Higuita takes race lead as Pinot wins from the breakaway at the Tour de Suisse

Sergio Higuita took the opportunity to deal a big blow and jump into the race lead as as Thibaut Pinot won the seventh stage of the race from the breakaway

Higuita takes race lead as Pinot wins from the breakaway at the Tour de Suisse

The peloton made the 194.6km journey from Ambri to the Malbun ski resort in Liechtenstein today, with two brutal climbs again awaiting the riders.

The peloton kept a large breakaway on a long leash until halfway through the race before the gap slowly began to narrow. In the end, however, the last of the escapees weren't able to be reeled back in and Thibault Pinot took the day's win.

Behind followed a smaller GC group containing Sergio Higuita, Felix Großschartner and Maximilian Schachmann. As the group became smaller, with about 3km remaining, Sergio launched an attack and was able to drop Thomas and the then-overall leader Fuglsang. The Colombian champion took over the yellow jersey and retained his lead in the young rider's classification.

The day didn't start well off, as yet another rider from BORA - hansgrohe - Marco Haller - abandoned the race with Covid-19, leaving only Higuita, Max Schachmann and Felix Grossschartner left. It was not possible to control the breakaway, however the German team did not have the responsibility and managed to use it's weapons to the max in the final climb. "We knew that the last part of the climb was particularly steep after a short flat section and so our plan was to attack with Felix and then with Max. Felix, however, didn't feel so good in the finale," Higuita said.

The pace was hard from the base with Daniel Martínez trying to keep the race under control and compact until as late as possible. However, fellow Colombian Higuita took advantage of that work and attacked in the final kilometers of the ascent. "After Fuglsang went and Thomas followed him, I launched my attack. I knew that I am not a time trial specialist, so I had to get valuable seconds here before tomorrow's stage," Higuita added.

His plan worked. Although the stage win was in front, Higuita was the fastest up the final climb, and took 11 seconds on Geraint Thomas - besides the 29 on Jakob Fuglsang. This took him into the yellow jersey after he started the day in third place.

"We knew that the last part of the climb was particularly steep after a short flat section and so our plan was to attack with Felix and then with Max. Felix, however, didn't feel so good in the finale. After Fuglsang went and Thomas followed him, I launched my attack. I knew that I am not a time trial specialist, so I had to get valuable seconds here before tomorrow's stage.", said Sergio Higuita.

"It will be hard to compete with Thomas, who is a time trial specialist, but we will give it our all again tomorrow and do our best," he concluded. The Colombian will not be the favourite to take the overall win, as he carries only a two-second buffer over Geraint Thomas into tomorrow's 25-kilometer long time-trial." 

After Aleksandr Vlasov abandoned the race, Higuita will be looking to make up for the disappointment that has marked the team.

VIDEO: 2022 Tour de Suisse Stage 7 Highlights

2022 Tour de Suisse Stage 7 Top 10

1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, in 5-06-39
2. Óscar Rodríguez (Spa) Movistar, at 25 seconds
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan Team, at 38s
4. Sergio Higuita (Col) BORA-Hansgrohe, at 1-19
5. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 1-30
6. Nicolas Prodhomme (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team, at 1-40
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech, at 1-48
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, at 1-59
9. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ, at 2-09
10. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-EasyPost, at 2-19

2022 Tour de Suisse GC after Stage 7

1. Sergio Higuita (Col) BORA-hansgrohe, in 32-38-38
2. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 2 seconds
3. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech, at 19s
4. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-EasyPost, at 1-16
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, at 1-37
6. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ, at 2-09
7. Stefan Küng (Sui) Groupama FDJ, at 2-19
8. Bob Jungels (Lux) AG2R Citroën Team, at 2-31
9. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe, at 2-47
10. Andreas Leknessund (Nor) Team DSM, at 2-59

 
Tag: tourdesuisse
 
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