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Tour de Suisse 2017: Stage 7

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Live coverage of stage 7 of the Tour de Suisse, with a summit finish on the Tiefenbach Glacier. 

 

Hello there and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 7 of the Tour de Suisse.

The riders have all signed on and they will be rolling out of Zernez any minute now. 

Here's a look at the stage profile

The final ascent is the only difficulty on the menu, which should help the less pure climbers to a certain extent, though there really is nowhere to hide on a climb like that.

The race is underway. After two days of long drawn-out battles to form breakaways, will we see the same again today?

Plenty of attacks but nothing sticking for the moment.

As we wait to see if/when a break forms, let's turn our attention back to the finish, which features a pretty spectacular sight - a 1.7km long tunnel cut through the mountain. Here's a glimpse from media officer Jolanda van de Graaf.

144km remaining from 160km

It looks like the peloton is easing up and letting this big break go. We'll bring you the full composition shortly, but we're hearing there's a Sagan in there.

125km remaining from 160km

Courtesy of VeloPro, the composition of the break:

As the race situation settles down, why not catch up on how Pozzovivo ended up in yellow. Here's our stage 6 report, complete with full results and a photo gallery. 

110km remaining from 160km

100km remaining from 160km

It's another busy day of racing, with more action from the Route du Sud, Tour of Slovenia, and ZLM Toer on top of Suisse. We'll keep you posted on all the results as they come in on Cyclingnews.com

The long pre-amble to the intimidating final climb continues. The leading group of 18 still only have a modest advantage.

80km remaining from 160km

The gap grows out to four minutes now.

Over at the Tour of Slovenia, Luka Mezgec has taken the second stage, but it was marred by crashes as Mark Cavendish and Sam Bennett were both taken out in the rain.

65km remaining from 160km

There's some big news in the tech world today as Pirelli have unveiled the tyres that herald their return to bicycling. Oli Woodman has been to Pirelli's testing facilities in Milan to get hands on with the new tyres and give you the full lowdown. Here's the story:

The peloton continue to tap out a solid rhythm, and they've brought the gap to the break down to below the three-minute mark again. 

Have you listened to the latest Cyclingnews Podcast?

45km remaining from 160km

Here's a reminder of how things stand on GC as we begin the approach to the final climb.

We have a pair of intermediate sprints coming up before we hit the final climb. Peter Sagan is wearing the black jersey as leader of the points classification and might fancy striking out to extend his lead. 

The gap continues to fall. 1:30 now, and it's almost certain that our winner won't be coming from the 18-man breakaway group.

Sagan indeed hits out for the intermediate sprint. Matthews challenged him but the world champion bolsters his lead in the points classification. Another one to come.

30km remaining from 160km

Matteo Trentin is now alone out front with a lead of 12 seconds over his former companions. 

Meijers attacks from the break now and others go with him.

Back in the bunch the orange CCC train continues to roll. AG2R haven't had much to do in their first day in defense of the yellow jersey. 

Wellens attacks now as Trentin is caught.

20km remaining from 160km

Let's not forget that we have a final-day time trial on Sunday, so the climbers like Pozzovivo and Nieve need to gain time today. Steven Kruijswijk and Simon Spilak, third and fourth overall, look particularly dangerous.

Wellens continues his solo effort out front and takes maximum points at the second intermediate sprint.

Behind him Sagan pings off to collect the remaining points. Matthews again tracks him but can't pass him.

We're about to hit the climb and the peloton are now closing in on the break.

Sagan et al are caught by the peloton and spat out the back.

15km remaining from 160km

The road kicks up with some punishing early gradients, and the peloton is thinning out considerably already.

Gasparotto sets the pace for Bahrain-Merida, with Ion Izaguirre, 14th overall, on his wheel.

14km remaining from 160km

Mathias Frank, 5th overall and leader of the best Swiss rider classification, is dangling precariously off the back of the GC group. That's as much of a worry for himself as it is for race leader Pozzovivo, who has no teammates around him now.

Rein Taaramae leads the way for Katusha, who have three men up there, including Spilak. Movistar also have three, with 6th placed Marc Soler joined by Victor de la Parte and Carlos Betancur.

Valerio Conti and Tao Geoghegan Hart, 10th and 13th overall respectively, are dropped.

Pozzovivo dropped!

13km remaining from 160km

Nieve has lost contact too, and is being paced by Sebastian Henao. 

Rui Costa rides away from Pozzovivo, as does Betancur, who had dropped back from the lead group. 

Jan Hirt is fighting to stay in contact with the lead group. 

Soler is dropped from that front group now.

Caruso, Kruijswijk, and Izaguirre are starting to struggle now.

This is quite a ride from Rein Taaramae. The Estonian has decimated the field, and there are still over 10km to go.

Taaramae and Spilak are alone out front with just Dombrowski (35 minutes down) for company. 

9km remaining from 160km

Wow. Taaramae, Spilak and Dombrowski have 25 seconds on the chasers.

8km remaining from 160km

So, we have Spilak and Dombrowski out front. Kruijswijk has set off in pursuit, with Caruso, Izaguirre and Hirt chasing in a trio.

Spilak drops Dombrowski.

A reminder that Spilak started the day fourth overall at 22 seconds.

7km remaining from 160km

Spilak isn't tearing away here, as was on the cards. Dombrowski has him at a modest distance, while the American has Kruijswijk and co advancing behind him.

Pozzovivo is rallying with Frank in a trio that also includes Conti. They're 2:20 down on Spilak at the moment.

Soler dropped from the chase. Victor de la Parte takes it up for Movistar in that group with Nieve and Rui Costa. 

You can see our visualisation of the situation over to the right of your screens.

6km remaining from 160km

The gradients stiffen once more and Spilak takes his lead from 15 seconds to 27 seconds. That's over Dombrowski, who's still chasing gamely.

5km remaining from 160km

Izaguirre accelerates from this first chase group. Hirt follows while the rest dig in.

That chase group are 1:10 down on Spilak now as Izaguirre pulls away. 

Pozzovivo seems to have found his rhythm here and he drops Bilbao and Conti in that chase group, with his teammate Frank fighting just to stay near. 

4km remaining from 160km

3km remaining from 160km

Izaguirre catches Dombrowski and they take the dip down to the 3-to-go banner. 

2km remaining from 160km

Kruijswijk, Caruso, and Hirt come into the tunnel, 1:10 down on Spilak. 

We don't have a time check at the moment on Pozzovivo.

Izaguirre distances Dombrowski.

Flamme rouge for Spilak.

Time checks are few and far between in the tunnel.

Izaguirre is on the charge. The Spaniard is 25 seconds back now. 

Izaguirre is closing in but once Spilak gets out of the tunnel the road will duck down to the line.

The Katusha rider can't lose this from here.

Spilak sweeps down through the final few hundred metres. 

Simon Spilak (Katusha-Alpecin) wins stage 7 of the Tour de Suisse

The Slovenian sprints for every second then lifts his arms as he crosses the line.

Izaguirre comes across in second, 22 seconds back.

Dombrowski third, 36 seconds back.

Here come Caruso, Kruijswijk, and HIrt. 

Taaramae crosses the line next, in seventh place. Crikey, what a ride. 

Mikel Nieve is next, 1:45 down, shortly followed by Rui Costa.

Pozzovivo is coming home now with Frank and Bilbao.

Spilak now leads the Tour de Suisse by more than a minute. 

Top 10

General Classification after stage 7

We have a first finish-line shot of Spilak

Here is our stage 7 report page:

This is what's on the menu tomorrow - a short, punchy circuit race. 

Spilak should survive that stage, and then he just has the final-day time trial to negotiate to wrap up his second overall victory. The Slovenian, remember, finished 2nd in the 2015 time trial - ahead of Fabian Cancellara - on his way to 2nd overall in 2015. 

Thanks for joining us today. We'll be back tomorrow with full live coverage of tomorrow's stage.

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