Cycling / Tour of Switzerland. Williams, first surprise winner

Briton Stephen Williams (Bahrain), won the first stage of Tour de Suisse.

Cycling / Tour of Switzerland. Williams, first surprise winner

Briton Stephen Williams (Bahrain), won the first stage of Tour de Suisse. The 177.6km circuit south of Zurich was a challenging circuit and did not allow for some competitors like Thibaut Pinot, Daniel Martinez, or Gino Mader.

Williams won the first leader's title ahead of Maximilian Schachmann, Bora, and the Dane Andreas Kron, Lotto Soudal.

In the final sprint, where many of the competitors for the title of event champions appeared, the 26-year old rider surprised everyone. He overflowed right on Belgian Ilan van Wilder, who had launched an offensive from far away.

Some favourites attacked the last kilometer, including the Russian Alexandr Vlasov, the Dane Jakob Fuglsang, and the Belgian Remco Evenepoel. Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates, both Britons, finished in the last explanation group of twenty runners.

Thibaut Pinot, a Swiss Gino Mader and Daniel Martinez, were left behind five kilometers before the finish.

It is not custom to once, and it was not a prologue, that opened the 85th Tour de Suisse. Instead, the riders completed a challenging loop of 43.7km around Kusnacht. The riders crossed the hills of Pfannenstiel (4.1km at 4.6%), Kusnacher Berg (2 km at 7.3%), which was on the menu.

Seven competitors led the stage, including the Dane Casper Pedersen of DSM and Quinn Simmons from Trek-Segafredo. They gave way to the peloton after the first kilometers. The escapees were counted up until four minutes ahead, but were slowly taken back by the peloton on the final lap.

The second stage, 199 km, will see riders travel from Kusnacht near Basel to Aesch on Monday.

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