Mas edges closer to Tour de Suisse overall podium
With four stages remaining, the Vuelta al Pais Vasco stage winner is fourth in the standings.
Enric Mas delivered an impressive performance on the first summit finish of the Tour de Suisse, where he finished runner-up behind Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), who emerged victorious in the final meters from a group containing 15 riders. Mas was among the few to chase down late attacker Mikel Landa (Movistar), chewing into his countryman's advantage, before leaving behind several big names on his way to a second World Tour podium this season, a result which underlines again the 23-year-old's amazing potential.
The start of stage 5 was crazy fast, with a cat-and-mouse game between the peloton and the riders who tried to break clear, only to see all their attempts come to nothing, despite a favourable terrain – a second-category climb which on paper should have slowed down the bunch. Instead, the pack averaged a whooping 50km/h for almost half the stage, preventing any group from slipping away in the first 70 kilometers.
All that the six men who extricated themselves from the peloton could do was establish a two-minute lead which was easily scratched off by the chasers, who brought them back to heel on the Leukerbad climb, with eight kilometers to go. There, Mikel Landa was the first to launch an offensive, but despite distancing the main group, he couldn't go all the way, being reeled in with 300 meters left.
On that closing section, Ulissi outkicked everyone else, but the Italian wasn't the only one to impress, as Enric Mas put in a solid out-of-the-saddle acceleration to finish a close second, ahead of Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data) and new race leader Richie Porte (BMC). Quick-Step Floors' prodigious Spaniard was rewarded with a spectacular jump in the general classification, where he moved to fourth, only one second separating him from the podium and the best young rider jersey.
"The team was incredible today, protecting me during the stage and bringing me in a good position on the final climb, which was really important. I'm satisfied with this result, because I know Diego is one of the fastest riders on this type of finish and I couldn't have done more in these conditions. I hope to have the same good legs in the next stages and get some more nice results", said Enric after Quick-Step Floors' fifth podium in as many days at the Tour de Suisse.
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