Astana did a strong job over the main climbs of the day to drop the sprinters and with the fast men struggling to rejoin the front of the race, Sanchez launched his attack.
The Spaniard quickly gained an advantage of 30 seconds and as CCC and Team Sunweb struggled to organise a chase. The peloton slowly clawed their way into Sanchez's lead, but he had time to salute as he crossed the line six seconds ahead of the main bunch which was led home by Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe).
"I am so happy I could win today," said Sanchez, "I did not expect I could be so strong in the final, but I was lucky to hold the gap until the end. We knew we have to do this race as hard as possible since with many big sprinters in the peloton we had to try to escape the bunch sprint to get a chance to fight for the victory.
"The team was super strong on the last two climbs and later when I saw a moment, I made my attack. For a few kilometres the situation still was on the limit since the peloton was really close, chasing me hard. But in the end, I’ve managed to resist and to win! I want to thank my teammates, they did a phenomenal work during the whole day and, especially, in the final. It is a great moment for me to win here at the Tour de Suisse."
The battle for bonus seconds in the general classification was an interesting one throughout the stage, with Kasper Asgreen (Decuninck-QuickStep) taking over the race lead from Rohan Dennis (Bahrain Merida) after acquiring bonus seconds in the earlier moments of the stage.