Igor Antón looks to be coming into shape at just the right time, the Euskaltel climber having been a factor in the finale of the Tour de Suisse's mountainous second stage on Sunday.
The stage to Crans-Montana early on showed who's there or thereabouts and who's not even close, the pace on the final climb shelling riders out the back right from the base of ascent.
Rabobank's Bauke Molllema proved to be the strongest with a ferocious acceleration inside the final two clicks. The young Dutchman reeled in Ryder Hesjedal who'd gone clear early on and beat Mathias Frank and Thibaut Pinot by some ten seconds.
Antón, looking to rediscover the form of old in time for the fast-approaching Tour de France, featured briefly in a couple of attacks inside the final five kilometres, but eventually came across the line in 19th place. Accompanied by Gorka Verdugo, Antón appeared to be sitting on relatively comfortably in his first race back since April's Tour de Romandie.
One rider who did not have the best of days, was Ion Izagirre. The youngest of the brothers is set for his Tour bow in less than three weeks' time, but he toiled to finish almost ten minutes down today. Jorge Azanza was stronger, launching a small offensive alongside Dan Martin early on on the finishing climb, while Adrián Sáez was once again successful in infiltrating the day's main break.
- (1, Bauke Mollema (Rabobank), 2:43:00)
- 19, Igor Antón, 0:36
- 32, Gorka Verdugo, 1:15
- 52, Jorge Azanza, 3:28
- 61, Robert Vrecer, 4:25
- 73, Juan José Oroz, 6:22
- 93, Ion Izagirre, 9:27
- 115, Ricardo García, 10:52
- 116, Adrián Sáez, s.t.