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Tour de Suisse 2019: Stage 9


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 9 of the Tour de Suisse, the final stage of the race.


Tour de Suisse race hub

Stage 8: Bernal carries yellow into final day

Podcast: Has Bernal done enough to lead at the Tour de France?



We're about 20 minutes away from the start of this, the final mountain test of the race.

It's a brutal day with 3063 metres of climbing.


All expectations were that Egan Bernal would have to attack somewhere to get time back on Rohan Dennis after the time trial, but the Colombian smashed it yesterday and retained the race lead. He leads Dennis by 22 seconds today and should be locked in for the overall victory.


The Sustenpass, originally the second climb of the day, has been taken out for safety reasons. It's replaced by the Passo San Gottardo – the same, cobbled side – which the riders raced up to the finish on stage 7. Still, there are three HC climbs on the menu, so a tough day to end the race.


The peloton rolls out of Ulrichen to start the 3.3km neutralised zone.


They'll be starting the stage proper soon after this short section.


It's AG2R man Steve Morabito's final day in the Swiss national champion's jersey, and also his final day at his home race. The 36-year-old is retiring at the end of the season and said that he'll "try to have as much fun as possible" today.


Stage 9 has started!


Four men didn't take the start today. Tom Bohli (UAE Team Emirates) was among them.


The field is strung out at a high pace to start the race. They hit the Nufenenpass almost immediately, so that won't last long.


Sep Vanmarcke and Yves Lampaert are among the riders dropped early on.

100km remaining from 101km

A small group up front, just metres up on the peloton. Kasper Asgreen is up there.


Nufenenpass is the highest pass in Switzerland. It tops out at 2478 metres, and the climb averages 8.5% for the 13.3km.


98km remaining from 101km

Two men are up front now. Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) and Matteo Badilatti (Switzerland). Five men have bridged across.


Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates), Lennard Kämna (Team Sunweb), Antonio Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Gino Mäder (Dimension Data) are up there too.


And there's a Katusha rider at the rear of the group.


A chase group featuring Rui Costa, Mathias Fränk and Luis Léon Sánchez are trying to get across.


The groups have merged. There are plenty of unidentified riders up there though.


Carthy pushes on, upping the pace. The peloton are just over a minute back.


Carthy is out there alone now. Aru is chasing.


Matteo Fabbro (Katusha-Alpecin), Nicola Conci (Trek-Segafredo) and Aurélien Paret-Peintre (AG2R La Mondiale) are also in the chasing break group.



96km remaining from 101km

It's still Carthy out alone, followed by Aru, and then the rest of the break.


Ineos control the peloton.


A couple of Movistar riders are in that breakaway too.


The pace of Ineos has already slimmed the peloton down considerably.


Here's a look at the current size of the peloton.



Around seven seconds between Carthy and Aru.


Carthy is 45 seconds up on the chasers, and the peloton is 1:35 behind the solo leader.


94km remaining from 101km

1:50 back to the peloton now. Aru isn't making much headway into Carthy's lead.


Kämna pushes ahead of the chase group.


Kämna has made it across to Aru already.


Two minutes from Carthy back to the peloton.


Marc Soler and Mathias Fränk push on from the break.


Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) has attacked the peloton.


90km remaining from 101km

Carthy crests the top of the climb. Aru and Kämna came next, while Soler and Fränk are metres behind as they start the descent.


20 KOM points for Carthy, 15 for Kämna, 10 for Aru, 6 for Soler and 4 for Fränk over the Nufenenpass.


84km remaining from 101km

Three minutes between Carthy and the peloton.


The chasers aren't making much headway into Carthy's lead, even on the descent. We'll see how 1 vs 4 works out on the next climb of Passo San Gottardo. There's still around 5km until the start of the climb though.


It looks like Bouwman has made it across to the break (the third group).


2:20 from Carthy to the peloton now. The four-man chase group is around a minute down.


Simon Spilak (Katusha-Alpecin) is with the four chasers too.


66km remaining from 101km

Carthy hits the Passo San Gottardo, the finishing climb from stage 7.


Surely a group featuring Aru, Špilak (race winner in 2015 and 2017), Soler, Kämna and Fränk will eat into Carthy's lead on this climb...


64km remaining from 101km

Tsgabu Grmay (Mitchelton-Scott) is in the main break group too – the third group on the road. No time check for them, though.

Carthy is actually gaining time on the chasers here. Great effort.


He's 1:20 up as he hits the cobbles, while the peloton lies 2:35 back.

Špilak pushes on in the chase group. Aru and Soler take a moment to catch on.


It's Špilak's 33rd birthday today, so he's clearly trying for some extra celebrations.


Three minutes between Carthy and the peloton now.


Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R La Mondiale) and Hector Carretero (Movistar) attacked the peloton, but it's safe to say that their ambitions are limited.


61km remaining from 101km

Špilak pushes on again on the cobbles, and he's followed by Kämna and Fränk. Perhaps surprisingly, it's Aru and Soler who are struggling the most on the climb.


Soler got back to the trio, but Aru is having more trouble. It's only his second race since March, mind. The Italian underwent iliac artery surgery in April.


The riders head up over 2000 metres in altitude three times today (Passo San Gottardo tops out at 2108 metres). 


Meanwhile over in Italy, Annemiek Van Vleuten (Michelton-Scott) is training for her Giro d'Italia defence on another monstrous mountain – the Passo Gavia. Read the full story here.



58km remaining from 101km

Carretero and Bouchard have passed the third group on the road, and Bouwman is leading the attacking from that group, trying to reach them.


1:25 between Carthy and the first chase group. 4:10 back to the peloton.


The first chase group is just Kämna, Špilak, Soler and Fränk now. Aru is gone.


This same stage with the same three climbs, was raced back in 2005, with Euskaltel-Euskadi's Aitor González winning the stage by 46 seconds ahead of Fränk Schleck.


The Basque overhauled Michael Rogers' 36-second advantage to win the overall by 22 seconds.



56km remaining from 101km

Astana push the pace on the front of the peloton now.


If you fancy a look through the history books, you can read our report on that stage back in 2005 here.


Carthy leads by 1:40. The peloton are 3:45 down.


It would be generous to call it a peloton at this point. It has slimmed down a lot under this Astana pace. There are maybe 25 riders left.


54km remaining from 101km

Carthy crests San Gottardo. He has 40 points now and leads the mountain classification. The chasers are 500 metres back.


The chasers pass the KOM point 1:51 down on Carthy. Back in the peloton Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) gets a wheel change but quickly makes it back.


Astana has three men on the front of the peloton.


Only around 25 riders remain in the peloton. They're four minutes down on Carthy as they fly down the descent. The chase group are two minutes back on the Brit.


Carthy hits the valley road now, two minutes up on the Špilak group.


Bora (Lukas Pöstlberger), UAE (Matej Mohorič) and Ineos lead the peloton.


Kämna and Soler are dropped from the chase group as they hit the final climb of the day, Furkapass.


38km remaining from 101km

Jan Hirt (Astana) attacks from the peloton.


The Furkapass is 11.5km long at an average of 7.7%.


Carthy is once again gaining time on the next group on the road.


36km remaining from 101km

Hirt lies just nine seconds down on third-placed Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe). He's fighting for a podium spot here.


Maybe 15 riders remain in the Bernal group.


Kämna is caught by the peloton.


No real change in the time gaps. Carthy is on track to solo over the top for the KOM jersey, and looks in great shape to win the stage.


Enric Mas (Deceuninck-QuickStep) has joined Hirt now.


33km remaining from 101km

Ineos head to the front of the reduced peloton.


2:30 for Carthy now. Fränk and Špilak have made no headway whatsoever.


Just seven riders in the Bernal group now.


The Bernal group is closing in on Špilak and Fränk now.


30km remaining from 101km

Hirt and Mas are back with the GC group.

Mas drops out the back of the GC group.


The GC group is: Egan Bernal (Team Ineos), Domenico Pozzovivo, Rohan Dennis (both Bahrain-Merida), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal), Marc Soler, Carlos Betancur (both Movistar), Jan Hirt (Astana).


28km remaining from 101km

Carthy is still 2:55 up on that group.


Fränk and Špilak are caught by the GC group.


26km remaining from 101km

Carthy crests the summit of the Furkapass. The mountain classification is his now.


Dennis tries a move but Bernal easily keeps him in check.


Nobody else could follow the duo.


No more attacks on the ascent and the pair are together on the descent now.


20km remaining from 101km

Bernal is following Dennis down.


They're 2:35 down on Carthy.


15km remaining from 101km

15km to go for Carthy now. 


The rest of the GC group are still chasing Bernal and Dennis on the descent.


The final intermediate sprint comes at 7km t o go.


10km remaining from 101km

10km for Carthy now. He's 2:05 up on Bernal and Dennis.


Carthy approaches the final intermediate sprint.


Carthy takes the intermediate sprint. Dennis and Bernal are 1:55 back.


4km remaining from 101km

The rest of the GC group are 2:25 down, so almost a minute behind the Bernal-Dennis duo now.


3km remaining from 101km

3km to race for Carthy now.


1km remaining from 101km

Carthy hits the final kilometre.


He's 1:15 up on the chasers, who are 1:10 ahead of Benoot and the rest.


And Carthy takes the win! A great ride from him.


Špilak and Fränk snuck away from the chasers and head into the final kilometre.


Dennis and Bernal cross the line 1:03 down. Bernal wins the Tour de Suisse!


Fränk takes fourth ahead of Špilak. They finish 1:52 down.


Betancur leads the rest of the GC men in, 2:15 down.


A solid ride by Bernal, who wasn't in any real danger today. As a result, the stage wasn't exactly a thriller, though Carthy's ride will take the headlines.


Stage result


1 Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education First 3:01:49
2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:02
3 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Team Ineos 
4 Mathias Fränk (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:52
5 Šimon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin
6 Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:15
7 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
9 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
10 Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team


Final general classification


1 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Team Ineos 27:43:10
2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:19

3 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:04

4 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:03:12

5 Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:03:13

6 Šimon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin 0:03:48

7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:04:14

8 Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team 0:04:35
9 Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:04:53

10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sunweb 0:05:27


Here's what Carthy had to say after the stage.


"I don't know [how it was possible to ride alone for so long] On the first climb I knew the legs, body and head was good. It was just a time trial – the same for everybody – just one effort per climb. You just have to believe you can do it.



"It genuinely wasn't planned. Two days ago on the stage to san Gottardo I was terrible. My head, legs and body were tired, and I just wanted to be on holiday and finish the first part of the season. Yesterday in the time trial the legs were better. Today it was one last chance and I wanted to finish on a high before the holidays.



"It's still sinking in. It's a happy moment for me, a relief. We train hard, make sacrifices and lose sight of victory. We want to win every race and I'm just relieved to win and pay back the confidence of my team and teammates."


And now Bernal...


"It is one of the biggest races that I have won so I'm really happy. It gives me a lot of confidence for the next races. I'm really happy because just before the race I had a big crash and couldn't go to the Giro d'Italia so to come here and win is really nice for me and for the team.


"I think that things changed when Thomas crashed because he was our leader when we came here. So after his crash I became the leader and it changed a lot for me.


"I don't know [about the Tour de France]. I don't choose to say that I'm the favourite. In any case, I will go with G – he will be our leader. I will try to help him. If he's better than me, for sure I will help him. I don't have any problems to help him; I'm just 22 years old so I think that I have a lot of Tours in front of me."


Here's the final podium.



Carthy takes the mountain classification after his ride today.


Egan Bernal is the best young rider.


Peter Sagan takes the points classification.


And that about caps our coverage of the 2019 Tour de Suisse! The Tour de France is two weeks away now, but first there's the matter of numerous National Championships. 


Keep coming back to Cyclingnews for all the coverage of pre-Tour buildup and news, and just about every race in between.


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