Five things we learned from the Tour de Suisse 2021

Carapaz looks in top form, everyone should fear Van der Poel and Switzerland have another young star

Richard Carapaz leads Rigoberto Uran at the 2021 Tour de Suisse
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Richard Carapaz looks in top form heading into the Tour de France

Richard Carapaz wins stage five of the Tour de Suisse 2021

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Richard Carapaz showed he is in very good form as he prepares for his main objectives of the year, the Tour de France and the Olympic Games road race, having taken a stage and the overall victory at the Tour de Suisse 2021.

Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) used his team well on the flatter lands with the British super-team looking after the Ecuadorian, but he was left a bit isolated in the highest mountains, with only Irishman Eddie Dunbar left to look after him.

The Ineos leader was most impressive on stage five where he took his stage win. To attack with such force and speed to immediately distance his rivals and bridge across to the leader on the road, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech), was impressive, but then to win the sprint a couple of kilometres later was outstanding.

Everyone should fear Mathieu van der Poel in France this summer

Mathieu van der Poel wins stage three of the Tour de Suisse 2021

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

It was almost as if Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) had never stepped off his road bike to race mountain bike after taking two stage wins in emphatic style at the Tour de Suisse.

>>> Ineos 'confident' ahead of Tour de France after Carapaz seals team's fifth 2021 stage race win at Tour de Suisse

Van der Poel says that he is only looking for a stage win in his debut Grand Tour at the Tour de France, but many are tipping him as one of the big favourites for the green jersey if he decides to stay for the entire three weeks.

But it seems unlikely that the Dutch champion will be at the Tour for the duration as he also targets the mountain bike cross country gold medal at the Olympics in Tokyo.

The Swiss put on a good show on home turf 

Stefan Bissegger wins stage four of the Tour de Suisse 2021

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Switzerland has been searching for a new talismanic figure since Fabian Cancellara retired a few years ago, but they seem to be getting four all at once.

Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) showed he can use his immense power on the road bike as well as the time trial bike after taking his second career win from the break on stage four of the Tour de Suisse.

This was after finishing second behind European time trial champion, and fellow countryman, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) in the opening time trial. Bissegger also took the time trial at Paris-Nice, denying Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) that day.

As well as Bissegger, Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) and Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) are also looking like fine talents, while Hirschi doesn't look near his 2020 form, Mäder has been superb, second on a Paris-Nice stage before winning at the Giro d'Italia and then victorious on the final stage on home roads.

>>> 'No plan B' if Sam Bennett can't ride Tour de France, says Patrick Lefevere, with Cavendish still needing to be convinced

Marc Soler continues to miss the mark

Marc Soler in the break on stage six of the Tour de Suisse 2021

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

At the start of the 2021 season, expectations for the Spanish climber weren't exactly sky high. But he did show a brief flash of brilliance at the Tour de Romandie where he took a stage and the overall lead for a day.

He was also looking strong at the Giro d'Italia before crashing out with a clumsy fall at the back of the peloton at the start of the second week.

So, he came into the Tour de Suisse as someone who was rather under the radar, although did get his team to set him up for the first major mountains stage, taking bonus seconds at an intermediate sprint too, but when it came to the climb he was nowhere to be seen and finished over 20 minutes down.

Soler, who has won Paris-Nice in the past, is one of the main focuses in his team's Netflix documentary series where he isn't always shown in a great light. You can imagine that season three won't be getting any more positive.

Tom Dumoulin returns to racing

Tom Dumoulin returns to racing at the Tour de Suisse 2021

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) opened his 2021 season at the Tour de Suisse after taking a break from the sport.

Fortunately, the 2017 Giro d'Italia winner decided that cycling is where he wanted to be and returned to his team of Jumbo-Visma.

His first race was his bread and butter - a time trial. Although it was his first race since the Tour de France in 2020, Dumoulin looked good and managed a very respectable 16th place, beating the likes of Bob Jungels (Ag2r-Citroën).

He then mostly stayed around the top 30 to 50 riders until the penultimate stage that was the second time trial of the race. And also one that suited him very well. The Dutchman managed an exceptional fifth place on the day beating some of the best riders in the world. 

He finished 40th in the overall standings and all signs are very promising that he can get back to where he once was.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.