Deceuninck – Quick-Step leave the World Tour race with three stage victories in the bag.
Enric Mas confirmed his remarkable consistency in stage races this season by riding into the top 10 overall at the Tour de Suisse after nine hard and testing days, which culminated with a short but intense leg around Ulrichen, which saw the peloton take on a trio of HC climbs: Nufenenpass (13.3km, 8.5%) – Switzerland’s highest pass, Gotthardpass (12.1km, 7.4%) and Furkapass (11.5km, 7.7%).
It was on the last of these gruelling ascents, featured 55 years ago in the famous “Goldfinger” film starring Sean Connery, that Mas went on the attack together with Jan Hirt (Astana), putting pressure on the reduced yellow jersey group, which had to increase the tempo and shed riders out the back in order to reel in the duo, who at one point had managed to open a 25-second maximum gap.
Distanced before the top of the Furkapass, the 24-year-old Spaniard didn’t panic and continued at his own tempo, without going too deep on the climb or risking onto the descent, and at the end of this brutal day secured another top 10 at overall at World Tour level, following his ninth place in March, at the Volta a Catalunya.
Enric’s result in the Tour de Suisse GC wrapped up a superb Tour de Suisse for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, who for the second time in the last six years notched up a hat-trick of victories at the last World Tour event before the Tour de France, courtesy of Elia Viviani and Yves Lampaert. The squad’s strong showing also cemented our position at the head of the UCI World Team Ranking, which we will now lead for the 67th consecutive week, a unique streak since the inception of the World Tour.
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