The overall leader Egan Bernal (COL/INS) celebrated a superior triumph on the Gotthard Pass at the end of stage 7 and extended his lead in the overall classification to Rohan Dennis (AUS/TBM) to 41 seconds.
In the 13 km long final ascent on the old pass road up the Tremola, the Ineos-Express provided a tough elimination. No less than three helpers kept the pace horrendously high for their leader. 2.7 km before the end, the overall leader took action himself and left all opponents behind.
“I told my teammates to go flat out. They did their job perfectly. I dedicate this stage victory not least to them. Without their dedication this triumph would not have been possible”, said Bernal.
The winner of this year’s long-distance Paris – Nice race is well aware that he will lose time on Rohan Dennis in the 19.2 km individual time trial in Obergoms on Saturday. The question will probably be how the two professionals have digested the 216.6 km long stage of this tour and the exhausting final climb.
After a rapid start with 51.9 km in the first hour of the race, an escape group of eight riders formed, which made its mark on the course of the stage. With Michael Albasini (MTS), Swiss champion Steve Morabito (GFC), Gino Mäder (TDD) and Mathias Frank (ALM), four Swiss cycling pros were among the outliers. At the beginning of the Tremola Frank tried to take revenge for the defeat of the day before in Flumserberg with a solo advance. Frank’s dream of stage victory ended 5 km before the Gotthard Hospice.