UAE dominance continues in Switzerland: Almeida gifts stage win to leader Yates, duo finishes shoulder to shoulder Cycling

UAE dominance continues in Switzerland: Almeida gifts stage win to leader Yates, duo finishes shoulder to shoulder

UAE dominance continues in Switzerland: Almeida gifts stage win to leader Yates, duo finishes shoulder to shoulder

Adam Yates has won the seventh stage of the Tour of Switzerland. Just like the day before, on Saturday, there was again no stopping him and UAE teammate Joao Almeida, who 'gifted' the victory to the British classification leader. They crossed the finish line shoulder to shoulder, further extending the gap in the general classification. Matthew Riccitello finished an impressive third, with Wilco Kelderman in fourth place.

It was but a short ride on Saturday, but one to be respected. 118.3 kilometers, nearly 3,000 meters of elevation gain, spread over four categorized climbs. The Col de la Croix and the climb to Villars sur Ollon were both on the menu twice. It was also the last road stage, so those who still wanted to break away had their chance today.

The battle for the breakaway was fierce, but at the top of the first climb, we noted six strong men: Maxim Van Gils, Sylvain Moniquet, Einer Rubio, Johannes Staune-Mittet, Jan Christen, Harold Martin Lopez, Finlay Pickering and Valentin Paret-Peintre... These guys were not messing around! After a fall in the peloton on the descent – and Ion Izagirre (Cofidis) had to give up – we got a clear situation.

Eight leaders ahead, followed a minute and a half later by the peloton led by INEOS Grenadiers. The pace was high, which was tough on the likes of Cian Uijtdebroeks and Lenny Martinez in the pack. In the breakaway, Staune-Mittet clearly had the better legs. The young Norwegian of Visma | Lease a Bike went solo 57 kilometers from the finish and was the first to reach the top of the last Col de la Croix. He showed no fear on the descent.

Continue reading below the video.

Staune-Mittet powerless against UAE dominance

In the meantime, INEOS Grenadiers kept the lone leader under control, limiting his gap to a solid minute. UAE-Team Emirates were laughing in the peloton's wake. As the last forty kilometers approached and the second and final ascent to Villars-sur-Ollon was near, Staune-Mittet saw his lead slowly but surely melt away like snow in the sun, although he held on remarkably long.

That which we already expected eventually happened: the race exploded on the final climb. Out of the select elite group, Felix Gall (Decathlon AG2R) was the first to sneak off, quickly closing the gap to the lonely Staune-Mittet. Matthew Riccitello (Israel-Premier Tech) was also eager, setting the race alight. Gall, however, was very strong and began a solo effort.

The Austrian climber had a fifteen-second lead five kilometers from the finish, while nerves were increasingly visible in the favorites' group. Joao Almeida, unbeatably strong and stage winner the day before, opted for the attack and got men like Egan Bernal and Tom Pidcock (both INEOS Grenadiers) on his wheel. Wilco Kelderman was also alert, along with classification leader Yates.

UAE boys are ready for the Tour: duo effort leads to shoulder-to-shoulder finish, Almeida lets Yates win the stage

One and a half kilometers from the finish, the chasers caught up with soloist Gall, who then had to drop back immediately. This was mainly due to the blistering pace set by UAE boys Yates and Almeida, just as we had seen the day before. The two Pogacar domestiques clearly started a duo effort and quickly gained a significant gap on the rest.

Would they race for it or would one let the other win? That was still somewhat the question as they passed the flamme rouge. The answer came quite quickly as the gentlemen soon reached the finish in the not too steep final kilometer. They definitely did not race for it, and the Portuguese and the Brit crossed the finish line shoulder to shoulder, with the Brit being 'allowed' to win the stage, and in the process also snatching up some more bonus seconds. Almeida, logically, came in second, with revelation Riccitello finishing third. Kelderman came in fourth, followed by Mattias Skjelmose.

Results stage 7 Tour of Switzerland 2024

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