Double strike by Simon Spilak
16. June 2017









Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) won the 7th stage with a regular ride in the 14 km long final climb to the Tiefenbachferner above Sölden. Spilak had himself dressed in the leader jersey at the same time.

In the 14 km climb to the highest arrival of a professional tour in Europe (2’780 m) Spilak had less and less opponents around him. This was partly thanks to his teammate Rein Taramää (EST), who had long been responsible for the pace of the ever-decreasing main group. At this time Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) in Maillot jaune and Mathias Frank (SUI/ALM) were clearly behind.

In the end, Joseph Dombrowski (USA/CDT) Spilak, who won the Tour de Suisse two years ago and who has not been able to score a success since then, also had to be let go. But the Slovenian still had a long way to go, especially as Ion Izagirre (ESP/TBM) covered the second half of the route faster in the glacier world and moved up dangerously. In the end, the runner-up of last year’s Tour de Suisse was beaten by 22 seconds.

On Thursday, he had got into a crisis at Albula Pass. On Friday, however, he had the feeling of having good legs when he got up, said Spilak. And so Spilak explained the miraculous transformation: “On Thursday it was too warm for me. I ride better in cooler weather.” The fact that Spilak achieved the majority of his successes in our country (3 stages as well as the overall classification of the Tour de Romandie 2010) is based on a simple explanation: “I just like it here.

With regard to the exit of the 81st Tour de Suisse, a preliminary decision has been made on the way up to the Tiefenbachferner. Apart from Spilak, only Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC, 52 seconds behind) and Steven Kruijwijk (NED/TLJ, 1:05 minutes back) are eligible for the overall victory. The decision will most likely be made on Sunday in the time trial in Schaffhausen. Spilak was unable to elicit a prognosis. But he confessed with a smile: “In exams against the clock, I’m actually not that bad.”

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