If Tony Martin’s importance to his Omega Pharma-Quickstep employers was not already clear, the German delivered a stunning reminder on stage six of the Tour de Suisse.
Defending his yellow jersey on a tough, undulating stage, Martin stayed safely in the wheels of Team Sky as they set the pace over the day’s climbs.
But when it came to the finale, Martin was not satisfied with merely defending the yellow jersey.
A blistering wind-up for team-mate Matteo Trentin was done at such a pace a split formed in the peloton – with pre-stage favourite Peter Sagan among those forced to chase back in the final kilometre.
Relive the stage below in the full-width gallery of Stefano Sirotti’s photos.
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Leading the charge
Team Sky, and Philip Deignan in particular, put in a huge shift on the Col des Rangiers in a bid to trim the bunch (pic: Sirotti)
The result was a very strung out bunch, with plenty of riders being shelled out the back (pic: Sirotti)
Peter Sagan could not be dropped however, as the pre-stage favourite looked in great shape for the win (pic: Sirotti)
Off the back
Mark Cavendish did well to stick with the bunch until the 30km to go mark, but eventually found the climbing pace too much (pic: Sirotti)
Luke Rowe, after burying himself on the front, suffered the misfortune of a double puncture (pic: Sirotti)
Get as low and aero as possible (pic: Sirotti)
Mind the gap
The result of Martin's lead out was a big split, which Rui Costa tried desperately to close (pic: Sirotti)
On a roll
Matteo Trentin becomes Omega Pharma-Quickstep's third stage winner of this year's Tour de Suisse (pic: Sirotti)
Job well done
Tony Martin enjoys his team-mate's success (pic: Sirotti)
Peter Sagan cannot hide his disappointment at missing out on a stage win, despite keeping the points jersey (pic: Sirotti)
Trentin is one of 11 riders bidding to join Mark Cavendish and Michal Kwiatkowski in the Omega Pharma-Quickstep Tour de France squad (pic: Sirotti)
Tony Martin reflects on an exceptional day's work as race leader and lead-out man. pic: ©Sirotti