Cycling: 81st Tour of Switzerland 2017 / Stage 9
Podium / Simon SPILAK (SLO) Yellow Leader Jersey/ Celebration / Trophy/
Schaffhausen – Schaffhausen (28,6km)/ ITT/ Individual Time Trial/ TDS/ © Tim De Waele

With a win already in the bag in Ster ZLM Toer, Team KATUSHA ALPECIN looked to double up on victories Sunday and did just that with a strong performance from Simon Špilak in the individual time trial in the 81st Tour de Suisse (2.UWT). Špilak took fifth on the stage and maintained his wide margin of victory to take a second GC title in the important lead-up race to July’s Tour de France.

“This was a very hard day and difficult TT,” said Simon Špilak. “It was harder than we expected. We did our recon of the route in the morning. By this afternoon it was so hot, but I am so happy. It is my second win here. I am happy for my teammates, too. All week all of them did such a great job. Temperature is my biggest enemy here in Suisse, but I beat the heat this time.”

The final stage in Tour de Suisse was a 28.6k ITT in Schaffhausen. Known for being able to produce a good effort against the clock, Špilak took fifth on the day behind winner Rohan Dennis and captured the overall GC by 48-seconds to Damiano Caruso (BMC). It was Špilak’s second win in three years at the Tour de Suisse and his 12th professional win with half of them coming on Suisse soil.

“Looking ahead is Poland; that is my next goal,” said Simon Špilak. “No grand tours for me since 2014 – this is my own decision. I prefer stage races of six-10 days. Of course, it would be nice to win a Tour de France stage or to become world champion.”