Luis León Sanchez (Astana) won stage two of the Tour de Suisse 2019 after springing a surprise late attack and holding off the peloton.
Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) took the overall lead, having finished fourth on the stage, with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in second place on the same time, having finished second on the stage behind Sanchez, but finishing behind Asgreen in the stage one time trial.
The Spaniard attacked from 10km out, taking out a 27 second gap with only 6km remaining and maintaining this advantage into the finish.
How it happened
Stage two provided a circuit route around Langnau im Emmental, featuring three ascents of a couple of category two climbs, although the fast men such as Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet (CCC) were likely to be able to get over them and make it to the finish at the front of the race.
A breakaway of four riders got away fairly quickly, most notably featuring Guillaume van Keirsbulck (CCC Team), although they weren’t allowed too much of an advantage, gaining only 2-30 over the peloton.
Peter Sagan beat Michael Matthews (Sunweb) at the second intermediate sprint of the day, and with only Claudio Imhof (Switzerland) left up the road they took two and one bonus seconds respectively.
Imhof was still off the front, two minutes ahead, with 50km to go as he started the last lap of the circuit, but was eventually caught with 37km remaining.
Omar Fraile (Astana) attacked from 30km out as he headed over the penultimate climb of the day, cracking Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Roland Thalmann (Switzerland) who briefly joined him up front.
Asgreen got back on to Fraile, but both were swept up by the peloton with 18km until the finish line.
Luis León Sanchez was the next to go, attacking from 10km out on the flat, and quickly gaining a 27 second gap with only 6km were remaining.
Sanchez had taken three more seconds out with 5km left, maintaining this gap under the flamme rouge with 1km to go as CCC headed up the peloton.
His gap proved to be enough, lifting his arms aloft as he crossed the finish line with the peloton rushing in behind six seconds later.
Tour de Suisse 2019, stage two: Langnau im Emmental to Langnau im Emmental (159.6km)
1. Luis León Sanchez (Esp) Astana, in 4-01-21
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe, at six seconds
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
6. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
7. Omar Fraile (Esp) Astana
8. Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team-Emirates
9. Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin
10. Ben Swift (GBr) Ineos, all at same time
General classification after stage two
1. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, in 4-12-16
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe, at same time
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida, at one second
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb, at same time
5. Stefan Küng (Sui) Groupama-FDJ, at 10s
6. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott, at 17s
7. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos, at 18s
8. Luis León Sanchez (Esp) Astana, at 19s
9. Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar, at same time
10. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 20s