Tour de Suisse: Johan Esteban Chaves wins stage eight as Tony Martin extends lead
Last Updated: 21/06/14 5:11pm
Colombia’s Johan Esteban Chaves climbed to an impressive solo victory on stage eight of the Tour de Suisse as Tony Martin produced a dogged performance to extend his overall race lead.
Chaves attacked from a select front group with 2.6km of the ascent to Verbier remaining and hung on to win by three seconds from runner-up Roman Kreuziger and third-place Bauke Mollema, who had both set off in pursuit.
Martin was not expected to keep hold of his slender race lead on the hors-categorie climb but managed to stay with his rivals and even extended his gap at the top of the general classification to 51 seconds after second-placed Tom Dumoulin was dropped and lost time.
World champion Rui Costa remains second overall, 1min 5sec down, after crossing the line next to Martin.
The day’s eight-man breakaway had led the field on to the final climb to Verbier and although Danilo Wyss later moved into a solo lead, he was unable to hold off the chasing peloton and was caught with 4km to go.
That opened the door for fresh attacks and although Mathias Frank tried and failed to go clear 3.3km out, Chaves succeeded with a well-timed acceleration.
Davide Formolo initially followed the Orica-GreenEdge rider but could not keep pace and was dropped with 1.9km remaining, while Kreuziger and Mollema later launched counter-attacks as the road flattened out to the finish line.
They made significant inroads into Chaves’s lead in the final 1km, but the 24-year-old was able to hold them off to claim his second victory of the season.
Earlier in the day, Britain’s Peter Kennaugh, who had been 18th overall, abandoned the race through illness.
Stage eight result
1 Johan Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge, 5:11:16
2 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo, +3secs
3 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin, same time
4 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar, +16
5 Janier Acevedo (Col) Garmin Sharp, +17
6 Philip Deignan (Ire) Team Sky, st
7 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
8 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale, st
9 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida, st
10 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling, st
1 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, 28:54:16
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Shimano, +51secs
3 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida, +1:05
4 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling, +1:14
5 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin, +1:41
6 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale, +1:47
7 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo, +1:50
8 Janier Acevedo (Col) Garmin Sharp, +2:07
9 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar, +2:29
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC, +2:30