Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) took the leader’s yellow jersey as Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma) claimed his first career victory by winning the sixth stage of the Tour de Suisse on Thursday.
Bernal, riding without teammate and Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas after the Welshman pulled out of the race on Tuesday with an injury, took top spot in the overall standings from three-time world champion Peter Sagan.
The Colombian underlined his potential to stand in for Thomas and Chris Froome, who was ruled out of the Tour de France after a devastating crash at the Criterium du Dauphine last week.
“The team worked really hard for me. From my perspective I just finished at full-speed to gain time,” Bernal said. “The important thing was the general standings, not the stage,” he added.
Jumbo-Visma’s fresh-faced Tolhoek, 25, has appeared at all three Grand Tours but only clinched his maiden senior stage success after an arduous day highlighted by a tough last climb.
Bernal finished second, 17 seconds behind, and Francois Bidard (AG2R La Mondiale) was third.
The long final climb up to the resort of Flumserberg splintered the breakaway with Tolhoek, Lluis Mas (Movistar) and Patrick Bevin (CCC) alone ahead.
Tolhoek dropped Mas and Bevin behind with less than five kilometres to go as UAE Emirates’ Rui Costa joined the dropped pair.
The trio were then overtaken by Bernal with two kilometres left as the Colombian attempted to chase down Tolhoek.
Tolhoek wore a proud smile as he glided over the finish line.
Friday’s seventh stage heads 216.6km north from Unterterzen to San Gottardo with a first category climb over the Lukmanier Pass and a beyond category climb to the finish line.
Tour de Suisse 2019 – stage 6 results (Einsiedeln – Flumserberg):
|1||Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma)|
|2||Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)|
|3||François Bidard (AG2R La Mondiale)|
|4||Jan Hirt (Astana)|
|5||Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida)|
|6||Patrick Bevin (CCC)|
|7||Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates)|
|8||Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal)|
|9||Patrick Schelling (Switzerland)|
|10||Patrick Konrad (Bora-hansgrohe)|
Tour de Suisse 2019 – general classification after stage 6:
|1||Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)|
|2||Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida)|
|3||Patrick Konrad (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|4||Jan Hirt (Astana)|
|5||Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal)|
|6||Marc Soler (Movistar)|
|7||Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida)|
|8||François Bidard (AG2R La Mondiale)|
|9||Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates)|
|10||Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb)|