After going it alone after just five kilometres of racing, Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) soloed to his first ever WorldTour win on the final stage nine of the Tour de Suisse 2019.
The Brit, coming off the back of an impressive Giro d’Italia, also took the king of the mountains classification as he stayed away all day, maintaining his gap over the rest of the field over three HC-category climbs.
Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) who was 22 seconds down on race leader Egan Bernal (Ineos) at the start of the day, and tried a last gasp attempt at wrenching the victory from the Colombian with 25km to go, as they ascended the Furkapass climb.
However, Bernal was straight on his wheel, as the two broke away from the group of favourites and crossed the line together, as the 22-year-old took his second stage race victory of the year, following his Paris-Nice win.
Dennis led Bernal over the line, to reduce the gap slightly to 19 seconds, with Patrick Konrad taking third in the overall classification, 3-04 down.
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the points classification, pipping Elia Viviani by just five points, as the Slovakian marked his thirtieth career points classification victory.
How it happened
After stage eight’s flat time trial, the final stage nine provided three HC-category climbs, a final chance for Rohan Dennis to attempt to overhaul Egan Bernal after failing to in the race against the clock, although the young Colombian climber was likely to be stronger.
After a small group hit out almost as soon as the 101.5km stage began, Carthy bridge across quickly and before long had left them all behind.
Carthy maintained a three minute gap over the peloton and kept the remnants of the initial breakaway at bay, getting over the climbs while continuing to gain time on the other groups on the road.
Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates), who had been one of the first to animate the day’s stage, was dropped from the chase group with 60km to go, which would ultimately cost him his top 10 GC place.
As the chase group started to climb the Furkapass, Simon Špilak (Katusha-Alpecin) and Mathias Frank (Ag2r La Mondiale) kicked on, with Špilak eyeing a move up the GC.
Jan Hirt (Astana) then attacked the peloton with 37km to go, with Enric Mas (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) soon also going on the attack, trying to bridge over to Špilak and Frank, who were only a minute up the road.
Hugh Carthy, who was 2’55” ahead of the peloton, was the first over the Furkapass, meaning he had guaranteed himself the king of the mountains classification, regardless of how the final 26km would go.
With Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) 22 seconds behind race leader Egan Benal (Ineos), the Australian hit out on the Furkapass climb with 25km to go, but Bernal easily rode up to his wheel.
The duo then went off alone, two and a half minutes behind Carthy and second on the road as they headed towards the finish.
Hugh Carthy looked round as he came into the finish, but there was no chance anyone was even close after an imperious performance over three HC-category climbs. Dennis led Bernal over the line just over a minute later, confirming the Colombian’s overall victory.
Tour de Suisse 2019, stage nine: Goms to Goms (101.5km)
1. Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education First, in 3-01-49
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida, at 1-02
3. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos, at same time
4. Mathias Frank (Sui) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 1-52
5. Simon Špilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin, at same time
6. Carlos Bentacur (Col) Movistar, at 2-15
7. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
9. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana, all at same time
Final general classification
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos, in 24-40-24
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida, at 19s
3. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 3-04
4. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at 3-12
5. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana, at 3-13
6. Simon Špilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin, at 3-48
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, at 4-14
8. Carlos Bentacur (Col) Movistar, at 4-35
8. Enric Mas (Esp) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 4-53
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sunweb, at 5-27
Final points classification
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe, 37 pts
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, 32 pts
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida, 28 pts
Final climber classification
1. Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education First, 60 pts
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos, 40 pts
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida, 33 pts
Final youth classification
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos, in 27-43-10
2. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal, at 3-12
3. Enric Mas (Esp) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 4-53
Final team classification
1. Movistar (Esp), in 83-32-29
2. Ineos (GBr), in 1-47
3. Sunweb (Ger), at 6-02