On Sunday June 18, a very special Tour of Switzerland came to an end. Two days after the announcement of the death of Ginö Mader, victim of a fall during a descent, the Dane Mattias Skjelmose (Trek-Segafredo) won the event by taking third place in the final time trial of 26 kilometers, between Saint-Gall and Gaiserwald. Yellow jersey on the shoulders, the Dane failed to achieve the best time on the stage, but maintained a nine-second lead in the end over the winner of the individual time trial, the Spaniard Juan Ayuso ( UAE Emirates).
“We all think of Gino, and we wanted to dedicate this victory to him, explained Juan Ayuso on arrival. We’re not going to celebrate, it’s really not the time to do it. Everyone gave their best to honor his memory. I would have liked to win the general classification for him. » For his part, Mattias Skjelmose underlined ” the emotions “ which affected the peloton after the announcement of the death of the Swiss rider. “The most important thing was that Gino’s family asked that the race continue. We had to listen to them. »
The favorite of the morning, the Belgian Remco Evenepoel failed to do a double blow after winning the seventh stage alone. The rider from the Soudal Quick-Step team then took the opportunity to pay tribute to Gino Mäder by pointing his finger to the sky as he crossed the finish line. Evenepoel finally paid for the time lost in the mountains this week, and settled for third place overall, forty-five seconds behind Skjelmose. Romain Bardet finished in fifth position, 2′ 41” behind the leader.
At 22, Mattias Skjelmose thus won the second stage race of his career, after the Tour of Luxembourg in 2022. His victory once again illustrates the great form of the Danes on the bikes, a few days after the demonstration of his compatriot Jonas Vingegaard during of the Criterium du Dauphiné. The Jumbo-Visma rider will also be one of the main contenders for his own succession on the next Tour de France (from 1er to July 23).