SARNEN, Switzerland (AFP) — Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) won stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse on Sunday as Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) retained the leader’s yellow jersey.
Meyer won a three-up sprint with Philip Deignan (Sky) and Larry Warbasse (BMC Racing) as the race headed into the mountains for a 181.8km leg from Bellinzona to Sarnen that featured two beyond-category climbs.
“This is a significant win for me,” said Meyer, who admitted he was keen to make amends following a disappointing Giro d’Italia, which saw him forced to retire after just seven stages.
“I really wanted to bounce back and come back strong in the second part of the season. This is a great way to start that.”
Martin, who won Saturday’s opening individual time trial, kept hold of the yellow jersey as he crossed the line with the peloton 14 seconds behind to maintain a six-second advantage over Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano). Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) sits third overall at 13 seconds.
Meyer, Deignan and Warbasse were part of an early six-man breakaway group and tackled the ascents of both the Gotthardpass and Furkapass in cold and wet conditions before Warbasse launched an attack on the day’s final obstacle, the category-2 Brunigpass, 30km from the finish.
Deignan followed, and while Meyer initially fell behind, he soon scrambled his way back to the leading pair on the descent.
With the finish in sight Warbasse jumped first but couldn’t match the kick of Meyer, who went on to claim his first win of the season.
“The other two thought I was tired because I had been dropped on the climb, and I was happy to let them think that. They looked at each other more than at me, which was perfect,” said Meyer.
“They sprinted early. I waited. I opened my sprint at 150m to go and passed them both before the line.”
Monday’s third stage is a 206km ride from Sarnen to Heiden that includes three category 2 climbs.
• Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale), who sat fifth overall after the opening stage, was forced to withdraw from the race with digestive problems and a heavy fever.