Slovenian Simon Spilak claimed his second overall Tour de Suisse victory on Sunday, as Rohan Dennis won the closing time trial in

LAUSANNE (AFP) — Slovenian Simon Spilak claimed his second overall Tour de Suisse victory on Sunday, as Rohan Dennis won the closing time trial in Schaffhausen.

Katusha’s Spilak took a 52-second advantage over Damiano Caruso into the final day, and he finished four seconds behind the Italian in fifth on the day to secure the yellow jersey. The 30-year-old also won the title in 2015.

“This was a very hard day and difficult TT,” said Spilak. “It was harder than we expected. We did our recon of the route in the morning. By this afternoon it was so hot, but I am so happy. It is my second win here.”

Stage 9, top 10

Top-10 overall

BMC’s Dennis, 27, went into the ninth stage as the favorite, and he completed the 28.6km course 29 seconds quicker than his teammate Stefan Kung as Caruso completed a BMC clean sweep of the top three. He echoed Spilak’s comments about the final stage’s difficulty.

“It was 28.6km of pain,” said Dennis after the race. “The first 4km felt okay and then it was all about switching off and telling myself that the top of the climb was the finish. From there, it was just 5km to go. I tried to save something in the little valley and stay as aerodynamic as possible before going as fast as I could on the climb. I’m not a climber but I am also not too heavy so, I could try and hold the climbers on the ascent.”

For Dennis, it has been a rocky road over the past two months after crashing out early at the Giro d’Italia and then on the second stage of Tour de Suisse after taking the prologue win.

“It hasn’t been an easy run for me,” the 27-year-old former ‘hour record’ holder admitted. “I haven’t felt too good and I think I have been lacking a little bit  of form. My body was in a bit of shock after the first road stage and the crash.

“After crashing out of the Giro d’Italia and then crashing here, I think I was a little bit down about it,” Dennis continued. “It was obviously good that nothing was broken and there were a couple of days where I thought I should’ve gone home. But, there was something good at the end of it.”

Stage 9 results

General classification