The 5th stage of the Tour de Suisse (Unterterzen-Solden, 237,3 km) was a key moment of the Swiss race. In the queen stage the riders covered the Bielerhohe and battled on the climb to the finish in Solden.
For Team LAMPRE-MERIDA, Przemyslaw Niemiec delivered the best performance. He escaped from the bunch after a few kilometers and his breakaway got an advantage of 10'. However, in the run-in to the climb, the bunch which was led by Katusha, Astana and FdJ, increased the intensity and reduced the gap, so that all the attackers were caught by the top climbers on the final climb.
Niemiec was passed by the main riders halfway up the climb, just after his teammate Kristijan Durasek was dropped. The Croatian from LAMPRE-MERIDA had to climb at a slower pace, reaching the finish with a time loss of 3'05" to winner Pinot.
After today's stage, Durasek is out of the top 10. He's 14th, 3'21" from new leader Pinot and 35" from the 10th place of Henao.
"We had two targets for today's stage: to have at least one rider in the breakaways in the first part of the race and to try to be with the top riders on the final climb," sports director Simone Pedrazzini said. "We were aware it would be a very demanding day on a tough course, but we succeded in having Niemiec in the main breakaway.
"Unfortunately, we could not achieve the second target since Durasek was not as competitive as he had been in the past stages. He realized that the pace of the other top climbers was too fast so he had to slow down and to set a rythm which was more suitable for him, limiting the losses.
It's now difficult for Kristijan to get back into the top ten of the overall classification, especially because there's a time trial which won't help him.
"Anyway, we all want to improve the collection of good performances of the team in this edition of the Tour de Suisse."
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