Simon Spilak climbed into the overall lead at Tour de Suisse Friday, winning stage 7 in Solden, Austria.

Simon Spilak climbed into the overall lead at Tour de Suisse Friday, winning stage 7 in the shadow of the Tiefenbachferner glacier in Solden, Austria. Bahrain-Merida’s Ion Izagirre was second on the mountaintop finish. American Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Drapac) was third after riding with Spilak on the first half of the finish climb.

“With 7-8k to go, I dropped Rein [Taaramae] and Joe Dombrowski,” Spilak said. “Maybe that was too far from the finish, but what else could I do? I had to take the jersey for my team.”

Stage 7, top 10

Top-10 overall

Stage 6 winner Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale) lost his overall lead, finishing 12th on the 166.3km day. The Italian was dropped early on the final climb to 2,780 meters when Slovenian Spilak put his Katusha-Alpecin teammate Rein Taaramae on the front to drive the tempo.

Eventually, it was only the Katusha-Alpecin duo and the 26-year-old Dombrowski. Taaramae peeled off about 10 kilometers from the finish. A couple kilometers later, Spilak accelerated and Dombrowski could not follow.

Spilak gradually built his lead on the steady climb through the barren, rocky terrain. “Immediately from the start this morning I felt that I had good legs,” he added. “Yesterday it was 30 degrees, but today it was 20 and this is better for me. We had a plan for today and the team was so good. Not to perform well was not an option.”

Behind, Izagirre attacked a group that included LottoNL-Jumbo’s Steven Kruijswijk, Damiano Caruso (BMC), and Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice).

The Spaniard bridged up to Dombrowski in the final kilometers and the duo rode together, close to Spilak, but unable to close the gap. Izagirre distanced Dombrowski in the final kilometer and rode to second, securing second place in the GC standings as well.

Spilak will aim to defend the yellow jersey in the final two stages this weekend. Saturday will be a short, 100km circuit race around Schaffhausen. Stage 9 looks to be a decisive time trial, a 28.6km test also in Schaffhausen.

Stage 7 results

General classification