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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Egan Bernal wraps up the GC win at the Tour de Suisse as Hugh Carthy powers to an impressive solo victory on the final stage, Alejandro Valverde takes the overall title at La Route d’Occitanie, Caleb Ewan proves his form ahead of his long-awaited Tour de France debut with a ZLM Tour sprint victory. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Bernal wins the Tour de Suisse as Carthy takes the final stage
Egan Bernal (Ineos) held onto his yellow jersey on the ninth and final stage of the Tour de Suisse to wrap up the overall victory ahead of Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida). Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) claimed the final spot on the overall podium.
Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) put in a huge solo ride to take the stage 9 victory with a long-range attack.
The 24-year-old Briton finished 1:02 ahead of Dennis with Bernal just behind, wrapping up the GC win as he hit the line.
“It gives me a lot of confidence for the next races,” said Bernal, who has emerged as one of the pre-race favorites for the Tour de France. “I’m really happy because just before the race I had a big crash and couldn’t go to the Giro [d’Italia]. To come here and to win was a really nice thing for me and the team.”
The 101.5-kilometer ninth stage of the Tour de Suisse – which started and finished in Goms – featured three mountain climbs that made for a challenging finale. Carthy wasted no time in taking advantage of the parcours. He joined an early breakaway that formed within minutes of the start, and then attacked on the slopes of the day’s first climb to press on solo.
A chasing group formed as the other riders off the front reacted to Carthy’s attack, but Carthy went over the top alone, and only gained time over the ensuing kilometers. He did not slow down on the tough ascent up the second climb either, cresting the partly cobbled San Gottardo with nearly two minutes on the surviving chasers, while the peloton dwindled to a select group of GC riders behind.
The yellow jersey group swept up the chasers on the final climb, where Dennis tried to pressure Bernal one last time with an attack near the top, but the Colombian was quickly onto his wheel. The race leader and his nearest rival dropped the rest of the GC hopefuls and hit the descent together.
Carthy held on to take an impressive solo victory, his first at the WorldTour level, after spending almost the entire day off the front.
“It genuinely wasn’t planned,” said of his ride. “Two days ago, the stage to [San Gottardo], I was terrible there. My legs and head were tired and I wanted to be on holiday. But yesterday in the time trial the legs were better, so I felt more motivated today. One last chance, so I tried to finish on a high.”
Just over a minute later, Dennis and Bernal arrived at the line together to close the book on the Tour de Suisse GC with Bernal taking the overall win by 19 seconds.
Stage 9 results
1 Hugh John Carthy (GBr) EF Education First 3:01:49
2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:02
3 Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
4 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:52
5 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin
6 Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar 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
1 Egan Bernal (Col) 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 0:03:13
6 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin 0:03:48
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:04:14
8 Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar 0:04:35
9 Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:04:53
10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sunweb 0:05:27
Australia’s Lachlan Morton is making his way through the early goings of GBDuro, a 2,000-kilometer trek traversing the island of Great Britain. A self-supported race split across four timed stages, it’s a new take on the classic cycling journey from Land’s End to John o’ Groats. Two days into the event, the EF Education First rider is leading the way, but there’s a long, long road still ahead.
In other news from social media, this clip of Egan Bernal during the Tour de Suisse time trial certainly got people talking. And fair enough — he did exceptionally well to keep it upright and stay on the road, particularly on a TT bike.
Valverde wins La Route d’Occitanie
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has to be happy with the way things played out at La Route d’Occitanie, his return to racing after nearly two months away from competition. The world road champion led wire-to-wire after winning the first stage, and wrapped up the overall title on Sunday ahead of Iván Sosa (Ineos) and Rigobero Urán (EF Education First).
Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) won stage 4 of the four-day race ahead of Sacha Modolo (EF Education First) and Julien Simon (Cofidis).
Ewan sprints to victory in ZLM Tour finale, Teunissen takes overall title
Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) won the fourth and final stage of the ZLM Tour, out-sprinting Max Walscheid (Sunweb) and Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) after a flat 170.1-kilometer trek from Eindhoven to Tilburg. The win should come as a welcome confidence-booster for the 24-year-old Australian as Ewan’s long-awaited Tour de France debut looms.
Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) took the overall win with teammate Amund Jansen in second and Katusha-Alpecin’s Mads Würtz Schmidt in third.
Harper takes emphatic overall victory at Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc
Ewan wasn’t the only Australian standing on a European podium on Sunday. Chris Harper (BridgeLane) continued an impressive 2019 season with a dominant performance at the Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc.
Harper’s back-to-back wins on stages 4 and 5 propelled him to an emphatic GC win, six minutes clear of his nearest rival.
The Tour de Savoie is Harper’s second UCI stage race win in as many months after his overall victory at the Tour of Japan.
Chris Horner to join NBC Sports Tour de France team
Chris Horner will join the NBC Sports broadcast team for the Tour de France this July. The 47-year-old American, whose 2013 Vuelta a España win makes him “the only American Grand Tour champion of the last 29 years,” as an NBC Sports statement emphasizes, started this season as a member of the Continental-level Team Illuminate. He raced as recently as the Cascade Classic earlier this month.
“I still carry a pro license, but I don’t really consider myself a pro by any means,” Horner said. “It’s no longer my job or my career or anything like that. I just love racing my bike. It’s an easier transition to keep racing a little bit and transition into the non-bike racing world.”
Ulissi wins Tour of Slovenia
Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team Emirates) finished safely in the sprint finale of the Tour of Slovenia to wrap up the overall victory. The 29-year-old Italian, who took the lead with a victory on stage 3, topped the final podium ahead of Giovanni Visconti (Neri Sottoli) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Gazprom-RusVelo).
Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data) won the final stage ahead of Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) and Shane Archbold (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Wiebes and Ballerini takes European Games victories
Davide Ballerini (Italy) and Lorena Wiebes (Netherlands) scored the road race gold medals at the European Games in Minsk, Belarus.
Wiebes and Marianne Vos delivered a one-two finish for the Netherlands in the sprint finale of the women’s event on Saturday, with home rider Tatsiana Sharakova nabbing bronze.
Unlike the women’s race, the men’s event saw only a handful of WorldTour riders in attendance. Astana pro Ballerini nonetheless ensured that a top-division pro would win the day with a successful solo attack to top Estonia’s Alo Jakin and Austria’s Daniel Auer.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: The final podium at the 2019 Tour de Suisse. Photo: VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2019