Tour de Suisse: Mas retains fourth place in the GC
Tim Declercq and Iljo Keisse feature in the breakaway on the queen stage of the race.
The most difficult day of the Tour de Suisse resembled the menu of a three-star Michelin restaurant: main course – Furkapass, second course – Klausenpass, the climb which honored Ferdi Kubler, the first Swiss rider to win the Tour de France and the World Championships, and a dessert consisting of a 2.2km climb averaging 6.6% in Gommiswald, which played host to a stage finish for the first time in the history of the race.
Right from the gun, 18 men attacked and quickly built a four-minute advantage over the peloton, who didn't looked too troubled by the move which included two Quick-Step Floors riders, Tim Declercq and Iljo Keisse. The duo brought their fair share of pace-setting in the front group, where they remained until the first slopes of the 23km-long Klausenpass, where together with other riders got dropped following a series of accelerations which whittled down the group.
In Gommiswald, the remnants of the breakaway led by less than a minute when yellow jersey Richie Porte (BMC) decided to attack, catching his opponents with their guard down and gaining 12 seconds in the GC by the time the stage won by Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) from the escape had finished.
Enric Mas was part of the select group which chased Porte, concluding the queen stage in a solid 12th. The Spaniard, who is racing the Tour de Suisse for the first time in his career, has been one of the riders to stand out from the peloton, starting with the team time trial, where he helped Quick-Step Floors take third, and continuing with his second position in Leukerbad, where he came close to a second pro victory. Fourth overall, half a minute adrift, the 23-year-old will now look to stage 7, which puts on the table the race's final summit finish, in Arosa.
Photo credit: ©Heinz Zwicky/ Getty Images