Felix Gall powers to first major career win and overall race lead on stage four of Tour de Suisse

Gall takes over the GC lead from Mattias Skjelmose with Remco Evenepoel in third

Felix Gall celebrates winning stage four of the 2023 Tour de Suisse
(Image credit: Getty)

Felix Gall (AG2R Citroën) climbed to a first-ever win on the WorldTour on stage four of the Tour de Suisse in Leukerbad and took over the overall race lead.

On the long climb to the finish, the Austrian simply had too much for the rest of his rivals and managed to maintain enough of a gap to the chasers including Romain Bardet (DSM), Wilco Kelderman (Jumbo-Visma) and Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) to hold on for the victory.

As the stage neared its finale, Bardet launched a series of attacks as he looked to bridge up to the AG2R rider. However, the Frenchman was unable to force enough of a gap to the rest of the overall race favourites.

“I’m still a little bit overwhelmed with the situation, I don’t really know what to think,” Gall said afterwards. “It’s my first professional victory here at the Tour de Suisse and now I also have the leader's jersey.

"Yesterday I felt super good, I’m in the shape of my life, so we said this morning that if I felt the same as yesterday on the last climb, I have to give it a try.”

The Austrian went from distance as he made his bid for victory, and attacked on the steepest section of the long final climb to Dorben with 22 kilometres still to race. Gall powered past the remnants of the day’s breakaway, leaving nothing to chance after narrowly missing out to Mattias Skjelmose (Trek-Segafredo) on stage three.

“I didn’t think it would really be possible as it was still a long way to the finish line,” Gall added. “But I had to give it a try. If I have the best legs of my life, I’m not going to wait in the bunch and look at the others.”

Evenepoel snatched second place ahead of Skjelmose to put him third overall, 16 seconds back from Gall ahead of another mountain test on stage five. Gall explained that with several tough days to come in the high mountains, as well as yet another time trial, overall victory would be a tall order.

Felix Gall has a bottle of water emptied over him by a teammate on stage four of Tour de Suisse

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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Tom joined Cycling Weekly in early 2022 and his news stories, rider interviews and features appear both online and in the magazine. 

He has reported from some of professional cycling's biggest races and events including the Tour de France and the recent Glasgow World Championships. He has also covered races elsewhere across the world and interviewed some of the sport's top riders. 

When not writing news scoops from the WorldTour, or covering stories from elsewhere in the domestic professional scene, he reports on goings on at bike shops up and down the UK, where he is based when not out on the road at races. He has also appeared on the Radio Cycling podcast.