Race organisers might have designated stage 6 as the queen stage, but today featured a brutal final climb to 2,780m above sea level – the highest finish in a European race this year.
Tour de Suisse Stage 7: Zernez to Sölden, 166.3km
Simon Spilak (Katusha) conquered the 14km Solden climb in relentless fashion, riding to the finish line at the Tiefenbachferner glacier alone. The victory was set up by his teammate Rein Taaramae who set a fierce pace that saw rivals shed from the lead group like leaves in autumn. Ion Izaguirre (Movistar) rallied to take second, overcoming Cannondale-Drapac’s Joe Dombrowski (the only rider to stay with Spilak earlier) on the final kilometres. The Slovenian’s ride puts him in the leader’s jersey by 52secs from Damiano Caruso (BMC) with Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) third at +1:05.
The flamme rouge – in a 1.7km tunnel – at an average 7% gradient
Cannondale’s Joe Dombrowski put in an impressive ride. Put into the red by Spilak but he didn’t crack big time, he dug deep and kept it going. Here’s what he had to say post stage
Spilak might have conquered Solden, but “what about the King of the Mountain prize?” I hear you ask…
Well, that stayed with the rider who finished 19 mins after race winning celebrations were concluded. Aqua Blue’s Lasse “How the hell did that happen?” Norman Hansen took to the podium for another appointment with the Mountain Goat Warlock ™
Full report at Cycling News
Header image: Domenico Pozzovivo © Tim de Waele/Tim De Waele/Corbis via Getty Images