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"I think I had good legs today and probably could have won from the group but luck was not on my side today. I am very happy with my condition right now and I hope I can show something more in July."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele

KATUSHA ALPECIN

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MARCO HALLER

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TOUR DE SUISSE

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20.06.2015 @ 19:53 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The largest break of the week went clear in stage 8 on Saturday with Team Katusha’s Marco Haller and Viacheslav Kuznetsov both part of the 19-man group. Given only two minutes, the break managed to stay away, with Haller able to sprint in for fourth place behind winner Alexey Lutsenko (Astana).

 

Lutsenko and Jan Bakelants attacked their group with 15 km to go and despite efforts to reach them, Haller’s group ended up 22-seconds behind the two riders.

 

“We knew we had several options today since it was not 100% for the sprinters this time and perhaps a break could go through to the end. When I got away with the big group of very strong riders, things looked good for us. We rode very well together until the last lap and then there was just crazy attacking. Everyone was so strong; no one could drop anyone else! I think I had good legs today and probably could have won from the group but luck was not on my side today. I am very happy with my condition right now and I hope I can show something more in July. I feel motivated for my next challenge,” said Marco Haller.

 

The large break went early on the first of four 38 km laps in Bern for the final road stage in the 79th Tour de Suisse. With 15 km still to go, Lutsenko attacked, soon followed by Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale) and while the duo only established a small advantage, they were alone in front to sprint for the victory.

 

Third place at 17-seconds went to Warren Barguil of Giant-Alpecin. Although Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) remains in the yellow jersey at 34-seconds to Sky’s Geraint Thomas, the Frenchman has lost 13-seconds in the last three stages and faces a difficult task of winning after Sunday’s individual time trial. Team Katusha’s Simon Špilak moved back into third place on the classification and looks forward to the race against the clock.

 

“We had a plan today for two riders to be in the breakaway. After the mountain stages and then the 100% sprint stage yesterday, we wanted to try for the breakaway again. I think we can be happy with this effort from our riders. The team did a very good job and our GC rider was very focused on what was happening as we see Špilak moved up again.

 

“We agreed in our morning meeting that today was a good chance to try something and both Marco Haller and Slava Kuznetsov had something to give today. Fourth place for Marco is very good for a bike race at such a high level as this one. This was a very tough circuit and the time trial will be very tricky with a lot of turns, cobblestones, up and down,” said team director Torsten Schmidt.

 

Sunday’s final stage is an individual time trial at 38,4 km, using the circuit from today’s road stage. It promises to re-shape the general classification before the overall winner is crowned at the end of the day for the 2015 Tour de Suisse.

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