s winner Katusha’s Simon Spilak of Slovenia finished 22nd on the stage and was ninth overall, a second behind Thomas.
Yesterday’s final stage was a mountainous 117.7km trek with two hors category climbs in which further changes could happen in a race that has seen the yellow jersey change hands almost every day.
ROUTE DE SUD
AFP, TOULOUSE, France
Colombian Nairo Quintana kept his overall lead in the Route du Sud as his Spanish Movistar teammate Marc Soler won Saturday’s stage.
Soler made a solo break to victory at the end of Saturday’s 184.9km Pyrenean stage from Saint-Gaudens to Val d’Azu Couraduque, France.
Quintana tracked Hugh Carthy of Caja Rural-Seguros up the final climb, before outsprinting the Briton for second place, four seconds behind his teammate.
Quintana was leading Soler by 36 seconds, with Carthy third overall 58 seconds back.
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