Bernal wins to extend lead

21 Jun 2019

Bernal wins to extend lead

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Tour de Suisse – Stage seven: Unterterzen – St. Gotthard, 216.6km

Egan Bernal launched a late attack to claim an emphatic stage victory and extend his overall lead at the Tour de Suisse.
 
The Colombian was able to watch as he Team INEOS team-mates set a searing pace up to and onto the slopes of the famed Gotthard Pass, before timing his launch to perfection on the cobbled finale to stage seven.
 
Winning the stage by 23 seconds, Bernal extended his grip on the yellow jersey to 41 seconds ahead of a decisive final weekend of racing.
 
Chief rival Rohan Dennis (Bahrain Merida) held on well to finish third ahead of Saturday’s time trial.
 
Team INEOS put in a superb team performance, with Luke Rowe and Owain Doull getting through a huge amount of work on the flat, keeping the pace high in the valley up to the final climb. Ben Swift then upped the pace, wrestling back control from Movistar, before Kenny Elissonde and Jonathan Castroviejo took it up.
 
With the break caught Bernal put in a stinging acceleration, overhauling the attack of Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), with victory also ensuring he pulls on the mountain and young rider jerseys.
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Egan Bernal

Egan Bernal

Like always they did a fantastic job. I won the stage for them and it feels really nice.
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- Egan Bernal
 
“I’m really happy for the win today. I won last year in the TT at the Tour of Romandie, so it’s nice to win again in Switzerland. It was difficult to know because you never know how well your opponents are going but I felt really good. I said to the guys and like always they did a fantastic job. I won the stage for them and it feels really nice. 
 
“[My team-mates] were full gas and it was really hard to stay with them in the wheels. But I tried to stay calm and in the final it was the best decision. We made a good pace and at the end everyone went full gas.
 
“[Dennis] is the world champion in the TT. For sure tomorrow I will lose time to him. I hope to not lose too much time, but we have another mountain stage on Sunday. We will do our best and control what we can control.”
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What’s Next?
 
Goms is the scene for a crucial pan-flat time trial in the valley. At 19.2 kilometres it is long enough for time gaps to open out, suiting the specialists and set to make an impact on the GC battle.

Stage seven result:

1. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) 5:37:40
2. Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain Merida) +23"
3. Rohan Dennis (Bahrain Merida) s.t.
4. Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) +34"
5. Jan Hirt (Astana) s.t.

Overall Standings:

1. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) 24:17:48
2. Rohan Dennis (Bahrain Merida) +41"
3. Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:13"
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain Merida) +1:17"
5. Jan Hirt (Astana) +1:19"

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