Træen claims solo summit victory in stage 4 of Tour de Suisse

Torstein Træen secured his first professional win by holding off Adam Yates on the Gotthardpass in stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse. Træen broke away early and dropped his last companion, Roland Thalmann, 10km from the finish. His victory comes after a battle with cancer, which he announced he was free from in July 2022.

Træen and Thalmann formed an early break, maintaining a strong lead over the peloton. As the race advanced, Træen made his move with a 3:46 advantage. Despite a powerful late charge from Yates, Træen finished 23 seconds ahead.

Reflecting on his win, Træen said, “To be honest, no,” when asked if he realised what he had achieved. “The [team] doctor came into my room and he asked how I was, I said ‘I am good but I don’t have legs’.”

The stage held special significance as it crossed the highest point of the Tour de Suisse, dedicated to Gino Mäder. “It’s obviously special, it’s for Gino no? On the Gino mountain, rideforgino. It means the world, he was still a colleague and you still miss him,” said Træen. “Obviously, in this team, it’s super special and we always want to ride for him, and on a day like this when his day was his mum is also here, it’s super special.”

The race began in Rüschlikon on Lake Zurich, covering 171km with an early climb on the Albipass. A fierce battle for the breakaway saw multiple teams vying for the front, with Soudal Quick-Step and Q36.5 making early moves. An eight-rider breakaway eventually formed, including Træen, Lilian Calmejane, Bryan Coquard, and others. Their lead grew significantly, peaking at 6:40, as the peloton showed little urgency in the chase, especially after race leader Alberto Bettiol’s crash.

The break’s lead was cut as they approached the key climbs of Schöllenen and Gotthardpass. Træen and Thalmann emerged as the strongest from the breakaway group, with Træen soloing to victory.

In the final kilometres, Adam Yates launched a powerful attack, distancing his rivals and securing a strong finish. His effort not only brought him close to Træen but also gave him the overall lead. Skjelmose and Almeida finished just behind Yates, while Egan Bernal rounded out the top five.

Oscar Onley of Team dsm-firmenich PostNL delivered a commendable sixth-place finish, positioning himself well in the overall standings. “The guys did a really good job again today protecting me throughout the stage. On the climb, Frank put me on the UAE train as they started to increase the pace which was perfect and from there it was just down to the legs. I made a couple of mistakes but it’s a solid start and something to build on for the rest of the week I think,” Onley said.

Cian Uijtdebroeks and Wilco Kelderman showed determination, finishing ninth and twelfth respectively. Kelderman’s crash disrupted their rhythm, but both riders managed to limit their losses. Uijtdebroeks remarked, “Actually, I felt pretty good today. It was the first long effort since my abandonment in the Giro d’Italia. I feel my body is getting stronger every day. Unfortunately, I missed the power the moment Yates and later Skjelmose attacked. Despite losing a bit, the differences are not very big yet. In the coming days we will try to move up in the GC.”

2024 Tour de Suisse Stage 4 result

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