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"Later I found another moment for an attack, but maybe it was too early and I should have waited a little bit. In the final I missed just a little to follow Pinot. But I am satisfied with today race."

Photo: A.S.O.




17.06.2015 @ 20:37 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Wednesday’s stage 5 was a tough test for Team Katusha’s Simon Špilak, but one he passed with flying colors as he made his way up the Rettenbachgletscher for the summit finish in Sölden, Austria.


Špilak began his attack on the lower part of the 12 km climb and immediately established a gap to a diminished field, finally making his way to the top in third place behind winner Thibaut Pinot (FDJ).


"I think it was a good race for me. I felt good and the legs worked well. The final climb was really hard, a very tough challenge, but I was motivated and tried to do all I could on this climb. I attacked with more or less 8 km to go and I was able to get a gap but later the rivals came back and we rode up to Stefan Denifl (IAM Cycling) in the break. Later I found another moment for an attack, but maybe it was too early and I should have waited a little bit. In the final I missed just a little to follow Pinot. But I am satisfied with today race. There were still some important stages including the final TT. I will keep on trying!" said Simon Špilak.


The Slovenian rider now holds third place on the general classification at 50-seconds to Pinot, only three seconds behind second place Geraint Thomas of Sky.


"Simon did a great race. He made efforts to win the stage and raced with motivation. He tried his best and his attacks were good efforts to try for the stage win, so we have to be satisfied when he did everything he could. That was very nice to see," said team director Torsten Schmidt. 


The start of the 237 km queen stage began in Unterterzen/Flumserberg under cloudy skies and cooler temperatures. A eight man group went clear on the stage but with the massive glacier climb waiting at the end, everyone knew it was only a matter of time before they were brought back and the climbers went to work.


The climb, known as one of the hardest finishing climbs in cycling, provided all the drama in today’s stage with Simon Špilak animating the climb with his first attack at 8,2 km to go as he continued to close the gap to a solo Denifl. Once a small group joined Špilak, Simon took one more chance in a final attack at 2,5 km to go. Pinot went with him as they caught Denifl and eventually rode past to claim a solo victory, but the good legs of Špilak put him in third place on the stage behind Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) as well as third overall for the general classification.


Thursday’s 193,1 km stage is one the pure sprinters have been waiting for. As the only “true” sprinter’s stage in the 2015 Tour de Suisse, stage 6 begins in Wil and ends in Biel/Bienne with only one small rated climb on the course. It’s a day for the fast men. 



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