181 riders started stage 17 in Bern, Switzerland, after Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Rohan Dennis (BMC) withdrew in order to prepare for the Olympic Games. 51.8km were covered in the first hour. The high tempo prevented any breakaway from taking shape. Tanel Kangert (Astana), Stef Clement (IAM), Kristjian Durasek (Lampre-Merida) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) rode away in the climb of Saanenmöser after 70km of racing. Seven riders join them: Jarlinson Pantano (IAM), Rafal Majka and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R), Steve Morabito (FDJ), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) and Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Vital Concept). A counter attack of eight riders was formed with Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Serge Pauwels (DiData), Alberto Losada (Katusha), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step) and Ruben Plaza (Orica).