Five moments from 2011. They are a personal choice like any list sometimes you omit more than you include but I’ll explain each moment. They’re presented in no particular order.
This time Stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse. Arguably the fourth biggest stage race in the world, Switzerland is Europe’s mountain nation and full of stunning roads. In this highlight of 2011 you get clever tactics, a master class descending and Peter Sagan showing that a vicious mountain pass like the Grosse Scheidegg (16km, 7.7% average, several sections at 12%) doesn’t worry him.
This time there’s not much to narrate. The video tells the story. Watch as Cunego places his attack near the summit. He crosses the top first with Laurens Ten Dam and Peter Sagan chasing, plus Jakob Fuglsang.
Cunego then descends like a maniac or a supreme expert, take your pick, dropping Ten Dam within no time. The road is narrow but helpful signs warn of dangers. Behind Peter Sagan passes Ten Dam. Cunego arcs through the bends, the camera motorbike struggles to keep up. Watch the video re-run at 8m58 seconds to see how close the Italian is pushing it.
With 3km to go Sagan catches Cunego and the seemed to do a deal, Sagan wins the stage and Cunego takes the overall lead… but the sprint looks pretty competitive all the same and the huge crowds seem to appreciate the moment. This was a major mountain stage and Sagan’s ability here was impressive.
- Also a thought for Mauricio Soler. The Colombian started this day in yellow and happier times. Later in the race he crashed and suffered major cranial injuries from which I believe he is still recovering today with laborious physical re-eduction work.