Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 8 of the Tour de Suisse.
As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height over Andermatt, the riders are riding out of town and starting the first climb of the 159km stage.
The stage starts with a bang on the Oberalp Pass. We expect attacks and riders were carefully warming up before the stage.
All aboard the @wahoofitness KICKR tandem!It's an uphill start at #TourDeSuisse so important to be ready pic.twitter.com/tOiqBUeijWJune 13, 2021
This was the roll out in Andermatt.
The riders have swept up the early fast hairpins and the early attacks are coming.
Wout Poels (Bahrain) has surged off the front of the peloton.
Trek are riding tempo to try to defend Antonio Nibali's mountains jersey.
But there are other counter attacks. This is a fast, painful start to the stage.
The peloton is like a swarm of bees, chasing the attacks and changing shape all the time.
Poels pushes on as sprinters are dropped out the back due to the speed.
The peloton is lined out on the fast sweeping mountain roads., with splits in the line.
There's a tailwind on some sectors but then a headwind after certain hairpins.
Poels still leads at the halfway point of the opening climb.
Other riders are trying to go across to him but they are racing and watching each other.
The high speed has split the peloton, revealing who is on form and climbing well.
Richard Carapaz is in the leader's yellow jersey and has four Ineos teammates with him for now.
150km to go
Poels nears the summit of the Oberalp Pass on flatter roads.
A group of chasers has formed but the peloton is chasing them down too.
Poels is near the summit as the other riders prepare to sprint for second place at the top.
Nibali kicks early to score KOM points but other riders come past him.
Poels was timed as fastest on the descent section of Saturday's TT. He is using the same bike skills to try to extend his lead. But his gap is only 10 seconds now.
Poels is still giving it big licks on the descent as the hairpins end and speed is up to close to 100km/h.
As the riders enter the valley, Poels is joined by several riders.
We have a six-rider group up front. They are working like crazy to push out their lead.
KOM 1:@WoutPoels , @SergioSamitier , @iamdlax , @AntonioNibali , G. Mannion @BHRVictorious @Movistar_Team @TeamEmiratesUAE @TrekSegafredo pic.twitter.com/ps9Vc8R5h7June 13, 2021
Poels is only 5:58 down on the GC and so is making other riders and teams in the top ten nervous and active in the chase.
The six lead by 20 seconds but the pace is high as the pursuit continues.
130km to go
The views across the Alps are stunning but the riders have no time to enjoy them.
The peloton is trying to get riders across the 25-second gap to the break and keep their GC riders safe.
The six attackers are:
Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious), Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Marc Soler (Movistar), Omar Fraile (Astana-Premier Tech), Fabien Doubey (Total Direct Energie) and Sören Kragh Andersen (Team DSM).
The peloton is 40 seconds down on the six with three chasers in the middle.
Luke Rowe and Pavel Sivakov are back in the peloton after closing a gap on the valley road.
Carapaz has plenty of support but the race starts the next big mountain climb.
The riders start the Lukmanierpass. It is 16.5km long and climbs at 5.3%.
The peloton is at 1:00 but other riders are trying to go across and get into the break.
Up front the trio of chasers have joined the six to create a nine-rider attack.
The three are Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Tjesi Benoot (Team DSM) and Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM).
With three riders in the attack, Team DSM are pushing the pace.
Behind then peloton is splitting again, as UAE try to get into the action.
A valley tailwind makes things fast and aggressive. The race is furious.
Riders are gradually being spat out of the peloton due to the high speed and intensity.
It's a hard final stage to the 2021 Tour de Suisse.
The gradient eases mid-climb but the break of 9 push on at speed.
Their leads is only 50 seconds but is stable.
We can see about 50 riders in the peloton, with Ineos now leading the pace with UAE.
There are shared interests here and so the work is shared too.
Ineos perhaps want a steady pace but UAE seem to want to close the gap or put Costa in the attack.
There is still some 7km to climb of the long Lukmanierpass.
Three more riders are trying to go across to the attack.
They are David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) and Sergio Samitier (Movistar) and Antonio Nibali (Trek), with de la Cruz chasing the mountains competition.
Indeed he kicks several times and drops Nibali.
De la Cruz and Samitier are 30 seconds down on the attackers. But there are more riders trying to go across too.
Ineos lead the peloton at 1:20 from the head of the race. They are in control of the race so far.
The mountain points are awarded in 2km at Hauptsrasse, below the summit of the Lukmanierpass.
We have a leading group of 9:@stefankueng @TiesjBenoot @kraghsoren @andreaslek @WoutPoels @OmarFraile @solermarc93 @3sdevenyns @FabienDoubey @TeamDSM @BHRVictorious @deceuninck_qst @Movistar_Team @GroupamaFDJ @AstanaPremTech @TDE_ProCycling pic.twitter.com/nLA44Ly1B3June 13, 2021
Four more chasers are close to catching the break, Nibali is with them and so can perhaps defend his mountains jersey.
We now have 15 riders in the attack.
It's a sprint for the KOM points.
Poels wins it, de la Cruz is second, so the KOM is shaken and stirred.
Nibali was only 4th but gave his all to try to score some points.
Thanks to his points, de la Cruz is now the virtual leader of the mountains competition.
He has 29 points but the final climb of the San Gottardo will be decisive, Samitier, Poels and Nibali are close.
The peloton is timed at 2:00 over the top of the Lukmanierpass.
The attack and the peloton face more than 40km of descending roads now.
#TourdeSuisse 🇨🇭With 110km to go the race has settled down a bit and we have a breakaway group of 10.@blingmatthews and @estecharu are amongst the peloton/yellow jersey group 1'38" behind the front of the race ⏱ pic.twitter.com/3ks4uJDsvxJune 13, 2021
100km to go
The riders are enjoying the smooth sweeping Swiss roads.
The peloton has eased their chase, allowing the gap to grow to 2:50.
70km to go
We're back on the valley road and the peloton sweeps up some of the riders dropped from the attack.
Ineos has six riders to help Carapaz. They seem in total control at the moment.
Of course the San Gottard climb could change everything.
The peloton is lined out as the race enters Biasca in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland.
The break still includes 15 riders.
Some fans are enjoying the cool Santa Petronilla waterfalls but for the riders its a Sunday of suffering.
The flat roads give teams a chance to get fresh bidons.
Upfront Kragh Andersen is alone but the rest of the attack are only 30 seconds back with the big climb to come.
55km to go
Stefan Kung leads the attack through the Giornico sprint. The move leads the peloton by 1:30 now.
The Gottard Pass looms in the distance. The riders face a gradual climb and then final 13km mark the official climb. However the next hour will be all about climbing.
The break pushes on and seems to extending their lead.
There are 15 riders in the break.
50km to go
The Gottard Pass tops out just 15km from the end of the stage.
Before then there is an intermediate sprint at 35km to go.
A horn blower signals the finale of the stage.
We can expect some attacks on the Gottard Pass.
The 14 man break has 2:20, 45km to go...inclouding the famous Tremola climb: @stefankueng @3sdevenyns @iamdlax @AntonioNibali @WoutPoels @perni100 @NansPeters @solermarc93 @SergioSamitier @FabienDoubey @TiesjBenoot @kraghsoren @andreaslek @TeamDSM @AstanaPremTech @GroupamaFDJ pic.twitter.com/OiCxKDi8H6June 13, 2021
The speed of the stage means the riders are 30 minutes ahead of schedule.
The valley road is rising slightly and hurting some riders in the attack.
Surprisingly Wout Poels one of them.
The attackers are fighting into stiff headwind.
The riders face another 25km of climbing. A 10km easier section and then the official 13km of climbing, much of it on the smooth cobbles of the Val Tremola road.
It will be spectacular.
The break splits and reforms after attacks. The 15 riders are tiring but also playing tactical games before the Passo San Gottardo begins in earnest.
We have a race within the race, within the race.
The headwind is making for a hard race in the attack.
The 14-riders are now in three groups.
These are the 14 riders up front:
Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious), Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Marc Soler (Movistar), Fabien Doubey (Total Direct Energie), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Sören Kragh Andersen (Team DSM), Tjesi Benoot (Team DSM), Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM), Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Mauri Vansevenant (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Nans Peters (AG2R Citroën), David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), Antonio Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) and Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain Victorious)
The riders empty their pockets in a litter zone but it seems the 4 have got away, with the others ready to ease up and be caught.
The four on the move are:
Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Nans Pieters (AG2R Citroën), Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM) and Tiesj Benoot (Team DSM).
Into the closing stages of #TourDeSuisse and the Gotthardpass lies ahead. Other teams have taken up the pace-setting, meaning we've got the whole team there for Richie ahead of the final climb. pic.twitter.com/aUrXPnjGNJJune 13, 2021
Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain Victorious) is also chasing the quartet and is stronger than Nibali. He is only 16 seconds back.
Meanwhile the rest of the break are swept up.
The peloton is only 1:30 back and so the fight for the GC could yet become the fight for the stage too.
Nibali is caught by the peloton as Rutsch leads the pace for EF and Uran.
The 13km of the Passo San Gottardo will show if the break can stay away and if Carapaz can defend his race lead.
The gap is down to just 30 seconds as Pernsteiner surges away and drops Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-QuickStep).
Michael Matthews is on the front of the peloton, working for teammate Esteban Chaves.
Other riders are also being spat out as the speed in the peloton hurts.
Pernsteiner has attacked with @TiesjBenoot riding strongly for us to follow! 👊🏻Behind, @andreaslek is riding at his own tempo, just in front of the charging peloton with 26km to go. #TourdeSuisse pic.twitter.com/Gk3cMcuImUJune 13, 2021
Ineos take over on the front of the peloton, riding at a steady but fast tempo to protect Carapaz and dissuade attacks from Uran and others.
Uran proved he is on form in the time trial. He is only 17 seconds down overall and so could and should try an attack on the final part of the Passo San Gottardo.
Click below to read the full report from Saturday's time trial to understand how close Uran is to Carapaz.
Yesterday Carapaz started the day 1:11 ahead of Uran in the general classification but saw his margin cut to 17 seconds ahead of the final stage.
Can Uran do something similar today?
There is still 8.5km to climb. A lot can happen high up amongst the snow banks.
Julian Alaphilippe was third overall in the GC at 39 seconds but did not start so he can be present at the birth of his first child.
That means Max Schachmann (Bora) is third overall at 1:07.
He is riding strongly but we expect a battle between Carapaz and Uran.
The Passo San Gottardo tops out at 2106m, hence why it is still covered in snow.
Pernsteiner surges again with Benoot but they are about to be caught by the Ineos lead peloton.
The 7% of the climb is hurting everyone.
Benoot is dropped and caught, leaving just Pernsteiner out front with 5km left to climb.
Now the cobbled surface begins, making the racing even harder.
Rohan Dennis is leading the peloton for Ineos and Carapaz.
The British team has recreated its mountain train and is giving Carapaz a protect ride.
The stunning Passo San Gottardo hairpins begin. They snake up the side of the mountain.
Pernsteiner's jersey is open to fight the heat but he is about to be caught.
17.5km to go
There are 2.5km to go to the summit of the Passo San Gottardo.
It's surely time for Uran to attack.
And Uran Attacks!
He goes onto the narrow smoother gutter. But Carapaz is on his wheel.
Michael Woods is there too but Schachmann is struggling.
Cattaneo goes after him.
Dunbar leads the group for Carapaz but there are only eight or so riders left up front.
Here we go. Uran attacks with 17km to go. @RichardCarapazM is straight onto his wheel after some good work from the team.We're nearing the summit of Gotthardpass #TourDeSuisse pic.twitter.com/sPETxyfycOJune 13, 2021
Ineos are letting Woods and Cattaneo go clear as they control their GC rivals.
Woods goes deep and gaps Cattaneo.
And Uran kicks again!
Only Carapaz can go with him.
Woods nears the summit. He faces a 15km descent to the finish.
Gino Mader goes clear of the Carapaz group but others are not moving.
Woods looks back but he is clear, as Mader passes Cattaneo.
Woods summits first.
Mader is at 20 seconds, with Carapaz and Uran at 30 seconds. Schachmann is further back but has the descent to get back on.
The spectacular summit roads passes a snow-covered lake.
Woods leads Mader by 20 seconds. Carapaz has Eddie Dunbar there to help with the pacing. It is another superb ride by the Irishman.
Woods took 20 points at the top of the Passo San Gottardo and so should seal victory in the mountains classification.
Even if he does win the stage it has been a successful attack.
Woods tucks low on his bike but is careful to stay UCI legal.
Gino Mader catches Woods. The GC chasers are only 15 seconds behind them.
Dunbar sets a steady pace and so forces Fuglsang to work on the front.
Ineos would be happy for riders to take away the time bonuses awarded at the finish.
The riders are descending to Andermatt, where the stage started this morning.
5km to go
Ineos sends Dunbar on the attack. He deserves a chance of a stage victory.
Dunbar is caught. But they can see Woods and Mader.
2km to go. The roads are flat now.
It's a Canadian versus a Swiss rider.
Fuglsang ups the pace to try to hold off Schachmann. He needs to gain 8 seconds on the German.
Woods is on Mader's wheel.
They slow as they begin to think of the sprint.
Woods takes over on the twisting finish.
Mader wins it!
Woods tried to power to victory but Mader passed him near the line.
Cattaneo takes third just ahead of the Carapaz group.
Uran finished in the same time as Carapaz and so finishes second overall.
Meanwhile Carapaz and Ineos celebrate their overall win. It is Carapaz's first stage race win since his 2019 Giro win.
It surely makes him a co-leader for the Tour de France alongside Geraint Thomas, even if the two Tour time trials favour the Welshman.
Schachmann chased all the way to the line but missed out in third place overall by four seconds.
This is the stage result.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious||4:06:25|
|2||Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation|
|3||Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:00:09|
|4||Eddie Dunbar (Irl) Ineos Grenadiers|
|5||Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers|
|6||Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates|
|7||Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo|
|8||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos|
|9||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech|
|10||Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:00:21|
And this is the overall top ten.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers||24:44:01|
|2||Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo||0:00:17|
|3||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech||0:01:15|
|4||Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:01:19|
|5||Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation||0:02:55|
|6||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos||0:03:16|
|7||Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates||0:03:43|
|8||Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma||0:04:16|
|9||Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:04:39|
|10||Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange||0:05:33|
Woods finished an impressive fifth overall. He is due to lead Israel Start-Up Nation's hopes in the Tour de France, while Dan Martin targets stage victories.
Carapaz is the first rider from Ecuador to win the Tour de Suisse and there a few happy Ecuadorian at the finish celebrating with him.
Mader gives Bahrain yet another win and his second win after taking stage 6 of the Giro to Ascoli Piceno.
Bahrain have won seven races in the last month, since Damiano Caruso won stage 20 of the Giro.
They're very victorious.
24-year-old Mader climbs on the peloton and takes the cheers of the local Swiss fans.
Ineos celebrate their win.
"Viva Carchi!" Great scenes at the finish with @RichardCarapazM and @EddieDunbar. Our second victory at #TourDeSuisse is a special one ☺️ pic.twitter.com/t6evAJ5mFgJune 13, 2021
The podium ceremony confirms Fuglsang as third, Uran second overall and Carapaz as the 2021 Tour de Suisse winner.
Carapaz takes the winner's yellow jersey and the huge race winner's trophy.
Here's the moment Mader beat Woods to win the final stage.
Here Carapaz controls Uran to secure overall victory.
Dunbar lead Carapaz home and to victory.
Carapaz was happy to win the Tour de Suisse.
Aaaand the podium of the 84th TdS:Winner: @RichardCarapazM (@INEOSGrenadiers ), 2nd @UranRigoberto (@EFprocycling ) 3rd @jakob_fuglsang (@AstanaPremTech ) @Vaudoise_de @Vaudoise_fr pic.twitter.com/fST2mhLhqdJune 13, 2021
“I’m happy to win. It’s a real team victory because we all worked well together," Carapaz said.
"When you work well together and do things well, you get your reward. It gives us a lot of confidence for what is to come."
Carapaz was referring to the Tour de France but made it clear he will be a co-leader and just be there to help Geraint Thomas.
"The truth is that this shows the strength of the team that we have," he said.
"I'm going to share the leadership with G (Geriant) at the Tour. We just want to win the Tour. Of course it all depends on how it goes and Tour will put us in our correct place. We'll be there with a strong team."
To see more photographs in our growing race gallery and to read our full stage report and full results, click below.
Thanks for joining our full live coverage from the Tour de Suisse.
Next week we will begin our special countdown to the start of the Tour de France, with the many National Championships scheduled during the week and at the weekend.
As always, we'll have full coverage of every Tour de France stage, with pre-stage and post-stage updates, photos and news and info from our journalists on the ground in France.
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