Adam Yates triumphed in the 2024 Tour de Suisse, clinching the overall title after a gruelling final time trial on the uphill course to Villars-sur-Ollon. The British rider from UAE Team Emirates successfully defended his lead, finishing second in the stage, which was won by his teammate, João Almeida.

How it Unfolded

The stage 8 time trial, spanning 15.7km from Aigle to Villars-sur-Ollon, featured a challenging climb that ultimately decided the general classification. Riders such as Cees Bol and Luca Jenni posted early competitive times, but it was Simone Velasco who first broke the 37-minute barrier, clocking 36:22. Felix Engelhardt went 21 seconds quicker before Stephen Williams set a time of 35:57.

Damiano Caruso of Bahrain Victorious briefly led with a time of 35:16, but was soon bested by Lenny Martinez, who finished in 34:19. As the top contenders took to the course, the battle for the overall victory intensified. Mattias Skjelmose, last year’s champion, delivered a strong performance, setting the fastest time to the second checkpoint and finishing third on the stage, which moved him up to the final GC podium.

The final showdown between Yates and Almeida saw Yates start with a 31-second lead over his teammate. Almeida quickly made up seven seconds in the flat initial segment, but Yates regained and maintained his lead on the climb, securing his overall win despite Almeida’s stage-winning time of 33:23. Almeida’s time was 20 seconds faster than any other rider but insufficient to surpass Yates.

Rider Quotes

Reflecting on his performance, Yates shared, “I’m still out of breath because it was such a hard climb, but one thing I had in the back of my mind for a while was the 2019 Tirreno-Adriatico, where I lost the TT on the last day by one second, and this had lived rent-free in my head for many years so it’s finally good to win a race and win it with a TT like this.”

Almeida, while pleased with his stage win, was content with his overall position. “I’m very happy with the victory today,” Almeida said. “Outside the national championships, this is my first time trial win, so that is nice. I knew it would be very difficult to win the overall classification. Adam is, of course, very strong, especially on such a course. I can be satisfied with a second place behind him.”

The ever-impressive Matthew Riccitello (Israel-Premier Tech) clocked 34:01, while Skjelmose went quicker still with 33:44. Tom Pidcock and other GC favourites delivered strong performances, moving up in the final standings. Pidcock’s efforts moved him to sixth overall.

Oscar Onley of Team dsm-firmenich PostNL showed a consistent performance, finishing eighth in the GC, and Wilco Kelderman secured a top-ten finish, moving up to ninth overall. As the dust settled on the final climb, Yates and Almeida stood atop the podium, their UAE Team Emirates partnership having dominated the latter stages of the race.

2024 Tour de Suisse Stage 8 result

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2024 Tour de Suisse GC result

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Main photo credit: Sprint Cycling Agency