Geraint Thomas took the overall victory in the Tour de Suisse. The Welshman finished the time trial in second place behind Remco Evenepoel. Best Swiss was Stefan Küng. He took third place in the stage and fifth place in the General Classification.
It was very literally a “hot” race in and around Vaduz, the capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein. On one hand it was about the day’s victory, on the other hand the General Classification, in which the top three were separated by only 19 seconds. The stage was set for the time trial specialists. Dylan Van Baarle took the hot seat early on. But Remco Evenepoel shattered his time coming home in 28:26 minutes with an average speed of 54.02 km/h. No one could match this pace. No one came close to that time. Stefan Küng put up a strong performance and was two seconds faster than Evenepoel at the halfway point of the race but in the end it was only enough for third place, 11 seconds behind the Belgian. Geraint Thomas squeezed in between them. Although he was clearly behind Küng and Evenepoel at the intermediate check, only three seconds separated him from victory in the end. The General Classification was thus a formality. His direct competitors Sergio Higuita and Jakob Fuglsang finished more than a minute behind in second and third place respectively. Stefan Küng jumped two places to finish the Tour de Suisse in fifth place overall.
Thomas is sober in victory
In typical Welsh fashion, Geraint Thomas took an outwardly sober approach to his victory. “I prepared for the race in the normal way and tried not to think about the overall classification but to concentrate on the race.” So he kept a cool head while warming up on the roller for the race to avoid overheating. Regarding his narrow miss of the day’s win, he added nonchalantly that he was not directly informed about the overall standings. “I knew I was slightly off the pace at the split time. But what can I say? I probably lost to the biggest young talent in cycling. It’s fair enough.”
Photos: Buchli Photography/Sam Buchli
A learning experience for Remco Evenepoel
The close stage victory went to Belgian Remco Evenepoel. With this an otherwise personally disappointing Tour de Suisse for him ended triumphantly. “I am happy about the stage win here. It is a beautiful course. There should be more like this on the world tour.” But the Belgian was also reflective, looking back on his entire Tour de Suisse campaign. “I learned a lot. For example, that you can’t win this race if you give 100% right from the start. So that I’m not misunderstood, you have to have 100% concentration but you must also reserve your strength until the end. I didn’t manage that sufficiently. Hopefully I will be able to put this knowledge into practice at the Vuelta.”