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As it happened: UAE Team Emirates round out Tour de Suisse with another 1-2 in mountain time trial

Tour de Suisse 2024 stage 8 profile

Tour de Suisse 2024 stage 8 profile (Image credit: Tour de Suisse)

Tour de Suisse 2024 - the complete guide


Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 8 of the Tour de Suisse!

The final stage of the 2024 Tour de Suisse has a brutally tough 15.7km mountain ITT up to Villars-sur-Ollon on the menu, with the GC win set to be decided. 

Adam Yates is the current race leader but he will be defending his lead against teammate João Almeida, who has been on equally flying form to the Brit. 

The first rider off the start ramp will be Elia Blum (Swiss Cycling), who is due to get going in just under 20 minutes at 13:46 CEST.

The route for today's stage has already had some action on it with stage 2 of the women's Tour de Suisse also taking in the 15.7km course:

It's also one year since Gino Mäder tragically lost his life at the Tour de Suisse. An important day to remember the great person and great rider he was. May he rest in peace.

A wonderful video on Gino from the Tour de Suisse.

Five minutes from the start of the final stage.

Stage Start

Riders will be starting an one minute intervals from Aigle, home to the headquarters of cycling's governing body - the UCI.

Recently knighted Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) has started, read all about him becoming a sir below:

There are two intermediate time checkpoints along the 15.7km route:

Cavendish has set the fastest time at the first checkpoint with a 6:16, ahead of Christoph Janssen (Swiss Cycling) and Alexis Renard (Cofidis).

Here's a preview of some of the stunning views that will be taken in on today's stage, as showed during the women's race earlier today.

Here's some of the key start times to look out for today between the best TT riders and GC riders who will be looking to move up or secure their positions overall in the TT:

Just a few kilometres until the opening few riders make it to the finish line in Villars-sur-Ollon and set the benchmark for the stage.

Despite Yates getting the win yesterday, he was quite sure that Almeida would be the man going into the race lead on today's stage.

Sam Watson (Groupama-FDJ) has overtaken Cavendish's previous best time at T1 with a 6:13.

With just over 100 riders left to start, Cees Bol (Astana Qazaqstan) has set the best time at the second checkpoint with a 29:16 and the first few riders are close to finishing the stage now.

The day's first starter Blum has no finished in a time of 39:05 but obviously, with so much talent to come, we can expect much faster times than that once the favourites get underway. 

Former U23 ITT World Champion Johan Price-Pejtersen has set a new fastest time at the 12.5km intermediate time check: 29:12.

A few very strong TT riders are now underway in Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step) and Stefan Bissegger (EF). They are more pure TT riders suited to a flatter effort, so the climb will not be in their favour. 

Another look at the stunning views around Aigle in Switzerland as Cavendish completes his TT. He's been at the Tour de Suisse training and getting some climbing in the legs ahead of his final Tour de France. 

Bissegger has overtaken Kim Heiduk for the fastest time at T1 but this is just about where the course starts to go out of his favour. 

There's also a new best time at T2 for Oscar Riesebeek and at the finish for Cees Bol. But each timecheck is quickly seeing new bests being set with the strongest riders still to come.

Luca Jenni (Swiss Cycling) takes over the lead at the finish with a 38:28.

Belgians have taken over at T1, Stan Dewulf and Cedrid Beullens are now 1-2 in the timings.

Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin-Deceuninck) has set a new benchmark at the finish line and overtaken the next best by over a minute. 

Bissegger showing off the Swiss national champion's colours beautifully on stage 8.

Riesebeek has been outdone by Simone Velasco (Astana Qazaqstan) by over 30 seconds with a new best time of 36:22 at the finish.

Still over 70 riders to take the start in Aigle.

Important to note that Bissegger is the only rider I've seen as of yet actually riding a TT bike, with most riders opting for their road bike due to the difficulty of the climb. Stefan Küng is about to start and he also looks like he'll be riding his TT bike at least for the starting part of the stage. 

Just as Küng gets underway and flies off the start ramp, Felix Engelhardt (Jayco AlUla) has set the new fastest time at the finish with a 36:01.

Bike change for Lutsenko who was 17 seconds down at the first time check. He's now onto the road bike for the hardest part of the climb. 

Here's stage leader Felix Engelhardt during his effort.

Stephen Williams (Israel-Premier Tech) takes over the hot seat despite his nonchalant crossing of the line. New best time to beat of 35:57.

Top ITT rider Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) has got his effort underway.

Hayter has set a new best time at T1 with 5:38, 10 seconds faster than the previous best set by Beullens. 

The benchmark keeps changing! Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious) has flown up the climb and smashed Stevie Williams' time by 41 seconds with a 35:16.

Make sure to catch up with all the other results on a busy day of racing. Here's what happened in the final stage of the Tour of Slovenia:

Here's curret stage leader Damiano Caruso navigating the stunning course in and around Aigle.

Under 30 riders left to start with the GC favourites about to come thick and fast in the next half an hour. 

Marc Hirschi just confirmed in his post-effort interview that Yates and Almeida will both start on TT bikes for the opening few flat kilometres, before changing onto to road bikes for the hardest part of the climb.

Final 20 riders left to start incoming. 

We're getting a preview of how the bike changes could go for the leaders, with Jan Christen and UAE Team Emirates getting it very wrong. The Swiss rider was forced to wait just standing still for at least 7 seconds as he waited for his road bike. They'll want to have that timing sorted for Almeida and Yates. 

Current standings at each time check:

James Shaw (EF Education-EasyPost) has gone through T2 with a nice time, just 12 seconds off that set by Caruso with 3.2km to go until he reaches the finish. 

Raul Garcia Pierna (Arké-B&B Hotels) has come through the finish line in second with a 35:40 but he is quickly beaten by teammate Kevin Vauquelin in a 35:30.

We're into the top 10 on GC taking the start now as Kelderman, Gall, Onley and Pidcock all make their way from the start ramp.

Lenny Martinez has absolutely flown up the climb to Villars-sur-Ollon and sets a blistering new best time of 34:19! It hasn't been his best week but he's showed just what he's made of on stage 8. That may have been the winning effort, chapeau. 

Here's Martinez during his stunning ITT effort. How close will his time be to that of Yates and Almeida?

Riccitello and Skjelmose have now started with only the podium sitters Bernal, Almeida and Yates to come.

Yates and Almeida are just finishing the last parts of their warm up before getting underway and battling out the overall GC win. 

Bernal is underway and just the UAE Team Emirates duo remains.

Here comes João Almeida. He's the big favourite for the stage but can he take back the 31 seconds on his teammate to take overall victory!

The latest few finishers haven't got near enough to Martinez to challenge him with the Frenchman's blistering time up the final climb only looking threatened by the  best GC riders who have just started. 

All riders underway

Important to note that most of the GC favourites have started on a TT bike so the bike changes could become very important if the time gaps are narrow. 

The Lidl-Trek mechanic was hanging out of an open door as he prepared to get Skjelmose's bike off the roof. Not sure how safe or legal that was particularly, so expect a fine for them after the day. 

Almeida and Bernal have gone through T1 around the 6:00 mark but the differences will all be made on the final climb. 

Yates was seven seconds down on Almeida and nine on Bernal at T1. Work to be done on the final climb for the race leader. 

Martinez maintains the lead despite a strong effort by David De La Cruz (Q36.5) after the Spanish rider overtook him for the best time at T2.

Bike change for Yates now and it is much smoother than that of Christen earlier in the day with UAE learning their lesson. 

Lots to be revealed when the GC favourites and more importantly, the UAE duo, come through the second intermediate time check. 

Tom Pidcock is going brilliantly lower down on the climb and he's set the best time at the second intermediate time check with a 25:44. He's some 18 seconds ahead of where Martinez was but he has work to do if he is to take the stage win.

Tom Pidcock in full flight at the Tour de Suisse.

Almeida looks strong in his effort and he's grinding away up this climb in his typical style. 

Matthew Riccitello (Israel-Premier Tech) is continuing to impress and he's set a great time at the second time check - 25:35. He'll want to overtake Skjelmose and come fourth overall alongside taking the white jersey, but last year's Tour de Suisse winner is no mug in a ITT.

Skjelmose responds brilliantly in this ITT and sets a new best time at T2 with a 25:26, nine seconds ahead of the young American in a great battle for the white jersey. 

Just Bernal, Almeida and Yates left to come through the second time check. We don't have a live clock on the pair so nothing will be revealed until they reach that timing point at the 12.5km mark. 

Pidcock takes the lead from Martinez with a 34:14 but those behind him are closing quickly! How long will he be in the hot seat?

Bernal has come through T2 and it's not great. He's 33 seconds off the pace of Skjelmose but started the day 59 seconds ahead of him on GC so he has some room to slip. 

Almeida is closing in on T2 and the clock was green. But he doesn't quite make it, clocking in a 25:29, four seconds slower than Skjelmose. But you can assure he will have something left for the finale. 

Yates looks like he is going better than even he expected as he approaches the second time check. How close will he be to Almeida? Very is the answer and he's actually ahead of his teammate. He's only four tenths of second down on Skjelmose and 3 seconds in front of Almeida. 

Riccitello rounds off a brilliant week and moves into the lead of the stage with a 34:01. Brilliant result no matter what happens, even if Skjelmose beats him for the stage victory. Fantastic ride by the 22-year-old and what an enormous talent he is.

Skjelmose is closing in on the finish line and he's giving absolutely everything. The clock is green but he has 350 metres to go. 

Skjelmose takes the lead and he's the first to break the 34-minute mark. New leading time of 33:44 for the Dane at the line. But will it be enough to beat Yates and Almeida?

Bernal has 1km to go to finish off a strong week for him and he could confirm 3rd overall if he is quick enough. Every race is a continued step up for the Colombian. 

Almeida is burying himself in pursuit of the stage win with the contrasting styles between him and Yates so apparent. The Portuguese rider is bobbing around and pushing the power down in the saddle while Yates turns a big gear and dances on the pedals out of the saddle.

Bernal is at the finish line now and he's lost 1:07 to the Dane. Almeida not far behind.

He wasn't ahead at T2 but Almeida has flown up the final 3.2km of the effort. What an effort from the Portuguese rider and it's a new best of 33:23, some 20 seconds faster than Skjelmose. But is it enough for the title?

Yates needs to beat a 33:54 but he's entered the final kilometre with the clock in the green and it looks as though the yellow jersey is safe. But he may also take the stage win.

200 metres to go for Yates and the clock will go read for the stage win. But he is going to be the champion. 

Stage Finish

Here's the winner João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) making his way up the finish. Another stunning performance from him to win UAE's fourth stage in a row and their fourth 1-2 in a row with him and Yates having two each.

Here's the top 10 on stage 8 of the Tour de Suisse with UAE Team Emirates continuing to dominate. Chapeau also to Riccitello, Pidcock and Martinez who put in great rides and held the lead of the stage at some point. But also Skjelmose who moved himself onto the podium ahead of Bernal with an assault of the climb.

Here's what João Almeida had to say after winning his second stage of the week and closing out a dominant win for UAE Team Emirates:

Here's a look at the final GC courtesy of FirstCycling, with Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) the biggest mover on GC today. He leapfrogged Egan Bernal for third after a strong 15.7km ITT that saw him also take third on the stage. 

Here's what overall winner Adam Yates had to say after the stage:

2024 Tour de Suisse winner Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) with the very large trophy.

Make sure to read our full stage report and check out our gallery from a stunning stage in Switzerland:

That wraps things up for Cyclingnews' live coverage of the men's Tour de Suisse but make sure to catch up with the women's race in Switzerland with two stages still to come in that race. 

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