Ecuadorian cyclist Richard Carapaz resisted all challengers to win the Tour de Suisse on Sunday. The Ineos Grenadiers team rider was left with just one crew mate three kilometres from the finish but managed to fight off his challengers to take the win, 17 seconds ahead of Colombian Rigoberto Urán.
Irishman Eddie Dunbar played a big role in Carapaz’s defense, chasing down assaults, and protecting the tempo sufficiently to make sure all challenges were blunted.
The 9-leg, 1,015 kilometer tour, considered the most gruelling race on the European circuit, was thrilling from gun to line, with Swiss rider Gino Mäder leading for much of the final day. On the descent from the ultimate climb, the 24-year-old bridged to solo chief Michael Woods (Israel Begin-Up Nation), the pair working nicely into the ultimate 300 meters.
Woods faded however as cobbles turned to tarmac as did Mäder. With the overall classification so tight before of Sunday’s last stage, there was stiff competition at the finish line, particularly with Urán and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech) fighting hard to win a spot on the rostrum.
After that last climb, bridging the border between Italy and Switzerland, there was the final 16 kilometer descent to the staring point in Andermatt, the road located next to the Aurora Resort, made famous by the 1964 James Bond movie, Goldfinger.
Carapaz, winner of the 2019 Italian Tour, proved to be king of the mountain once again, combining strong climbs with powerful flatland sprints throughout the nine-day event.