Key Tour de Suisse Takeaways: Spencer Martin breaks down final week’s Tour de Suisse and offers 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?
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 struggle for the rostrum, Ayuso continued to impress and construct an incredibly sturdy GC resume for such a 12 months rider, whereas Evenepoel, regardless of profitable a stage, continued to battle with consistency on troublesome mountain levels and confirmed he nonetheless has room to enhance if he needs to match the grand tour GC degree of Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard.
Sadly, the racing motion from these occasions was overshadowed by the extremely tragic dying of 26-year-old Gino Mäder on the Bahrain-Victorious group, 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 a tremendous particular person, and extremely popular with his friends and journalists alike. You may learn the PEZ tribute to Gino Mäder HERE.
A really unhappy day
Tour de Suisse Race Pocket book:
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.
Remco Evenepoel: In the meantime, stage runner-up, Remco Evenepoel, comes over the road trying much less highly effective and with much less velocity. 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 reveals that he isn’t again to full power after his COVID-induced Giro dropout.
Stage 1 Prime Three:
1) Stefan Küng +0
2) Remco Evenepoel +6
3) Wout van Aert +10
An extended waited for win by Stefan Küng
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 transferring up behind Van Aert.
150m: He isn’t getting an ideal draft, however Girmay pulls up beside Van Aert as he stalls out on the entrance.
End: Girmay continues his spectacular surge to return 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 exhibiting that Girmay has recovered from his brutal spring crash and is on kind heading into his Tour de France debut.
Stage 2 Prime Three:
1) Biniam Girmay +0
2) Arnaud Démare +0
3) Wout van Aert +0
Biniam Girmay again to profitable
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 having the ability to reply, we are able to instantly inform Evenepoel isn’t at full power.
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.
2.6km: After sitting on Evenepoel’s wheel for 4km, Gall well assaults. Skjelmose is ready to observe, whereas Evenepoel is dropped again to the chase group.
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).
Stage 3 Prime Three:
1) Mattias Skjelmose +0
2) Felix Gall +3
3) Juan Ayuso +12
Mattias Skjelmose exhibiting 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.
20.7km: Felix Gall, realizing he’s the perfect 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.
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 instances 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
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.
End: Skjelmose mounts a stable chase, however Evenepoel crosses the road a second forward of him, that 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 blissful 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 group has taken the race chief, which suggests his pretty weak Trek group gained’t must pressure their assets to defend the race lead.
Stage 4 Prime Three:
1) Felix Gall +0
2) Remco Evenepoel +1’02
3) Mattias Skjelmose +1’03
GC Prime Three After Stage 4:
1) Felix Gall +0
2) Mattias Skjelmose +2
3) Remco Evenepoel +16
Felix Gall took stage 4
Key Takeaways from levels 1 – 4
1) Remco Evenepoel is properly off his greatest kind
- Via 4 levels, it’s clear that the World Champion isn’t on the similar all-destroying degree we’ve seen from him over the past 12 months.
- Curiously, the final time we noticed him this off the tempo at a significant WorldTour race was final 12 months’s Tour de Suisse, the place he completed a disappointing eleventh within the GC.
- Contemplating he seems to be a lot much less highly effective than he was simply final month on the Giro d’Italia, it stands to cause that the COVID he contracted on the Giro is at the least partly chargeable for this dip in kind.
- A testomony to his unbelievable expertise degree is that regardless of this, he may 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 large 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 velocity.
- For instance, whereas he gained the ultimate 25km TT eventually 12 months’s Tour de Suisse, he solely did so by three seconds forward of total winner Geraint Thomas.
Remco Evenepoel not on his high kind
2) The GC race is vast open, and can solely get increasingly fascinating from right here
- As we noticed on at this time’s stage 4, the GC remains to be vast open because of Evenepoel’s slight struggles and the truth that the perfect 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 probably proceed to see well-planned and executed aggressive racing from Gall and his AG2R group since they should construct up a big lead earlier than Sunday’s stage 8 time trial.
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 high 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 almost a 12 months youthful and appears like an rising star himself.
- The 2 youngest riders within the high 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 might argue Uijtdebroeks is having the much better race to date.
- Expectations for Ayuso this season had been a lot greater contemplating he completed third place total in final 12 months’s Vuelta a España. Nonetheless, to date this season, regardless of a couple of 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 critical time within the opening TT at Suisse, he has in any other case been an image of consistency, with three total high tens in stage races to date this 12 months, and ending excessive up within the lead group in each mountain stage. This stable climbing potential means he’ll probably proceed to climb the leaderboard earlier than Sunday’s ultimate time trial.
Uijtdebroeks on his method up
4) Ineos remains to be no nearer to a viable Tour de France GC technique
- The British tremendous group got here into this race searching for Tim Pidcock to show the power to trip in a much-needed GC management position 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 total 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 group’s underlying scatter-shot points.
- For instance, let’s take a look at their stable latest outcomes of the 2 massive Tour de France warmup races:
Criterium du Dauphiné Last GC:
Carlos Rodríguez: ninth
Egan Bernal: twelfth
Tour de Suisse:
Magnus Sheffield: 4th (stage 1), ninth (stage 3), thirteenth (stage 4), Presently 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 assist to Sheffield
- Whereas many position gamers on the group 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.
- In brief, their GC functionality is at the moment a lot lower than the sum of their components, and solely have two weeks to give you a plan for the Tour de France.
Not a lot for Ineos in Switzerland
15.8km: After a light begin to the ultimate climb the place it appeared like Remco Evenepoel wouldn’t be put below strain, Felix Gall’s AG2R group will get to the entrance and units an especially laborious tempo.
15.6km: The tempo is sort of 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 transferring so quick that he blows proper by him.
13.8km: Juan Ayuso accelerates, seemingly out of nowhere, and rides away from the remainder of the lead GC group.
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.
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.
Ayuso End: After an especially high-speed descent, the 20-year-old will get to the end line with a 54-second hole, that means he impressively pulled out time on a number of chasers on a quick descent, which advantages bigger teams. Nonetheless, maybe exhibiting his inexperience, he sits as much as rejoice and rolls over the end line regardless of needing each second he can presumably get for the GC standings.
Chase Group End: On the flip aspect, Skjelmose drops Gall after ripping by way of the ultimate chicane and sprinting over the road. This mix means he takes a complete of ten seconds on the race-leader Gall in 200 meters of flat highway, goes again into the GC lead, and units himself up for the eventual total win.
Stage 5 Prime Three:
1) Juan Ayuso +0
2) Mattias Skjelmose +54
3) Pello Bilbao +54
Stage 5 Key GC Time Gaps
The win for Juan Ayuso on stage 5
Remco Evenepoel: The World Champion heads into the ultimate TT in 4th place total, 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, identical 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.
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.
Juan Ayuso: The 20-year-old, who struggled by way of the opening few levels, is behind Evenepoel by way of the primary time test, however turns issues round and goes by way of the second time test with the quickest time. His place on the bike is first rate, however it’s notable that it isn’t wherever close to Evenepoel by way of smoothness, and requires him to continually pop his head as much as see the place he’s going.
Ayuso’s straight-line TT place would possibly want work, however on the descent into the end line, he seems to be extremely nimble and cozy on the bike and is ready to carve by way of the turns with ease.
He comes by way of the ultimate flip with tempo and confidence to complete eight seconds forward of Evenepoel.
Mattias Skjelmose: After going by way of the primary time test 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 total lead by a slim 9-second benefit.
Stage 8 Prime Three:
1) Juan Ayuso +0
2) Remco Evenepoel +8
3) Mattias Skjelmose +9
Ayuso once more on stage 8
Last GC Prime Three:
1) Mattias Skjelmose +0
2) Juan Ayuso +9
3) Remco Evenepoel +45
Evenepoel was the oldest rider on the rostrum
Key Takeaways from levels 5 – 8
1) Mattias Skjelmose remodeled 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 total 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, after we take 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 towards one of many largest TTing abilities within the sport (Evenepoel), and three) by merely outclimbing his opponents. All three of those are extremely necessary for a contemporary grand tour GC contender.
- Stage 1 TT:
- Stage 2 Dash:
- Stage 3 Summit End:
- Stage 4 Mountains:
- Stage 5 Excessive Mountains:
- Stage 8 TT:
- Stage Kind Totals:
Ayuso – UAE’s reserve Pogačar?
2) Juan Ayuso’s trip 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 famous person, Ayuso appeared to flip a swap and was simply the perfect 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 recommend that the sky’s the restrict by way of his future GC potential (and recommend there might be friction inside UAE between him and Pogačar on the subject 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 levels highlights what may restrict future main wins.
- Successful grand excursions is all about consistency, and the 24-seconds Ayuso ceded to Skjelmose within the opening three levels price him the general win.
Evenepoel not using the Tour was the precise resolution
3) Remco Evenepoel’s struggles within the excessive mountains increase questions on his potential to problem the game’s different grand tour GC stars
- It’s troublesome to forged per week the place he gained a stage, completed inside the highest 4 on 5 levels, and third place total as something aside from a smashing success. However, if Evenepoel needs 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 significant one-week stage race and get crushed by two up and coming riders below the age of 23.
- Whereas his latest case of COVID probably factored into his dip in efficiency, his struggles mirrored a few of his stage racing performances within the latest previous, and recommend that his climbing potential isn’t as ‘sticky’ (his climbing potential dips all through the season in a method that Vingegaard, Roglič, and Pogačar don’t) as the opposite high GC contenders and that he requires specialised coaching and his high health to have the ability to compete on the hardest slopes.
Van Aert a bit of flat?
4) Wout van Aert’s flat kind at Suisse suggests his Tour de France position might 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 levels and the Factors Jersey) on paper, however, in follow, seems to be barely off their greatest.
- Whereas he had 5 wins at this level final 12 months and he appeared as if he may do no matter he needed at any level throughout a race earlier than final 12 months’s Tour, he at the moment solely has a single win to date in 2023 and has appeared noticeably off the tempo at instances.
- 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 just lately is solely because of large quantities of coaching previous to a Tour the place he can be referred to as upon to assist Jonas Vingegaard within the mountains as a result of absence of key climbers like Primož Roglič.
What subsequent for Mattias Skjelmose?
# Spencer Martin is the creator of the cycling-analysis publication Past the Peloton that breaks down the nuances of every race and solutions massive image questions surrounding group and rider efficiency. Join now to get full entry to all of the obtainable content material and race breakdowns. #