Simon Špilak took his second Tour de Suisse crown on Sunday, his fifth best time in the race against the clock ensuring the win. BMC dominated the day, locking up all top-3 places, as Rohan Dennis bookended the 81st edition with two chrono victories.
— Tour de Suisse (@tds) June 18, 2017
The first half of the course was wavy but a proper hill dominated the second half, a long descent leading to the finish.
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— Lotto Soudal (@Lotto_Soudal) June 18, 2017
Only capable time trialists Damiano Caruso and Steven Kruijwijk had a chance of catching 2015 champion Špilak. The rest of the top-10 saw little Domenico Pozzovivo’s 4th ripe for plucking and a clog of Spaniards at the bottom of the list hoping to leapfrog one another.
GC Before Stage 9
1) Simon Špilak (Slovenia/Katusha-Alpecin) 0:03:59
2) Damiano Caruso (Italy/BMC Racing Team) +0:52 – going to Tour de France
3) Steven Kruijswijk (The Netherlands/Team LottoNL-Jumbo) +1:05
4) Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy/AG2R-La Mondiale) +2:28
5) Rui Costa (Portugal/UAE-Team Emirates) +2:35
6) Mathias Frank (Switzerland/AG2R-La Mondiale +2:51 – TdF
7) Mikel Nieve (Spain/Team Sky) +2:54 – TdF
8) Jon Izaguirre (Spain/Bahrain-Merida) +3:51 – TdF
9) Marc Soler (Spain/Movistar Team) +4:07
10) Pello Bilbao (Spain/Astana Pro Team) +4:10
With Ryan Mullen (Ireland/Cannondale) on the hot seat, Canadian Ryan Anderson posted 39:53. Prologue winner Rohan Dennis smashed the Irishman’s time with 36:30.
Tejay van Garderen’s time put BMC in the enviable position of having the top-3 times.
Špilak was only seven-seconds slower than Dennis at the first 9-km mark time check. First 9th place Mark Soler bumped van Garderen off the day’s podium and then 8th place Jon Izagirre usurped Soler’s spot. Soler moved up one place and Izagirre hopped up two spots.
Caruso then reestablished the BMC top-three. The Italian pulled himself four-seconds closer to Špilak and held off Kruijswijk to claim the GC runner-up place, a career high. He will support Richie Porte in the Tour de France.
Pozzovivo’s surprisingly good time kept him in fourth overall, his best WorldTour stage race result in two years.
Špilak not only has a good record in the Tour de Suisse, but also a fine one in the Tour de Romandie, a race he won in 2010 before placing runner-up three consecutive years, 2013-15.
Hugo Houle was top Canadian in 20th, 1:38 slower than Dennis. Michael Woods retained his 26th GC position, his third best placing in six WorldTour stage races.
2017 Tour de Suisse Stage 9
1) Rohan Dennis (Australia/BMC) 36:30
2) Stefan Küng (Switzerland/BMC) +0:29
3) Damiano Caruso (Italy/BMC) +0:47
20) Hugo Houle (Canada/AG2R) +1:38
2017 Tour de Suisse Final GC
1) Simon Špilak (Slovenia/Katusha) 28:37:11
2) Damiano Caruso (Italy/BMC) +0:48
3) Steven Kruijswijk (The Netherlands/Team LottoNL-Jumbo) +1:08
4) Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy/AG2R-La Mondiale) +2:37
5) Rui Costa (Portugal/UAE-Team Emirates) +3:09
6) Jon Izagirre (Spain/Bahrain-Merida) +3:51
7) Mathias Frank (Switzerland/AG2R-La Mondiale +4:00
8) Marc Soler (Spain/Movistar Team) +4:14
9) Mikel Nieve (Spain/Team Sky) +4:47
10) Pello Bilbao (Spain/Astana Pro Team) +5:30
26) Michael Woods (Canada/Cannondale) +26:23