UAE Team Emirates Dominates at Villars-sur-Ollon

UAE Team Emirates once again displayed their dominance at the Tour de Suisse as Adam Yates and João Almeida finished first and second respectively on the race’s final mountain stage at Villars-sur-Ollon. Already holding the top two positions in the overall standings, Yates and Almeida proved to be the strongest in the elite GC group during the concluding climb of the 118km stage. They broke away inside the final 2km, crossing the line side-by-side in a decisive victory.

Matthew Riccitello secured third place, finishing 14 seconds behind, continuing his impressive performance throughout the week. Wilco Kelderman led home a group of other GC contenders, including Mattias Skjelmose, Egan Bernal, and Tom Pidcock, at 16 seconds.

“You see, then, he’s such a nice guy,” Yates said of Almeida after the stage. “When we got away at the end there, we said what we should do. I asked him if I could have the stage, and he said yes, straight away. It just showed the character he is. He’s such a nice guy and he’s in such great condition that he could easily win himself. To have that is a great quality, not just as a bike rider but as a person, so chapeau to him.”

The stage result increased Yates’ GC lead over Almeida to 31 seconds ahead of the final stage on Sunday, a 15.7km uphill time trial from Aigle to Villars-sur-Ollon. Egan Bernal, Mattias Skjelmose, and Matthew Riccitello round out the top five, sitting 1:51, 2:50, and 3:02 down, respectively.

Despite his current lead, Yates anticipates losing the overall win to Almeida, the favorite for Sunday’s time trial. “I think for me personally as well, tomorrow’s time trial, he’s going to put almost a minute into me, so I’m sure you’ll see him on this chair tomorrow,” Yates said. “I think he’s shown in the last few days how strong he is when he starts doing his crazy pace. When he’s alone tomorrow in the TT, I think he’s going to fly up here. So, we’ll see tomorrow, and then hopefully we can win again.”

Stage Summary

The penultimate stage of the 2024 Tour de Suisse was a high-mountain circuit race featuring four major climbs, including the final first-category ascent to Villars-sur-Ollon (7.9km at 7.7%).

The day began with an immediate climb up the Col de la Croix (3.8km at 8.8%), where the day’s breakaway was established. Sylvain Moniquet led the way over the top, joined by seven others, including Harold López and Johannes Staune-Mittet.

Ineos Grenadiers controlled the peloton, keeping the breakaway’s advantage to around two minutes. Several significant riders, such as Cian Uijtdebroeks and Lenny Martinez, were dropped as the climb to Villars-sur-Ollon began.

Staune-Mittet launched a solo attack on the second climb of the day, maintaining a lead of over a minute as he descended towards the final climb. However, his efforts were neutralised 3km from the finish as the pace increased behind him.

João Almeida and Adam Yates attacked with 3km to go, catching and passing Felix Gall who had briefly led. Almeida and Yates worked together to secure a one-two finish for UAE Team Emirates, with Yates taking the stage win.

2024 Tour de Suisse Stage 7 result

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