Paris - Colombian
climber Egan Bernal wrapped up victory in the Tour de Suisse on Sunday
in the perfect warm-up for his tilt at next month's Tour de France.
The Team Ineos rider, who is the bookmakers' second favourite for the
Tour de France behind teammate and reigning champion Geraint Thomas,
finished third in the 101.5km final stage around Goms to secure the
"It's one of the biggest races that I've won. I'm really happy and it
gives me a lot of confidence for the next races," Bernal, who missed
the Giro d'Italia after suffering an injury in training, told
"Just before the race I had a big crash and I could not go to the
Giro. So to come here and to win is really nice for me and the team."
The 22-year-old Bernal topped the overall standings by 19 seconds
ahead of Rohan Dennis, after tracking every move of the Bahrain-Merida
man on Sunday, with the Australian finishing second on the day.
Britain's Hugh Carthy took the ninth-stage honours after a solo ride
saw him cross the line a minute and two seconds before Bernal and
Bernal rode last year's Tour de France in support of Chris Froome,
but this year is expected to be a title contender himself after the
four-time champion was ruled out with injuries sustained in a horrific
crash at the Criterium du Dauphine.
Welshman Thomas pulled out of the Tour de Suisse after crashing on
stage four, but will be fit for the start of the second Grand Tour of
2019 on July 6.
Bernal took full advantage, seizing the advantage on the sixth stage
in Switzerland, before winning the seventh stage and putting in a solid
performance in Saturday's time trial.
Results and standings from the ninth and final stage of the Tour de Suisse, a 101.5km ride around Goms on Sunday:
1. Hugh Carthy (GBR/EF1) in 3hrs 01mins 49secs, 2. Rohan Dennis (AUS/BAH) at 1:02, 3. Egan Bernal (COL/INE) 1:02, 4. Mathias Frank (SUI/ALM) 1:52, 5. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) 1:52, 6. Carlos Betancur (COL/MOV) 2:15, 7. Tiesj Benoot (BEL/LOT) 2:15, 8. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/BAH) 2:15, 9. Patrick Konrad (AUT/BOR) 2:15, 10. Jan Hirt (CZE/AST) 2:15
1. Egan Bernal (COL/Ineos) 27hrs 43mins 10secs, 2. Rohan Dennis (AUS/BAH) at 19, 3. Patrick Konrad (AUT/BOR) 3:04, 4. Tiesj Benoot (BEL/LOT) 3:12, 5. Jan Hirt (CZE/AST) 3:13, 6. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) 3:48, 7. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/BAH) 4:14, 8. Carlos Betancur (COL/MOV) 4:35, 9. Enric Mas (ESP/DEC) 4:53, 10. Nicolas Roche (IRL/SUN) 5:27