Bissegger grabs Tour de Suisse stage in rainy Gstaad
Swiss rider Stefan Bissegger outsprinted the other survivors of a breakaway on Wednesday to win the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse, as Mathieu van der Poel kept the overall lead
Bissegger of Education First edged French rider Benjamin Thomas of Groupama-FDJ and American Joey Rosskopf of Rally in the last 200 metres in the rain on Gstaad airfield at the end of a 171km run from St Urban.
The pack finished 5min 16sec back.
"Finally I got a stage win at the Tour de Suisse," said Bissegger. "I'm really happy with that."
It was a second Swiss success of the race.
Stefan Kung won the opening time trial on Sunday, in which Bissegger had finished second.
Dutchman Van der Poel, who rides for Alpecin, won the other two stages.
He retained his one-second overall lead over Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe of Deceuninck. Kung is third. Bissegger jumped to fifth.
It was also Bissegger's second victory in a senior race. The first was in a time trial in Paris-Nice in March.
"I would say this one is nicer," he said. "This was a normal road stage, and the other one was a time trial, so more for specialists. Both are nice but here in Switzerland it's maybe even a bit nicer."
The breakaway escaped with 30 kilometres to go and the peloton made little effort to catch them.
For the last 20km, Bissegger, Thomas and Rosskopf, three powerful rollers on the flat, were away on their own.
Each tried to shake the other two without success, before Bissegger broke clear in the last 200m.
"I wasn't very comfortable in the rain. The sprint wasn't a big deal, Stefan was a little bit fresher than me", Thomas said.
At the start of the day, Belgian team Intermarche-Wanty Gobert team dropped out of the race announcing that one of their staff had tested positive for Covid-19.
On Thursday, the 175km fifth stage between Gstaad and Leukerbad offers two first category climbs.
VIDEO: 2021 Tour de Suisse Stage 4 Highlights
2021 Tour de Suisse Stage 4 Top 10
1 Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo 3:46:21
2 Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:0:00
3 Joey Rosskopf (USA) Rally Cycling 0:0:00
4 Joel Suter (Swi) Switzerland 0:0:23
5 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:05:16
6 Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates 0:05:16
7 Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 0:05:16
8 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:05:16
9 Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious 0:05:16
10 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:05:16
2021 Tour de Suisse GC after stage 4
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 12:40:52
2 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:0:05
3 Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team 0:0:15
4 Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal 0:0:36
5 Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo 0:0:37
6 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:0:49
7 Eddie Dunbar (Irl) Ineos Grenadiers 0:0:55
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious 0:0:55
9 Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:0:58
10 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team DSM