CYCLING: Bernal shines in final stages to win Tour de Suisse; now a Tour de France favorite?

Colombian star climber Egan Bernal

During his debut in the Tour de France in 2018, you heard over and over again about Colombia’s young star Egan Bernal, as in “he’s going to win this race some day.”

That day might have come.

Bernal, still just 22, rode brilliantly in the final, mountainous stages of the 83rd Tour de Suisse, taking over the lead position by finishing second in the sixth stage, then winning the seventh stage – both uphill finishes – and then finishing third in the final ride on Sunday, with its three major climbs.

With the Tour de France starting in a couple of weeks, Bernal is as hot as any rider out there; consider his World Tour finishes in 2019:

● 03-17 March: Paris-Nice ~ Winner
● 25-31 March: Volta Ciclista a Catalunya ~ Third
● 15-23 June: Tour de Suisse ~ Winner

Even so, he beat Australia’s World Time Trial Champion Rohan Dennis by just 19 seconds for the overall title; that’s Dennis’s best finish in a multi-stage race since his second in Tirreno-Adriatico in 2017!

After a slow start to his 2019 campaign, Slovakia’s three-time World Road Race Champion Peter Sagan also rode well, winning one stage and leading the race after stages 3-4-5 and winning the Points classification. He now has a remarkable 17 career stage wins in the Tour de Suisse.

Summaries:

UCI World Tour/Tour de Suisse
Switzerland ~ 15-23 June 2019
(Full results here)

Stage 1 (9.5 km time trial): 1. Rohan Dennis (AUS), 10:50; 2. Maciej Bodnar (POL), 10:50; 3. Michael Matthews (AUS), 10:51; 4. Soren Kragh Andersen (DEN), 10:52; 5. Kasper Asgreen (DEN), 10:52. Also in the top 25: 6. Lawson Craddock (USA), 10:55.

Stage 2 (159.6 km): 1. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP), 4:01:21; 2. Peter Sagan (SVK), 4:01:27; 3. Matteo Trentin (ITA), 4:01:27; 4. Asgreen (DEN), 4:01:27; 5. Greg van Avermaet (BEL), 4:01:27.

Stage 3 (162,3 km): 1. Sagan (SVK), 3:39:25; 2. Elia Viviani (ITA), 3:39:25; 3. John Degenkolb (GER), 3:39:25; 4. Ivan Garcia Cortina (ESP), 3:39:25; 5. Ben Swift (GBR), 3:39:25. Also in the top 25: 25. Robin Carpenter (USA), 3:39:25.

Stage 4 (163.9 km): 1. Viviani (ITA), 3:46:02; 2. Matthews (AUS), 3:46:02; 3. Sagan (SVK), 3:46:02; 4. Trentin (ITA), 3:46:02; 5. Jasper Stuyven (BEL), 3:46:02. Also in the top 25: 18. Ben King (USA), 3:46:02.

Stage 5 (177.0 km): 1. Viviani (ITA), 4:18:26; 2. Sagan (SVK), 4:18:26; 3. Stuyven (BEL), 4:18:26; 4. Trentin (ITA), 4:18:26; 5. Matthews (AUS), 4:18:26.

Stage 6 (120.2 km): 1. Antwan Tolhoek (NED), 2:43:34; 2. Egan Bernal (COL), 2:43:51; 3. Francois Bidard (FRA), 2:43:58; 4. Jan Hirt (CZE), 2:44:03; 5. Domenico Pizzovivo (ITA), 2:44:05. Also in the top 25: 21. Brandon McNulty (USA), 2:45:12.

Stage 7 (216.6 km): 1. Bernal (COL), 5:37:40; 2. Pozzovivo (ITA), 5:38:03; 3. Dennis (AUS), 5:38:03; 4. Patrick Konrad (AUT), 5:38:14; 5. Hirt (CZE), 5:38:14.

Stage 8 (19.2 km time trial): 1. Yves Lampaert (BEL), 21:58; 2. Asgreen (DEN), 22:03; 3. Kragh Andersen (DEN), 22:08; 4. Tom Scully (NZL), 22:11; 5. Patrick Bevan (NZL), 22:11. Also in the top 25: 13. Craddock (USA), 22:37.

Stage 9 (144.4 km): 1. Hugh Carthy (GBR), 3:01:49; 2. Dennis (AUS), 3:02:51; 3. Bernal (COL), 3:02:51; 4. Mathias Frank (SUI), 3:03:41; 5. Simon Spilak (SLO), 3:03:41. Also in the top 25: 24. Gavin Mannion (USA), 3:07:15.

Final Standings: 1. Egan Bernal (COL), 27:43:10; 2. Rohan Dennis (AUS), +0:19; 3. Patrick Konrad (AUT), +3:04; 4. Tiesj Benoot (BEL), +3:12; 5. Jan Hirt (CZE), +3:13; 6. Simon Spilak (SLO), +3:48; 7. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA), +4:14; 8. Carlos Betancur (COL), +4:35; 9. Enric Mas (ESP), +4:53; 10. Nicholas Roche (IRL), +