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Tour de Suisse 2019: Stage 9

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

 

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.

100km remaining from 101km

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

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

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.

94km remaining from 101km

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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). 

58km remaining from 101km

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.

56km remaining from 101km

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fränk and Špilak are caught by the GC group.

26km remaining from 101km

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

They're 2:35 down on Carthy.

15km remaining from 101km

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

Carthy approaches the final intermediate sprint.

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

4km remaining from 101km

3km remaining from 101km

1km remaining from 101km

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

Final general classification

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

And now Bernal...

Here's the final podium.

Carthy takes the mountain classification after his ride today.

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. 

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