Grmay top finisher for Mitchelton-SCOTT on brutal final day of the Tour de SuisseSun 23 Jun 2019
Ethiopian Tsgabu Grmay was Mitchelton-SCOTT’s top finisher on a brutal final stage in the mountains at the Tour de Suisse.
The 27-year-old made it into an early chase group before being swallowed up by the group of favourites and eventually crossing the line in 44th.
Short But Hard
Despite only being short in length at just over 100-kilometres, the ninth and final stage boasted three hors categorie climbs packed into the route around Ulrichen.
The stage started with a bang with attacks being launched straight from the gun as the peloton headed straight into the first climb of the day. The bunch was soon ripped in half with attacks continuing to roll inside the opening kilometres before Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) found himself solo at the head of the race.
Five riders set off in pursuit of the British rider, with several groups spread out across the slopes. Grmay found himself in the third chase group on the road as the Ethiopian set about trying to bridge across to the riders in front.
However, the remains of the peloton containing race leader Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) eventually hauled back the Grmay group, while Carthy continued solo, two minutes ahead of a chasing group and four minutes ahead of the yellow jersey group.
The leader maintained his advantage over the second climb of the day while Mitchelton-SCOTT looked to make it through the remainder of the day as the numbers began to fall in the chasing groups.
Heading onto the final climb it was clear nobody was going to catch Carthy and he held on for an impressive solo win, with Bernal coming home in third to secure the overall. Further behind Grmay crossed the line 12-minutes down on the stage winner, with only Alex Edmondson not making it to the finish for the team.
“The stage was very hard, we knew that it would be from the beginning. The plan was for me to go in the breakaway again today and to see if the bunch would let us go to the finish, but they didn’t give us a lot of time when I got away in a group.”
“I tried from the begining to escape from the yellow jersey group but in the end they caught me on the second climb with about three kilometres from the top. Then I tried to hold on there and just survive until the finish.”
“It’s not been easy, this Tour de Suisse has been a really hard one, but I’m happy with my performance, especially in the mountains and at least we tried, as always.”
Matt Wilson (Sports Director):
"We didn’t achieve our outright objectives here which was to come away with a stage win, but I think it was a good solid week of racing for the guys with some really tough stages.
"At the end of the day the boys rode well all race and we gave it a real crack but we just couldn't quite get a result."
“It’s also been good preparation for some of the guys ahead of the Tour de France which is coming up next, that’s obviously a big goal for the team.”
Tour de Suisse Stage Nine Results:
1. Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) 3:01:49
2. Rohan Dennis (Bahrain Merida) +1:02
3. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) ST
44. Tsgabu Grmay (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +12:02
Fina General Classification:
1. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) 27:43:10
2. Rohan Dennis (Bahrain Merida) +0:19
3. Patrick Konrad (BORA - hansgrohe) +3:04
49. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +35:31
Photos Courtesy of Getty Images.