Geraint Thomas falls just short of Tour de Suisse title as Spilak wins overall

Simon Spilak wins Tour de Suisse overall title by just five seconds from Geraint Thomas, who finishes fifth behind Tom Dumoulin on final time trial

Geraint Thomas in action during the stage nine ITT of the 2015 Tour de Suisse (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

Geraint Thomas dug deep on the final 38.4km time trial at the Tour de Suisse but his efforts were not enough to stop an inspired Simon Spilak from pipping him to the overall win by just five seconds.

The Team Sky rider knew he had to overcome a 34-second deficit on overnight leader Thibaut Pinot, which he managed with ease - it was Katusha's Spilak who posed the bigger danger, 13 seconds behind the Welshman.

Thomas finished 36 seconds down on stage winner Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and more importantly 18 seconds down on Spilak to give the Slovenian the general classification title.

It was home-crowd favourite Fabian Cancellara who set the pace early on, with his time of 48m 55s the fastest almost all afternoon until Dumoulin - sixth from last down the ramp - blew it out of the water.

TOM DUMOULIN in action during the Stage Nine ITTof the 2015 Tour de Suisse

TOM DUMOULIN in action during the Stage Nine ITTof the 2015 Tour de Suisse
(Image credit: Watson)

The Dutchman, who will be one of the favourites to take the first yellow jersey of the Tour de France in his home country on July 4, knocked a whole 19 seconds off Cancellara's time.

In doing so the World Championships time trial silver medalist claimed third place overall, with Pinot struggling home nearly two minutes down on Dumoulin.

Spilak knew he had the beating of Thomas, but until the Sky rider crossed the line in fifth place he did not know by how much. He has been on form in stage races this season, finishing second in the Tour de Romandie and third in Paris-Nice.

For Thomas it will be a confidence boost ahead of the Tour de France, where he could challenge in the opening short time trial before settling in as one of Chris Froome's trusted lieutenants.

Tour de Suisse stage nine, Bern-Bern (38.4km ITT)

1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin, 48-36

2. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha, at 18s

3. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek, at 19s

4. Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar, at 34s

5. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky, at 36s

6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek, at 41s

7. Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling, at 44s

8. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, at 1-07

9. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo, at 1-26

10. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 1-32

The final podium after Stage Nine of the 2015 Tour de Suisse

The final podium after Stage Nine of the 2015 Tour de Suisse
(Image credit: Watson)

Tour de Suisse general classification

1. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha, 30-15-09

2. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky, at 5s

3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin, at 19s

4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ, at 45s

5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 2-21

6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek, at 2-58

7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Esp) Astana, at 3-06

8. Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ, at 3-17

9. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 3-19

10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo, at 3-20

Take a closer look at the Tour de France 2015 route

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.