Race Wrap: Tour de Suisse & La Grande Boucle Implications


Key Tour de Suisse Takeaways: Spencer Martin breaks down final week’s Tour de Suisse and provides us the important thing GC moments and what the performances of every younger star means for his or her future GC careers. Are there any pointers for the Tour de France?

– This text is an excerpt from the Past the Peloton publication. Enroll right here for full entry. –

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Mattias Skjelmose – Nice younger expertise

Mattias Skjelmose on Trek-Segafredo introduced his arrival as a bonafide budding GC contender when he held off the 20-year-old wunderkind Juan Ayuso and reigning Phrase, and Vuelta a España champion Remco Evenepoel, on the Tour de Suisse over the previous weekend. Whereas Ayuso and Evenepoel pressed the 22-year-old Skjelmose by way of the opening half of the ultimate time trial, the younger Dane rallied properly and completed off a career-defining win with the identical poise and consistency that he displayed all week. Within the combat for the rostrum, Ayuso continued to impress and construct a surprisingly sturdy GC resume for such a yr rider, whereas Evenepoel, regardless of successful a stage, continued to battle with consistency on troublesome mountain phases and confirmed he nonetheless has room to enhance if he desires to match the grand tour GC degree of Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard.

gino mader

Sadly, the racing motion from these occasions was overshadowed by the extremely tragic dying of 26-year-old Gino Mäder on the Bahrain-Victorious workforce, who handed away after crashing on a high-speed descent on stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse. If you wish to learn extra about Mäder, who was by all accounts an incredible individual, and extremely well liked by his friends and journalists alike. You’ll be able to learn the PEZ tribute to Gino Mäder HERE.

A really unhappy day

Tour de Suisse Race Pocket book:

Stage 1
Stefan Küng: The eventual winner of the stage, Küng comes up and over the uphill run to the end line on flat, quick TT with spectacular tempo and energy.

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Remco Evenepoel: In the meantime, stage runner-up, Remco Evenepoel, comes over the road trying much less highly effective and with much less pace. Ending 4 seconds again from the stage winner is nice for his GC prospects at this race, however being crushed in a gap TT additionally exhibits that he isn’t again to full energy after his COVID-induced Giro dropout.

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Stage 1 High Three:
1) Stefan Küng +0
2) Remco Evenepoel +6
3) Wout van Aert +10

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An extended waited for win by Stefan Küng

Stage 2
300m-to-go: Wout van Aert launches his dash extremely early, whereas Biniam Girmay well jumps onto the wheel of one of many Movistar riders, who’s shifting up behind Van Aert.

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150m: He isn’t getting an ideal draft, however Girmay pulls up beside Van Aert as he stalls out on the entrance.

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End: Girmay continues his spectacular surge to come back round Van Aert, who holds on for third place whereas Arnaud Démare follows Girmay’s wheel to second. This win goes a great distance towards displaying that Girmay has recovered from his brutal spring crash and is on kind heading into his Tour de France debut.

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Stage 2 High Three:
1) Biniam Girmay +0
2) Arnaud Démare +0
3) Wout van Aert +0

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Biniam Girmay again to successful

Stage 3
6.4km: After his QS set a tough tempo to set it up on the ultimate climb, Remco Evenepoel assaults. Nonetheless, because of Mattias Skjelmose with the ability to reply, we are able to instantly inform Evenepoel isn’t at full energy.

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5.5km: Evenepoel and Skjelmose are joined by AG2R’s Felix Gall. As an alternative of asking the opposite two to work with him, Evenepoel units a tough tempo on the entrance (the on-screen graphics had Skjelmose pushing 450 watts on his wheel), and doesn’t appear involved that he’s pulling alongside his GC competitors.

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2.6km: After sitting on Evenepoel’s wheel for 4km, Gall well assaults. Skjelmose is ready to comply with, whereas Evenepoel is dropped again to the chase group.

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1km: After being caught by the chase group, Evenepoel is quickly dangling off the again of the group and struggling to maintain tempo, whereas Juan Ayuso assaults out of the group in pursuit of the leaders (and time).

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Stage 3 High Three:
1) Mattias Skjelmose +0
2) Felix Gall +3
3) Juan Ayuso +12

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Mattias Skjelmose displaying us what he can do

End: Up entrance, Skjelmose assaults Gall inside the ultimate kilometer and crosses the road three seconds forward of his stage rival to win the stage and take the GC lead. Juan Ayuso finishes third 12 seconds again and Evenepoel leads the chase group over 21 seconds down.

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Stage 4
20.7km: Felix Gall, realizing he’s the very best climber on this race after yesterday’s efficiency, and in want of time earlier than the ultimate TT, launches a well-timed and deliberate assault after the domestiques of his GC rivals have been dropped, with assist from his AG2R teammate.

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15.1km: Gall shortly bridges as much as, and drops, the breakaway group, whereas the GC group struggles to mount a constant chase behind after being caught in an attack-mark-attack cycle. Curiously, Remco Evenepoel is distanced from the entrance of the group a number of occasions throughout this.


1km: With Gall off the entrance and sure to win the stage, the GC group rolls into the ultimate kilometer with out a lot urgency. Race chief Skjelmose

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200m: Evenepoel begins his dash extremely early. Skjelmose, who’s sitting on the entrance, appears caught off guard by this and doesn’t reply instantly.

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End: Skjelmose mounts a stable chase, however Evenepoel crosses the road a second forward of him, which means he takes a complete of three seconds on Skjelmose with time bonuses. Gall, who crossed the road over a minute forward, takes the race lead by two seconds. Skjelmose presumably gained’t be comfortable to have misplaced time to Evenepoel over a one-week-long race that may ultimate tight ultimate margins, however he’ll take solace in the truth that one other workforce has taken the race chief, which implies his pretty weak Trek workforce gained’t must pressure their sources to defend the race lead.

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Stage 4 High Three:
1) Felix Gall +0
2) Remco Evenepoel +1’02
3) Mattias Skjelmose +1’03

GC High Three After Stage 4:
1) Felix Gall +0
2) Mattias Skjelmose +2
3) Remco Evenepoel +16

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Felix Gall took stage 4

Key Takeaways from phases 1 – 4

1) Remco Evenepoel is properly off his greatest kind

  • By means of 4 phases, it’s clear that the World Champion isn’t on the identical all-destroying degree we’ve seen from him during the last 12 months.
    • Curiously, the final time we noticed him this off the tempo at a serious WorldTour race was final yr’s Tour de Suisse, the place he completed a disappointing eleventh within the GC.
    • Contemplating he appears to be like a lot much less highly effective than he was simply final month on the Giro d’Italia, it stands to motive that the COVID he contracted on the Giro is at the least partly answerable for this dip in kind.
  • A testomony to his unimaginable expertise degree is that regardless of this, he might nonetheless win the general if he can proceed to hold with the others on the climbs and take sufficient time within the ultimate time trial.
    • Nonetheless, whereas Evenepoel taking huge chunks of time within the ultimate TT is being talked about as a foregone conclusion, it’s price mentioning that when his climbing isn’t at an extremely excessive degree, a gear is taken off his time trialing pace.
      • For instance, whereas he gained the ultimate 25km TT finally yr’s Tour de Suisse, he solely did so by three seconds forward of general winner Geraint Thomas.

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Remco Evenepoel not on his prime kind

2) The GC race is extensive open, and can solely get increasingly fascinating from right here

  • As we noticed on at the moment’s stage 4, the GC remains to be extensive open because of Evenepoel’s slight struggles and the truth that the very best climbers, like Gall, are poor time trialists, and the stronger time trialists, like Evenepoel and Skjelmose, are struggling to maintain tempo within the mountains.
    • This dynamic means we’ll seemingly proceed to see well-planned and executed aggressive racing from Gall and his AG2R workforce since they should construct up a big lead earlier than Sunday’s stage 8 time trial.

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Felix Gall had the lead on stage 5

3) The younger stars have taken over this race

  • With six riders 23, or youthful (Skjelmose, Evenepoel, Ayuso, Uijtdebroeks, Sheffield) at the moment within the prime ten, this version of Suisse has highlighted the rising dominance of younger stars.
    • Curiously, whereas Evenepoel has been held up as the game’s younger star to date in his profession, Trek’s Skjelmose, at 22, is sort of a yr youthful and appears like an rising star himself.
  • The 2 youngest riders within the prime ten, the absurdly proficient 20-year-olds Juan Ayuso and Cian Uijtdebroeks are having barely divergent rides:
    • Whereas Ayuso is at the moment forward of Uijtdebroeks within the GC (sixth vs eighth), I’d argue Uijtdebroeks is having the much better race to date.
      • Expectations for Ayuso this season had been a lot increased contemplating he completed third place general in final yr’s Vuelta a España. Nonetheless, to date this season, regardless of just a few stand-alone spectacular rides, he has struggled with consistency after struggling a difficult-to-treat tendon harm in his leg over the low season.
    • In the meantime, whereas Uijtdebroeks hasn’t reached the heights of Ayuso but, and misplaced severe time within the opening TT at Suisse, he has in any other case been an image of consistency, with three general prime tens in stage races to date this yr, and ending excessive up within the lead group in each mountain stage. This stable climbing capability means he’ll seemingly proceed to climb the leaderboard earlier than Sunday’s ultimate time trial.

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Uijtdebroeks on his method up

4) Ineos remains to be no nearer to a viable Tour de France GC technique

  • The British tremendous workforce got here into this race searching for Tim Pidcock to show the flexibility to journey in a much-needed GC management function on the upcoming Tour de France.
    • Sadly, to date, the race has uncovered Pidcock’s stage racing inexperience and present weaknesses (he’s sitting in thirty third general at over 17 minutes off the lead). Moreover, neither the Dauphiné nor Suisse has produced a single viable podium contender.
  • Outdoors of Pidcock’s struggles, the 2 races have highlighted the workforce’s underlying scatter-shot points.
    • For instance, let’s have a look at their stable latest outcomes of the 2 massive Tour de France warmup races:
      Criterium du Dauphiné Remaining GC:
      Carlos Rodríguez: ninth
      Egan Bernal: twelfth
      Tour de Suisse:
      Magnus Sheffield: 4th (stage 1), ninth (stage 3), thirteenth (stage 4), At present ninth in GC
      Michał Kwiatkowski: Stable rides by way of stage 1-4, at the moment twenty first in GC
      Jhonatan Narváez: twenty second (stage 3), thirty first (stage 4), has supplied stable help to Sheffield
    • Whereas many function gamers on the workforce are performing properly, they lack a single devoted chief to again, and administration hasn’t been capable of consolidate these individually sturdy rides right into a single viable GC technique.
    • Extra regarding is that they appear to be unable to take spectacular rides from younger riders like Sheffield (21), and convert them into main GC stars. They’ve had a military of promising younger GC riders for years, however their two greatest GC riders are 37-year-old Geraint Thomas and 28-year-old Tao Geoghegan Hart.
      • Briefly, their GC functionality is at the moment a lot lower than the sum of their components, and solely have two weeks to provide you with a plan for the Tour de France.

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Not a lot for Ineos in Switzerland

Stage 5
15.8km: After a gentle begin to the ultimate climb the place it appeared like Remco Evenepoel wouldn’t be put below stress, Felix Gall’s AG2R workforce will get to the entrance and units an especially onerous tempo.

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15.6km: The tempo is nearly instantly profitable in splitting the entrance group. Gall, together with an elite group, is up entrance, whereas Evenepoel is dropped behind with the others. Wout van Aert, who was within the breakaway, makes an attempt to fulfill his teammate Wilco Kelderman and set a excessive tempo for him, however Gall is shifting so quick that he blows proper by him.

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13.8km: Juan Ayuso accelerates, seemingly out of nowhere, and rides away from the remainder of the lead GC group.

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12km: In below 2kms, Ayuso has closed the one-minute hole to the leaders, and put 50 seconds between him and the opposite GC riders. As quickly as he catches the duo, he is ready to blow proper by them.

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8.9km: Ayuso crests the summit solo, whereas behind, Evenepoel makes an attempt to chase again onto the Skjelmose group, which, in flip, is chasing the Gall/Kelderman/Bilbao group. It’s considerably surreal to see a dropped Evenepoel turning again and asking a 20-year-old Cian Uijtdebroeks for assist to get again to a GC chase group.

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Ayuso End: After an especially high-speed descent, the 20-year-old will get to the end line with a 54-second hole, which means he impressively pulled out time on a number of chasers on a quick descent, which advantages bigger teams. Nonetheless, maybe displaying his inexperience, he sits as much as have fun and rolls over the end line regardless of needing each second he can probably get for the GC standings.

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Chase Group End: On the flip facet, Skjelmose drops Gall after ripping by way of the ultimate chicane and sprinting over the road. This mixture means he takes a complete of ten seconds on the race-leader Gall in 200 meters of flat street, goes again into the GC lead, and units himself up for the eventual general win.

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Stage 5 High Three:
1) Juan Ayuso +0
2) Mattias Skjelmose +54
3) Pello Bilbao +54

Stage 5 Key GC Time Gaps
Ayuso +0
Skjelmose +58
Bilbao +1’00
Gall +1’08
Evenepoel +1’30

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The win for Juan Ayuso on stage 5

Stage 8
Remco Evenepoel: The World Champion heads into the ultimate TT in 4th place general, 46 seconds off the lead of Skjelmose. Throughout the effort, he has the uber-efficient place that he’s identified for, rips by way of the primary intermediate checkpoint with a blazing-fast time, however, similar to stage 1, his top-end energy appears to be off and fades on the robust second half of the race, particularly on the climb.

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End: He comes by way of the end line 15 seconds forward of Stefan Bissegger and takes the quickest time of the day as much as that time, however with so many quick GC contenders coming behind, this isn’t quick sufficient to problem for the general win.

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Juan Ayuso: The 20-year-old, who struggled by way of the opening few phases, is behind Evenepoel by way of the primary time verify, however turns issues round and goes by way of the second time verify with the quickest time. His place on the bike is respectable, however it’s notable that it isn’t wherever close to Evenepoel when it comes to smoothness, and requires him to continuously pop his head as much as see the place he’s going.

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Ayuso’s straight-line TT place may want work, however on the descent into the end line, he appears to be like extremely nimble and comfy on the bike and is ready to carve by way of the turns with ease.

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He comes by way of the ultimate flip with tempo and confidence to complete eight seconds forward of Evenepoel.

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Mattias Skjelmose: After going by way of the primary time verify 24 seconds behind Evenepoel, the race chief flies up the climb, and ensuing descent. He misses out on the stage win to Ayuso by 9 seconds, however comes into the ultimate straight with simply sufficient time in hand to carry onto his general lead by a slim 9-second benefit.

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Stage 8 High Three:
1) Juan Ayuso +0
2) Remco Evenepoel +8
3) Mattias Skjelmose +9

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Ayuso once more on stage 8

Remaining GC High Three:
1) Mattias Skjelmose +0
2) Juan Ayuso +9
3) Remco Evenepoel +45

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Evenepoel was the oldest rider on the rostrum

Key Takeaways from phases 5 – 8

1) Mattias Skjelmose reworked from an intriguing up-and-coming prospect to a bonafide GC contender by way of the course of this race

  • The 22-year-old on Trek had been knocking on the door as an intriguing GC prospect (1st at 2022 Tour of Luxembourg, 2nd at 2023 Etoile de Bessèges), however his general win at Tour de Suisse, over the reigning World Champion and Vuelta a España winner, means has stopped knocking and isn’t bursting down the door.
  • And, once we have a look at the place Skjelmose took/misplaced time, we are able to see that he gained with 1) consistency, 2) holding serve within the time trials in opposition to one of many greatest TTing abilities within the sport (Evenepoel), and three) by merely outclimbing his rivals. All three of those are extremely essential for a contemporary grand tour GC contender.
    • Stage 1 TT:
      Evenepoel +0
      Skjelmose -13
      Ayuso -19
    • Stage 2 Dash:
      Evenepoel +0
      Skjelmose -1
      Ayuso -1
    • Stage 3 Summit End:
      Skjelmose +0
      Ayuso -18
      Evenepoel -31
    • Stage 4 Mountains:
      Evenepoel +0
      Skjelmose -3
      Ayuso -55
    • Stage 5 Excessive Mountains:
      Ayuso +0
      Skjelmose -58
      Evenepoel -90
    • Stage 8 TT:
      Ayuso +0
      Evenepoel -8
      Skjelmose -9
    • Stage Sort Totals:
      Skjelmose +0
      Ayuso -6
      Evenepoel -1’12
      Time Trial
      Evenepoel +0
      Ayuso -11
      Skjelmose -14
      Time Bonuses
      Skjelmose +0
      Ayuso -6
      Evenepoel -13

Ayuso – UAE’s reserve Pogačar?

2) Juan Ayuso’s journey showcased each his immense abilities and present weaknesses

  • Simply as I despatched out final week’s mid-race check-in the place I questioned the well being of the 20-year-old celebrity, Ayuso appeared to flip a swap and was simply the very best GC rider from stage 5 onward (he took 1’06 on Skjelmose and 1’38 on Evenepoel by way of the final three days of racing).
    • His performances, particularly climbing on stage 5 and time trialing on stage 8, are extremely spectacular and counsel that the sky’s the restrict when it comes to his future GC potential (and counsel there could possibly be friction inside UAE between him and Pogačar in the case of Tour de France management).
    • Nonetheless, whereas his efficiency within the later half of Suisse highlights his immense expertise, his inconsistency within the opening 4 phases highlights what might restrict future main wins.
      • Profitable grand excursions is all about consistency, and the 24-seconds Ayuso ceded to Skjelmose within the opening three phases price him the general win.

Evenepoel not driving the Tour was the suitable resolution

3) Remco Evenepoel’s struggles within the excessive mountains elevate questions on his capability to problem the game’s different grand tour GC stars

  • It’s troublesome to solid per week the place he gained a stage, completed inside the highest 4 on 5 phases, and third place general as something aside from a smashing success. However, if Evenepoel desires to be thought of one of many world’s greatest stage races, up there with Tadej Pogačar, Jonas Vingegaard, and even Primož Roglič, he merely can’t present as much as a serious one-week stage race and get crushed by two up and coming riders below the age of 23.
    • Whereas his latest case of COVID seemingly factored into his dip in efficiency, his struggles mirrored a few of his stage racing performances within the latest previous, and counsel that his climbing capability isn’t as ‘sticky’ (his climbing capability dips all through the season in a method that Vingegaard, Roglič, and Pogačar don’t) as the opposite prime GC contenders and that he requires specialised coaching and his prime health to have the ability to compete on the hardest slopes.

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Van Aert a bit of flat?

4) Wout van Aert’s flat kind at Suisse suggests his Tour de France function could possibly be extra about supporting Jonas Vingegaard within the mountains than chasing private glory

  • Wout van Aert is one other top-shelf rider who had a robust week (4 top-five finishes on phases and the Factors Jersey) on paper, however, in observe, appears to be like barely off their greatest.
    • Whereas he had 5 wins at this level final yr and he appeared as if he might do no matter he wished at any level throughout a race earlier than final yr’s Tour, he at the moment solely has a single win to date in 2023 and has appeared noticeably off the tempo at occasions.
      • This got here into focus when he tried to set tempo for his Jumbo teammate Wilco Kelderman on stage 5 after dropping from the breakaway, however was as an alternative shortly dispatched from the group by an acceleration from Felix Gall.
    • Nonetheless, whereas this week represented a slight dip for Van Aert, it could be smart to attend till we see how he performs on the Tour de France and World Championships earlier than leaping to any conclusions since it is vitally potential that the blunted model of Van Aert we’ve seen lately is solely because of huge quantities of coaching previous to a Tour the place he will probably be referred to as upon to help Jonas Vingegaard within the mountains as a result of absence of key climbers like Primož Roglič.

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What subsequent for Mattias Skjelmose?

# Spencer Martin is the writer of the cycling-analysis publication Past the Peloton that breaks down the nuances of every race and solutions massive image questions surrounding workforce and rider efficiency. Enroll now to get full entry to all of the accessible content material and race breakdowns. #

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