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With a time of 48.36, Dumoulin beat Spilak by 18 seconds to win the Tour de Suisse time trial; Spilak took the overall victory with a 5-second advantage over Thomas while Dumoulin completed the podium

Photo: Team Giant-Alpecin












21.06.2015 @ 20:03 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) lived up to his status as the big favourite by winning the final time trial at the Tour de Suisse, beating Simon Spilak (Katusha) by 18 seconds and Fabian Cancellara (Trek) by 19 seconds. In a huge drama, Spilak took the overall victory with a 5-second advantage over Geraint Thomas (Sky) while Dumoulin moved onto the podium in third with his stage win.


After his victory in the prologue and his impressive climbing on the Rettenbachferner, Tom Dumoulin was the big favourite to continue his run of time trialling success by winning the final stage TT of the Tour de Suisse. Trailing race leader Thiabut Pinot (FDJ) by 1.24, he made no secret of the fact that he was even dreaming of the overall victory in the 9-day race.


Yesterday Dumoulin has described his legs as being very good and apparently he brought those good sensations into today’s stage too as he lived up to his favourite status by winning the stage. In a hugely exciting battle, he beat Simon Spilak by 18 seconds after having finished the stage strongly while Fabian Cancellara (Trek) spent almost the entire day in the hot seat but had to settle for third with a time loss of 19 seconds.


Dumoulin and Spilak had been fairly evenly matched for most of the stage. At the 3.8km mark, the Slovenian was one second faster than the Dutchman while they passed the 15.5km mark in exactly the same time and at the 21km mark, Spilak was again one second faster.


However, Dumoulin made the difference in the final part of the stage. At the 33km mark, he had lost 7 seconds to the Dutchman who gauged his effort perfectly, adding another 11 seconds to his lead before they got to the finish.


The battle for the stage win may have been exciting but it was nothing compared to the drama that decided the overall victory. Going into the stage, Dumoulin, Spilak, Geraint Thomas and Pinot were all potential winners of the race and it came down to seconds in the end.


Already at the 3.8km mark, Pinot had lost 12 seconds to Spilak who was fastest at that point, and at the 15.5km mark, he was no longer in the virtual lead. Hence, it was evident that he was out of the battle and so three riders were still in contention.


At the 15.5km mark, Spilak, Thomas and Dumoulin had posted the exact same time, meaning that Thomas was the virtual leader with a 13-second over Spilak. However, the Welshman now started to lose ground and as he passed the 21km check, it had been cut down to just 6 seconds.


Thomas was constantly losing a bit of time and when his overall lead was only a single second at the 33km mark, things were looking good for the Slovenian. The trend continued in the final part of the stage as Thomas lost 18 seconds to the Spilak to finish the stage in 5th and so had to settle for second overall.


Dumoulin gained time on all his rivals but it was only enough to finish third overall at 19 seconds while Pinot had to settle for fourth, 45 seconds off the mark.


Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) won the points jersey while Stefan Denifl (IAM) was a deserved winner of the mountains competition. Steve Morabito (FDJ) ended the race in the jersey as best Swiss rider while Sky was the best team.


With the Tour de Suisse now done and dusted, the WorldTour turns its attention to the Tour de France which kicks off in less than two weeks. The next major event in Switzerland is the National Championships that take place next week.


A rolling course

After yesterday’s rolling stage, the 2015 Tour de Suisse would be decided in the final time trial which was held on the same 38.4km circuit around Bern that was used for stage 8. It was a technical, lumpy affair with lots of ups and downs, including two category 3 climbs. The final ascent summited with 2.5km to go and from there it was flat in the final part back to the centre in Bern.


It was a dry day in Bern when William Bonnet (FDJ) rolled down the ramp as the first rider at 14.46 local time. He stopped the clock in 53.26 to set an early mark but was quickly beaten by Simone Antonini (Wanty) who was the fourth rider to start and set a time of 52.51.


Cancellara takes the lead

However, all the early attention was taken by Fabian Cancellara (Trek) who powered around the course in 48.55 to take a comfortable lead. Danny Pate (Sky) had started one minute before the Swiss and made use of the Trek powerhouse to finish in a time that was only 1.17 slower to move into second.


Matthias Brändle (IAM) had a disappointing ride with 51.23 while Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff-Saxo) slotted into fourth with 52.17. Daniil Fominykh (Astana) went even faster with 51.07 which was good enough for provisional third place.


Malori misses out

Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC) was the next rider to crack the top 5, stopping the clock in 51.40, while Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEDGE) could only manage 6th with 51.47. However, everybody had their eyes on Adriano Malori (Movistar) who had been close to Cancellara’s times at every time check but ultimately missed out on the lead by 15 seconds.


Dries Devenyns (IAM) had a surprisingly good ride to slot into fourth before his former teammate Georg Preidler (Giant-Alpecin) narrowly edged him out by just 5 seconds. Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL) and Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep) both had solid rides to make it into the top 10 before Damien Gaudin (Ag2r) stopped the clock in the 6th best time.


Greta ride by Meyer

World champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) had another bad day as his time of 51.00 was only good enough for seventh. That was worse than Michael Valgren (Tinkoff-Saxo) who pushed him down one spot by going 9 seconds faster.


Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) had been fifth at the 21km mark but he was unable to maintain his speed, stopping the clock in the 9th best time. Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE) did much better, posting consistent times before slotting into third as only the second rider less than a minute from Cancellara.


Coppel slots into third

Ben King (Cannondale) confirmed his great progress as a time triallist by posting the fifth best time of 50.29 but Silvan Dillier (BMC) did even better with 50.19. Martin Elmiger (IAM) confirmed his good condition as he set the sixth best time with 50.26.


Jerome Coppel continued the great performance by IAM when he moved into third with a time that was just 25 seconds off the mark while Sagan had a decent ride to take 13th. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) was the next rider to make it into the top 10 with the 9th best time but Winner Anacona (Movistar) was even faster as he set the 8th best time.


Fantastic ride by Jungels

Bob Jungels (Trek) had hoped to move into the overall top 10 with a good performance and he easily reached that goal. By stopping the clock in 49.17, he set the third best time and ultimately ended sixth in the overall standings.


Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) did an excellent time trial to slot into 6th while Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) was just 6 seconds slower in seventh, holding the Pole off by just one second in the overall standings. Sergio Henao (Sky) could only manage 15th and Steve Morabito (FDJ) had to settle for 11th.


Dramatic finale

However, everybody was now waiting for Dumoulin and he powered across the line just a few seconds later to stop the clock in 48.36 and take the lead. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) was off the pace as he could only manage 40th.


The excitement was growing when Spilak crossed the line in 48.54 to slot into second after having passed Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r) who could only manage 31st. Moments later Thomas hit the finishing straight but it was quickly apparent that he would miss out on the overall winning, positing the fifth best time. Pinot had to settle for 14th and that saw him drop to 4th in the overall standings.



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