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"When you haven’t raced in a long time, you are a little bit insecure when you get back to competing, but this has proved his form and we’re expecting him to push on and ride his way into contention now," Frost says

Photo: Sirotti








16.06.2014 @ 20:03 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Sergio Henao proved that he is already back at his highest level after his long absence from competition when he finished third in the uphill sprint in today's third stage of the Tour de Suisse. While Henao emerged as a real contender for the win, Bradley Wiggins - one of the big pre-race favourites - dropped out of contention and will now focus on the time trial.


Sergio Henao proved he was on flying form at the Tour de Suisse by finishing in third place on an undulating third stage.


Henao, who is riding his first race since February, benefited from some great teamwork from Peter Kennaugh on the concluding climb of the day, with the Manxman setting a brutal pace before allowing the main contenders to come to the fore on a tight and twisting finale.


Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) was the rider who lit the blue touch paper in the last 400m, but he was passed on the final corner as Michael Albasini powered up the finishing straight.


Henao had bided his time and tried valiantly to pass the Orica-GreenEdge rider in the dying seconds, but only Peter Sagan (Cannondale) succeeded and it was the Slovakian who emerged to seal his sixth success of the season.


Albasini crossed the line less than a bike length adrift to take second place on the stage, with Henao emerging right behind him to round out the podium.


That result saw Henao climb nine places to 15th in the general classification, and the Colombian now sits 36 seconds behind Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), who defended his six-second advantage over Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) at the top of the standings.

Kennaugh, meanwhile, remains Team Sky’s highest-ranked rider in 11th overall, just 29 seconds adrift.


After the stage, Sports Director Dan Frost was pleased with his riders’ efforts, and delighted to see Henao mixing it up at the finish.


He said: “It was a good team effort today and probably the best outcome we could have hoped for with Sergio going toe-to-toe against some of the punchiest riders in the sport.


“We knew he was strong heading into the race but it’s nice that he’s got this result because it will give him even more confidence for the stages to come. When you haven’t raced in a long time, you are a little bit insecure when you get back to competing, but this has proved his form and we’re expecting him to push on and ride his way into contention now.


“Everybody played their part today but it was unfortunate the Bradley [Wiggins] lost time and he’s out of the general classification hunt now. The road was really twisty at the end and the fact he was at the back of the peloton meant he was on the wrong side of the late splits. It would have been nice to have him there but now he can focus on the time trial on Friday whilst helping the other guys as much as possible.”


Tuesday’s stage looks perfectly suited for the sprinters and Frost is expecting a steady day in the saddle before the fireworks come at the end.


He added: “It should be a straightforward day and we’ll be looking to give Ben [Swift] the best chance of success in the sprint whilst making sure Sergio doesn’t lose any time. We won’t be the only team with that game plan and we’re not expecting to do much work bringing the breakaway back.”



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