Stevie Williams won his first World Tour race. The 26-year-old Welshman surprised almost everyone with a reduced bunch sprint win where he outsprinted Max Schachmann (Bora-hansgrohe) and Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal) after a 177km race around the Kusnacht region. The loops were hilly, and the temperatures reached 30 degrees, which took a toll on some riders. The initial breakaway of 7 had a max lead of 4 minutes. The breakaway was shedding during the stage, and the last rider was caught with 9km to go, just before the final climb where Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team), Vlasov (Bora-hansgrohe), and Fuglsang (Israel-Premier Tech) were attacking, but the front group came together less than 1 km to go.
Winner Stevie Williams: “I’m really happy how it went. It was a pretty tough day. The sun was on the whole day, quite a demanding course, and the climbs were not super hard, but they were draining energy every time. To come away with a win and win like this was great. It’s been a strange few years, and I’m over the moon to come here and win a stage.”
SD Roman Kreuziger: “In general, the team was good. All the guys were good in positioning before the last climb. Of course, we are super happy that Stevie won. The mission is complete, but we lost 15 seconds with Gino, which is a little bit disappointing. He suffered in this heat, but he’ll be day by day better. Today we should celebrate and be super happy about how it went. And for me, this is my first victory leading the guys, so I’m super excited.”
Tomorrow, Stevie will don the yellow jersey on a similar stage profile, again in hot weather, defending his hard-earned jersey.
While Williams was storming the Tour de Suisse, in France, Damiano Caruso joined Jack Haig in the final metres of the 74th Critérium du Dauphiné, cementing 4th & 5th positions in the overall classification and 2nd place in the Team Classification.
Haig had hung on gallantly to the leaders on the ‘Hors Catégorie’ Plateau de Solaison climb to the line, and Caruso fought back valiantly in the last kilometres to rejoin his teammate. In doing so, the Italian posted a best-ever result in the race for both himself and Team Bahrain Victorious. It’s a 3rd top 10 of the year for last year’s Giro runner-up and adds to his confidence looking forward:
“It was truly a good result not just for me but also for the team. The week was definitely a positive one for us. We also know that we are up against previous Grand Tour-winning riders and teams who have demonstrated again that they are the point of reference.
Over three weeks, it will be a different challenge, but we had good sensations, and the important thing now is to recover well and keep that condition in the coming weeks.”
In matching his 5th place finish last year, Jack Haig confirmed that he too is a ‘rider to watch’ as the stage-racing season continues and with the Tour de France approaching. The Australian has shown not only his individual prowess but also his commitment to the team, working unselfishly throughout.
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