Ayuso Wins Stage 5 of Tour de Suisse
Thursday’s stage 5 of Tour de Suisse 2023 was a 211-kilometer mountainous ride from Fiesch to La Punt. The long stage features no less than two Hors Categorie climbs – the Furkapass and the Albulapass – and the Category 1 climb Oberalpass.
Jumbo-Visma’s Wout Van Aert launched a solo attack after seven kilometers of today’s stage 5. Later, he was joined by thirty-five other riders. As the riders entered the first climb of the day, the front group was reduced to nineteen riders. Beyond Van Aert, the group featured notable riders such as Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost), Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Rui Costa (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty), Gorka Izagirre (Movistar Team), and Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates). The advantage of the front group increased to more than three minutes.
With twenty-one kilometers left Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost Cycling Team) launched an attack on the Albulapass climb. He was joined by Antonio Tiberi (Bahrain-Victorious), Stefan Küng (Team DSM), and Oier Lazkano (Movistar Team). They had a 02:30 minute advantage over the main peloton.
A chase group featuring five riders was established behind the front group. The chasers were Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe), Rui Costa (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), and Hugo Houle (Israel-PremierTech).
Further small chase groups were between the front group and the main peloton group and there was much rider rotation between the groups as the climb progressed.
Lazkano was dropped from the front group with nineteen kilometers left. Perhaps he hadn’t focused sufficiently on hydration in the hot weather conditions?
Powless accelerated with fifteen kilometers left, but Costa and Tiberi were able to follow. Simmons was chasing twenty seconds behind the front trio.
Behind them Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) attacked solo from the Van Aert, Felix Gall (AG2R-Citroen), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious), Wilco Kelderman (Jumbo-Visma) group. Ayuso was riding at an impressive speed and closed in on the front trio. Menawhile, Powless was surprisingly dropped by Tiberi and Costa.
Ayuso had a twenty-nine second lead over the chasers at the top of the Albulapass. He was riding at a very impressive speed and is known to have great skills on descents.
Ayuso won the queen stage of Tour de Suisse in 05:23:02. Trek-Segafredo’s Mattias Skelmose had advanced in the final kilometers and crossed the finish line in second place, 54 seconds behind the stage winner. Bilbao completed the stage podium, while Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-EasyPost) was fourth across the line. Team DSM’s Romain Bardet finished fifth.
In the general classification Skjelmose is the new leader of Tour de Suisse 2023. Skjelmose is eight second ahead of Gall, while Ayoso is eighteen seconds behind the Dane.
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