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Tour de Suisse 2019: Stage 7

 

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 7 of the Tour de Suisse.

 

Race hub
Stage 6: Tolhoek wins on Flumserberg
Bernal's late attack nets race lead at Tour de Suisse

 

We're around 15 minutes away from the start of today's stage, another summit finish.

It's another one for the climbers today, with a first-category and HC climb on the stage. The riders will finish atop the Passo San Gottardo, a cobbled climb which features 38 hairpins.

 

The riders are about to head out for the 3km neutralised zone, which should take around ten minutes to cover.

 

The San Gottardo has been on the Tour de Suisse route 39 times before today. The first summit finish on the pass was back in 2001 when Dmitri Konyshev won the stage.

 

The peloton are riding through the neutralised zone now.

 

Michael Hepburn (Mitchelton-Scott) is the only non-starter today.

 

139 riders took the start today.

 

216km remaining from 216km

And they're off. Stage 7 is underway!

 

There's 50km of flat roads before the first climb of the day, the second-category climb of Flims.

 

A lot of attacks early on. Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal) and Michael Schär (CCC Team) were briefly out front but no move has stuck so far.

 

And still riders are trying to get away.

 

And still a breakaway has yet to stick.

 

The peloton has shut down all the attacks so far. It's proving a tricky task to get a breakaway together here.

 

Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) took the race lead with a late attack yesterday. "I think we did really well, and now we need to control the race tomorrow. We will play our cards," he said. Read the full story here.

 

 

The riders have covered around 25km already. Still no breakaway established.

 

Actually, the latest update is that they're almost 40km into the stage now.

 

Four riders are up the road now. It's not clear how much of an advantage they have though.

 

Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-Scott) and Lukasz Wisniowski (CCC Team) are out front. Four men tried to get across but couldn't get away.

 

Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) and Michael Valgren (Dimension Data) have reportedly crashed.

 

164km remaining from 216km

52km covered in the first hour – a very fast start.

 

Aru and Valgren are back in the peloton.

 

The climb to Flims is coming up soon. It's 11.7km at an average of 4%, though there's a downhill section in the middle. The opening 2km are at 12% and 10% respectively.

 

Winner Anacona (Movistar), Steve Morabito (Groupama-FDJ), Mathias Frank (AG2R La Mondiale), Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-Scott) and Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) are out front now. Wisniowski has been dropped. The five breakaway riders are 1:55 up the road.

 

The riders are tackling the climb of Flims now.

 

Tom Dumoulin's absence from the Tour de France was expected to have a positive effect on Sunweb's sprinter Michael Matthews. However, the Australian geared his preparation around helping Dumoulin and he admits that he "doesn't know where to go from here." Read the full story here.

 

 

150km remaining from 216km

The break goes over the top of Flims after 66km of racing. The peloton is two minutes back.

 

The order of riders over the top: Bouwman, Anacona, Fränk, Wisniowski, Mäder.

 

Wisnowski and Mäder have made it across. No word on whether Morabito and Albasini are still up there, though I would assume so.

 

Yes, the Swiss duo are still up there. Tsgabu Grmay (Mitchelton-Scott) is now up there too, making it eight in the break.

 

The riders are back in the valley now and will tackle the Lukmanier Pass next. The top of that first-category climb comes after 122.8km, so a long way to go.

 

Steve Morabito is the best-placed rider on GC. The AG2R man is 2:13 down on Bernal, while Bouwman is the only other rider in the break within three minutes of the race lead.

Yesterday's stage, the first summit finish of the race, saw Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma) take the win from the early break. Read the full report and results here. Will another man from the break triumph today?

 

 

123km remaining from 216km

93km into the stage, the break is 2:30 up on the peloton.

 

Not much slack for the breakaway today. We'll see how the gap changes on the day's first big climb though.

 

Check out the latest edition of The Musette – our weekly tech and gear roundup. There's Oakley limited edition Tour de France shades, MAAP bib shorts and a Campagnolo wheelset. Click here to read.

 

Michael Albasini has more career wins than the rest of the breakaway riders combined. The 38-year-old is on 30, with the 2012 Volta a Catalunya his biggest to date. Meanwhile, the other seven men combined for 24, with Mathias Fränk and Winner Anacona both winning a Vuelta stage.

 

Wisniowski is the only rider in the break without a pro win.

 

Team Ineos are controlling the peloton, as expected with their man Bernal in the race lead.

 

The break hit the Lukmanier Pass. The climb is 16.8km long at an average of 5.3%.

 

2:55 is the advantage for the breakaway as they hit the climb.

 

According to Velon, Koen Bouwman has averaged 42kph to start the stage, with a max speed of 91.4kph. His average power so far has been 240 watts. It has been a fast start to this mountain stage.

 

The time gap is holding steady on the climb so far.

 

No movement up front at the moment. You'd imagine the action will be saved for the final climb to the finish.

 

Wisniowski is suffering on the climb and he drops back from the break.

 

Wisniowski is 30 seconds down on the rest of the break now.

 

The seven other riders are still working together well up front.

 

93km remaining from 216km

Bouwman led the way over the top of the climb.

 

Grmay, Morabito, Mäder, Anacona followed behind Bouwman. The break now hits the descent.

 

Bouwman now has maximum KOM points so far today. That's 18 for him in total, seven down on mountain classification leader Claudio Imhof.

 

Wisniowski crosses the top two minutes down on the break. The peloton is 3:35 back.

 

UAE Team Emirates have extended the contracts of their Norwegian riders Alexander Kristoff and Sven Erik Bystrøm by two years. Read the full story here.

 

 

73km remaining from 216km

143km gone for the break now as they speed down the descent.

 

Wisniowski is now 2:20 back, just 30 seconds up on the peloton.

 

The break have most of the descent behind them now.

 

Stage 3 of the Tour of Slovenia has just finished. Stay tuned for a report and results from the race.

 

Just the final climb of the Passo San Gottardo remains now.

 

There are two intermediate sprints to come before the finish, however.

 

The riders have been in the canton of Ticino since the top of the Lukmanier Pass, and they'll race there to the finish. It's the only canton in Switzerland where Italian is the sole official language.

 

This (the town of Biasca, where the break has just passed through) is the closest the race gets to Italy. The lakes of Lugano and Maggiore not too far south, along with the border towns of Mendrisio, Lugano, Varese and Como.

 

51km remaining from 216km

The seven-man break are 3:55 up on the peloton now as they race into the final 50km.

 

The break are approaching the first intermediate sprint of the day in Giornico.

 

41km remaining from 216km

Steve Morabito won the sprint in Giornico. He beat Bouwman and Grmay to the line.

 

The next sprint at Ambri comes in 21km. It's all uphill to there, and afterwards too.

 

Kiel Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo) has abandoned the race. He crashed on stage 3 and couldn't continue today, citing patellar tendon inflammation.

 

It's still a four-minute advantage for the break.

 

The break are sharing work, but it seems like Albasini is doing work on his teammate Grmay's behalf

 

31km remaining from 216km

Bahrain-Merida and Team Ineos lead the peloton. They're 3:35 down now.

 

The gap is coming down quickly now. It's 3:15 with 29km to race.

 

Albasini has dropped back from the breakaway after his work for Grmay.

 

The break are around 7km from the second intermediate sprint.

 

Fränk, Grmay, Morabito, Anacono and Mäder are the riders left in the break.

 

25km remaining from 216km

2:45 for the break now as the peloton speeds up.

 

22km remaining from 216km

The road is heading uphill, but the break aren't on the climb yet.

 

Michael Matthews drops back to the Sunweb team car with a mechanical issue.

 

18km remaining from 216km

The peloton have closed the gap to two minutes now.

 

The Tour de Suisse is, of course, the last major stage race before the Tour de France starts in a couple of weeks. If you're worried about how to watch the race throughout July then don't because we have your viewing options covered.

 

Click here to find out how to watch the Tour de France live from anywhere.

 

 

15km remaining from 216km

Morabito led bouwman and Anacona over the sprint at Ambri.

 

Meanwhile, Kouen Bouwman has gone on the attack and has a gap of around 10-15 seconds on the break.

 

13km remaining from 216km

Bouwman reaches the base of Passo San Gottardo.

 

The climb is 12.5km long, at an average of 7.2%.

 

11km remaining from 216km

Just Morabito, Fränk and Mäder left chasing Bouwman now as riders drop from the break.

 

The break is 1:25 down on Bouwman as Grmay is caught.

 

9km remaining from 216km

The Swiss chasing trio catch Bouwman as the break hit the cobbles.

 

Fränk pushes on alone.

 

9km remaining from 216km

Movistar take it up on the front of the peloton now. They're just 35 seconds down on the break.

 

Fränk is still out there on his own. Morabito is next to be brought back by the peloton.

 

7km remaining from 216km

30 seconds for Fränk now.

 

Ineos are leading the peloton, and they're closing in on Fränk. It won't be long until the catch is made.

 

6km remaining from 216km

Stage 2 winner Luis Léon Sánchez (Astana) is dropped.

 

5km remaining from 216km

Fränk is caught now.

 

The lead group has maybe 10-15 riders.

 

The leaders hit the final 5km.

 

Ben Swift (Ineos) is putting in a very good ride, still on the front of the lead group on this mountain.

 

Enric Mas (Deceuninck-QuickStep) attacks as Swift pulls off!

 

4km remaining from 216km

Mas has about 5 seconds on the Ineos-led chasers.

 

Elissonde and Castroviejo lead race leader Bernal.

 

3km remaining from 216km

Elissonde pulls off. Just Castroviejo left for Bernal now.

 

Here's a look at the chase group, and the cobbles...

 

 

Mas takes the smooth gutter whenever he can, avoiding the cobbles.

 

We're all waiting for Bernal's inevitable attack once Castroviejo pulls off.

 

2km remaining from 216km

Bernal attacks!

 

Pozzovivo went with Bernal but now either can't live with the Colombian's pace or is waiting for teammate Rohan Dennis.

 

2km remaining from 216km

Bernal catches Mas.

 

I'm not sure whether the riders will be thinking this right now but... what a nice climb.

 

 

Bernal goes straight by Mas and now he's alone out front.

 

Bernal was always the best climber in this race, and he's showing it here.

 

Mas, then Pozzovivo and Dennis, then Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) chase.

 

Mas is with the two Bahrain men now. Bernal is heading for the win here.

 

1km remaining from 216km

Final kilometre for Bernal. Pozzovivo drags Dennis along.

 

Benoot, Konrad and Hirt are further back. Two trios chasing Bernal.

 

Bernal is somewhere between 15-20 seconds up on the Bahrain duo.

 

He's pushing into the closing metres now.

 

Mas is back with Hirt, Benoot and Konrad.

 

Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) wins stage 7 of the Tour de Suisse!

 

That's his second win of the season after the overall at Paris-Nice.

 

Dennis doesn't come out of Pozzovivo's tow for some reason. They lose around 25 seconds.

 

Bernal takes ten bonus seconds, while Dennis only takes four.

 

23 seconds between Bernal and the Bahrain duo.

 

Konrad, Hirt and Benoot finished 34 seconds back, in that order, while Mas took seventh, 40 seconds down.

 

Bernal has extended his lead over dennis from 12 to 41 seconds. Tomorrow's flat 19km time trial will be interesting, but Dennis will likely take that time back ahead of the final stage.

 

Stage result

 

1 Egan Arley Bernal Gomes (Col) Team Ineos 5:37:40

2 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:23

3 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida

4 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:34

5 Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team

6 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal

7 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:40

8 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:50

9 Lennard Kamna (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:01:03

10 Fabio Aru (Ita) Team UAE Emirates

 

General classification after stage 7

 

1 Egan Arley Bernal Gomes (Col) Team Ineos 24:17:48

2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:41

3 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:13

4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:17

5 Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:01:19

6 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal

7 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:02:07

8 Fabio Aru (Ita) Team UAE Emirates 0:02:20

9 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sunweb 0:02:23

10 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:26

 

Bernal takes to the podium for the yellow leader's jersey and the white best young rider jersey.

 

Here's what Bernal had to say after the finish.

 

"I think so [that this victory is the most important in my career]. I'm happy for this, I won the TT last year at the Tour de Romandie, so it's nice to win again in Suisse.

"It was difficult to know [when to attack] because you never know how you're going to feel at the end. I was feeling really good and I said to the guys, as always they did a fantastic job and in the end, I won the stage for them so it's really nice.

"It wasn't easy, they were full gas and even in the wheels, it's really hard to stay with them in the wheels but I tried to stay calm and the final it was the best decision. We did a really good pace and everyone was full gas for the final.

"I'm not sure [if it is enough time on Rohan Dennis], he's the world champion in the time trial and for sure, tomorrow I will lose time to him. I hope to not lose too much time but we also have another mountain stage. We will do our best and we will control what we can control and we will do our best."

Bernal makes his third appearance on the podium – he's now the leader in the mountain classification too, and dons the strange peach/brown jersey. After finishing first up this HC climb, he has 30 points to Claudio Imhof's 25.

 

Of course, tomorrow he'll only wear the yellow jersey, with Benoot and Imhof taking the youth and KOM jerseys for the day.

 

Peter Sagan will retain the black points jersey.

 

Our brief report and results from the stage are up now. Stay tuned for the full version.

 

 

Here's a look at tomorrow's time trial, a flat 19km test around Goms.

 

 

That's all for our live coverage of stage 7. Be sure to join us again tomorrow for more fun in Switzerland!

 

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