Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) took a solo victory in the virtually neutralised stage in Weinfelden. The young Belgian broke away on the last climb and could not be caught. At the finish he gestured to the sky in memory of Gino Mäder. Mattias Skjelmose (Trek-Segafredo) retains the overall lead going into the final stage.
“It was a tough day for everyone in the peloton,” said Remco Evenepoel, winner of Stage 7 of the Tour de Suisse at the finish interview. “We didn’t know how to deal with the situation or even if we could resume the race. I think that today’s stage was ridden out in exactly the right way. And I rode the stage my way, full throttle at the end with the intention of winning the stage for Gino.” It is the second Tour de Suisse stage win for the current World Champion and Vuelta winner and he has the chance to win the Tour tomorrow: “The best riders in the General Classification had agreed not to race against each other. We want the best cyclist to win the Tour tomorrow”.
The Race Began in the Final 25 Kilometres
All thoughts remained with the tragic loss of Gino Mäder throughout the 7th stage of the Tour de Suisse. The decision to continue the race was taken by race organisers just before midnight – after consultation with riders, teams and Gino Mäder’s family. It was welcomed by all sides and considered an appropriate way to honour and respect Gino’s memory. For safety reasons no real racing took place until the last 25 kilometres. Up to this point the entire field rode as one. Several riders, including three-time World Champion and record stage winner of the Tour de Suisse, Peter Sagan, then dropped back and finished the day calmly and quietly. Some teams (Tudor, Bahrain-Victorious, Intermarche-Wanty) as well as a number of Swiss riders (including Marc Hirschi, Stefan Küng, Michael Schär) did not start the stage and left the Tour de Suisse.
Who Will Win the Final Tour de Suisse Time Trial and Take the Tour?
The men’s Tour de Suisse ends tomorrow with an individual Time Trial from St. Gallen to Abtwil. The 25.7 kilometre route over undulating terrain could shake up the overall classification – as long as the remaining contenders are up for the final challenge. Matthias Skjelmose is the last to roll off the start ramp in the Yellow Jersey. He will be chased by Felix Gall (8 seconds behind), Juan Ayuso (18 seconds) and Remco Evenepoel (46 seconds). From a Swiss perspective all eyes will be on Stefan Bissegger.