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Tour de Suisse stage 7: Thibaut Pinot scores mountaintop victory, Sergio Higuita grabs GC lead

Pinot climbs to biggest win since 2019 Tour de France, Higuita and Geraint Thomas sit in pole position for GC ahead of final TT.

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Thibaut Pinot (Groupama FDJ) chased down breakaway rival Ion Izagirre (Cofidis) and took solo victory in the Tour de Suisse.

The victory was Pinot’s first WorldTour win since the 2019 Tour de France and a timely booster ahead of this year’s French tour.

Óscar Rodríguez (Movistar) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) took the next steps on the Suisse podium after Izagirre’s push for the stage lost steam.

Pinot is set to return to his home grand tour this summer for the first time since his crash-blighted 2020 challenge.

“This is great for me. I wanted that win and went to get it myself. By finishing with the best Friday, I knew I was in good form,” he said.

Pinot rides toward a Tour de France co-captaincy role with teammate David Gaudu and looks back at his best after finally shaking the injuries that torpedoed his 2o21. The 32-year-old also savored an emotional comeback victory at Tour of the Alps this spring.

“This confirms all the work I have done since the start of the season. This is good in view of the Tour de France,” Pinot said. “The goal is to win stages there too.”

Behind Pinot, a flurry of attacks from the GC group in the final summit saw Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe) take a slender lead over Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) in the classification.

Overnight yellow jersey Jakob Fuglsang (Israel-Premier Tech) struggled to hold the wheels in the final and dropped to third at 19 seconds.

Neilson Powless (EF Education EasyPost) was resilient in what has been another standout week for the young American. After being left with just one teammate after a swathe of abandons Friday, Powless did enough to hold on to his fourth place overall ahead of the closing TT.

Suisse stage 7: More mountains …

The peloton likely breathed a sigh of relief Saturday morning when there were just three non-starters after the COVID chaos that contributed to nearly 30 DNSs on Friday.

Pinot and Clément Berthet (Ag2r Citroën) were two of the oversized breakaway group that got away in the fast downhill start to the stage.

The two Frenchmen went clear on the towering Lukmanierpass and edged a small gap over a handful of chase groups on the marathon-distance descent.

The day’s decisive 14-rider move eventually came together at around 100km to go as breakaway riders caught across to Pinot and Berthet.

Top talents like Lutsenko, Izagirre, Clément Champoussin (Ag2r-Citroën), Fausto Masnada (Quick-Step)  and the points-hunting Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco) were among the escape.

The bunch of GC favorites gave the break plenty of space in anticipation of the severe summit finish to come. The lead group toyed with five to seven minutes for much of the middle of the race.

Pinot makes hay on Malbun summit

Israel Premier Tech did most of the work keeping things in control for Fuglsang. The gap to the break reduced through the closing hours, but the 14 riders still enjoyed more than three minutes when they arrived at the 13km climb to Malbun.

Izagirre and Lutsenko followed the initial moves in the break and the two kicked away, but Pinot made a hot pursuit.

Pinot caught and dropped Lutsenko after Izagirre kicked clear and went on a mission to bridge a 40-second gap to the solo Spaniard.

The Groupama captain caught Izagirre at 2km, sat on the wheel for the briefest of moments, then flew solo for the victory in a pre-Tour de France statement of intent.

Higuita makes GC move

Sergio Higuita did just enough to take the leader’s jersey.

Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) tried to crack the GC deadlock in the bunch at around 8km to go after being a casualty of the “queen stage” Friday. The Belgian didn’t get far as Daniel Martínez set the pace for Ineos teammate Thomas.

Martínez kept pulling all the way through to the final kilometers of the steep ascent and only a small bunch of favorites could hang on.

Higuita pounced as soon as Martínez pulled off, and the group blew to bits.

Thomas sat on Fuglsang’s wheel and left the Dane to chase after Higuita. The Welshman finally pounced inside the final kilometer to drop his GC rival and went motoring after Higuita.

Higuita didn’t let off all the way to the line as he hunted the GC lead. The Colombian climber started the stage 10 seconds down on Fuglsang and did just enough to gain the time he needed to take a two-second race lead with his fourth-place finish.

The final yellow jersey of the race will be awarded after a flat 25km TT on Sunday’s stage 8. All eyes will be on Thomas to go faster than Higuita and Fuglsang and claim the Suisse trophy for the first time in his career.

From there, the road leads to the Tour de France and the more famous yellow garment.

Tour de Suisse Stage 7 Results

1PINOT ThibautGroupama - FDJ5:06:39
2RODRÍGUEZ ÓscarMovistar Team0:25
3LUTSENKO AlexeyAstana Qazaqstan Team0:38
4HIGUITA SergioBORA - hansgrohe1:19
5THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers1:30
6PRODHOMME NicolasAG2R Citroën Team1:40
7FUGLSANG JakobIsrael - Premier Tech1:48
8POZZOVIVO DomenicoIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:59
9REICHENBACH SébastienGroupama - FDJ2:09
10POWLESS NeilsonEF Education-EasyPost2:19
11JUNGELS BobAG2R Citroën Team2:24
12EVENEPOEL RemcoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team2:30
13IZAGIRRE IonCofidis2:32
14VAN WILDER IlanQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team2:37
15BURGAUDEAU MathieuTotalEnergies2:43
16SCHACHMANN MaximilianBORA - hansgrohe2:53
17MARTÍNEZ Daniel FelipeINEOS Grenadiers2:53
18KÜNG StefanGroupama - FDJ2:59
19LEKNESSUND AndreasTeam DSM3:42
20GROßSCHARTNER FelixBORA - hansgrohe3:42
21HOULE HugoIsrael - Premier Tech4:02
22MANNION GavinHuman Powered Health4:44
23PEDRERO AntonioMovistar Team4:44
24KRON AndreasLotto Soudal5:03
25MONIQUET SylvainLotto Soudal5:14
26SWIRBUL KeeganHuman Powered Health5:18
27VOISARD YannisSwitzerland5:50
28WARBASSE LarryAG2R Citroën Team6:02
29THALMANN RolandSwitzerland6:50
30OLIVEIRA NelsonMovistar Team8:11
31BERTHET ClémentAG2R Citroën Team8:27
32MASNADA FaustoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team9:20
33MATTHEWS MichaelTeam BikeExchange - Jayco9:31
34ROCHAS RémyCofidis9:38
35HERRADA JoséCofidis9:38
36SMITH DionTeam BikeExchange - Jayco10:12
37OURSELIN PaulTotalEnergies10:52
38SCHÄR MichaelAG2R Citroën Team12:13
39PASQUALON AndreaIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux12:51
40PELLAUD SimonTrek - Segafredo12:51
41TORRES AlbertMovistar Team12:51
42DUCHESNE AntoineGroupama - FDJ14:20
43REUTIMANN MathiasSwitzerland15:01
44DECLERCQ TimQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team15:01
45VITZTHUM SimonSwitzerland15:01
46RUTSCH JonasEF Education-EasyPost15:01
47AASVOLD KristianHuman Powered Health15:01
48HOLMES MatthewLotto Soudal15:27
49CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R Citroën Team16:25
50COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R Citroën Team16:25
51GRUZDEV DmitriyAstana Qazaqstan Team17:08
52BEVIN PatrickIsrael - Premier Tech17:11
53NIBALI AntonioAstana Qazaqstan Team19:28
54GILBERT PhilippeLotto Soudal19:34
55BAUER JackTeam BikeExchange - Jayco19:34
56HOELGAARD MarkusTrek - Segafredo19:34
57NEILANDS KristsIsrael - Premier Tech19:34
58COQUARD BryanCofidis19:34
59VAN MOER BrentLotto Soudal19:34
60VAN BAARLE DylanINEOS Grenadiers19:43
61ARNDT NikiasTeam DSM20:20
62FRAILE OmarINEOS Grenadiers20:49
63BADILATTI MatteoGroupama - FDJ21:51
64PLANCKAERT BaptisteIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux22:36
65JACOBS JohanMovistar Team23:00
66KNOX JamesQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team23:19
67KAMP AlexanderTrek - Segafredo23:50
68DENZ NicoTeam DSM24:45
69SIMMONS QuinnTrek - Segafredo24:45
70HAGA ChadHuman Powered Health26:25
71FROIDEVAUX RobinSwitzerland26:25
72ASKEY LewisGroupama - FDJ28:03
73OSS DanielTotalEnergies28:36
74MOSCON GianniAstana Qazaqstan Team28:36
75BOHLI TomCofidis28:36
76TURGIS AnthonyTotalEnergies28:42
77MANZIN LorrenzoTotalEnergies28:42
78KRISTOFF AlexanderIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux28:50
79SAGAN PeterTotalEnergies29:10
80IMPEY DarylIsrael - Premier Tech30:47
81PETIT AdrienIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux30:53
1HIGUITA SergioBORA - hansgrohe 32:38:38
2THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers0:02
3FUGLSANG JakobIsrael - Premier Tech0:19
4POWLESS NeilsonEF Education-EasyPost1:16
5POZZOVIVO DomenicoIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:37
6REICHENBACH SébastienGroupama - FDJ2:09
7KÜNG StefanGroupama - FDJ2:19
8JUNGELS BobAG2R Citroën Team2:31
9GROßSCHARTNER FelixBORA - hansgrohe2:47
10LEKNESSUND AndreasTeam DSM2:59
11SCHACHMANN MaximilianBORA - hansgrohe3:11
12MARTÍNEZ Daniel FelipeINEOS Grenadiers3:16
13EVENEPOEL RemcoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team4:09
14KRON AndreasLotto Soudal4:34
15PINOT ThibautGroupama - FDJ4:40
16HOULE HugoIsrael - Premier Tech5:17
17BURGAUDEAU MathieuTotalEnergies5:50
18PEDRERO AntonioMovistar Team7:08
19LUTSENKO AlexeyAstana Qazaqstan Team10:29
20MASNADA FaustoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team14:45
21HERRADA JoséCofidis17:12
22BERTHET ClémentAG2R Citroën Team17:57
23MATTHEWS MichaelTeam BikeExchange - Jayco19:13
24WARBASSE LarryAG2R Citroën Team20:10
25THALMANN RolandSwitzerland24:31
26OLIVEIRA NelsonMovistar Team26:59
27ROCHAS RémyCofidis27:18
28CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R Citroën Team28:40
29RODRÍGUEZ ÓscarMovistar Team32:32
30VAN WILDER IlanQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team36:06
31ARNDT NikiasTeam DSM37:10
32MONIQUET SylvainLotto Soudal38:25
33PASQUALON AndreaIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux38:57
34MANNION GavinHuman Powered Health40:06
35SCHÄR MichaelAG2R Citroën Team41:15
36IZAGIRRE IonCofidis42:00
37VOISARD YannisSwitzerland43:13
38PRODHOMME NicolasAG2R Citroën Team46:31
39NEILANDS KristsIsrael - Premier Tech47:58
40SMITH DionTeam BikeExchange - Jayco50:15
41HOLMES MatthewLotto Soudal53:04
42RUTSCH JonasEF Education-EasyPost53:25
43BADILATTI MatteoGroupama - FDJ55:16
44GILBERT PhilippeLotto Soudal56:53
45DUCHESNE AntoineGroupama - FDJ57:59
46SIMMONS QuinnTrek - Segafredo58:55
47PELLAUD SimonTrek - Segafredo59:01
48OURSELIN PaulTotalEnergies1:00:54
49SWIRBUL KeeganHuman Powered Health1:03:14
50VAN MOER BrentLotto Soudal1:05:23
51DENZ NicoTeam DSM1:05:41
52IMPEY DarylIsrael - Premier Tech1:08:20
53GRUZDEV DmitriyAstana Qazaqstan Team1:10:09
54BEVIN PatrickIsrael - Premier Tech1:11:59
55COQUARD BryanCofidis1:13:58
56BAUER JackTeam BikeExchange - Jayco1:15:56
57AASVOLD KristianHuman Powered Health1:16:53
58DECLERCQ TimQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team1:20:37
59VAN BAARLE DylanINEOS Grenadiers1:20:46
60HOELGAARD MarkusTrek - Segafredo1:21:04
61VITZTHUM SimonSwitzerland1:21:23
62NIBALI AntonioAstana Qazaqstan Team1:21:27
63MOSCON GianniAstana Qazaqstan Team1:22:11
64TORRES AlbertMovistar Team1:24:34
65COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R Citroën Team1:28:21
66KAMP AlexanderTrek - Segafredo1:31:01
67REUTIMANN MathiasSwitzerland1:32:36
68JACOBS JohanMovistar Team1:33:50
69PLANCKAERT BaptisteIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:33:53
70TURGIS AnthonyTotalEnergies1:36:59
71HAGA ChadHuman Powered Health1:41:55
72OSS DanielTotalEnergies1:42:16
73FRAILE OmarINEOS Grenadiers1:42:45
74FROIDEVAUX RobinSwitzerland1:45:01
75KRISTOFF AlexanderIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:47:36
76ASKEY LewisGroupama - FDJ1:49:57
77SAGAN PeterTotalEnergies1:52:20
78KNOX JamesQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team1:54:46
79BOHLI TomCofidis1:54:58
80PETIT AdrienIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:55:44
81MANZIN LorrenzoTotalEnergies2:09:33
1MATTHEWS MichaelTeam BikeExchange - Jayco30
3SIMMONS QuinnTrek - Segafredo18
4PINOT ThibautGroupama - FDJ13
5DENZ NicoTeam DSM12
6IMPEY DarylIsrael - Premier Tech12
7SAGAN PeterTotalEnergies12
8HOLMES MatthewLotto Soudal12
9THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers10
10SCHACHMANN MaximilianBORA - hansgrohe10
11CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R Citroën Team9
12POWLESS NeilsonEF Education-EasyPost8
13LUTSENKO AlexeyAstana Qazaqstan Team8
14RODRÍGUEZ ÓscarMovistar Team8
15COQUARD BryanCofidis8
16KRON AndreasLotto Soudal7
17FUGLSANG JakobIsrael - Premier Tech6
18PASQUALON AndreaIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux6
19KRISTOFF AlexanderIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux6
20REUTIMANN MathiasSwitzerland4
21HIGUITA SergioBORA - hansgrohe4
22BURGAUDEAU MathieuTotalEnergies3
23MASNADA FaustoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team3
24THALMANN RolandSwitzerland3
25HOELGAARD MarkusTrek - Segafredo3
26VAN WILDER IlanQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team2
27MONIQUET SylvainLotto Soudal2
28VAN BAARLE DylanINEOS Grenadiers2
29KAMP AlexanderTrek - Segafredo2
30JACOBS JohanMovistar Team2
31HAGA ChadHuman Powered Health2
32ASKEY LewisGroupama - FDJ2
33VITZTHUM SimonSwitzerland1
34HERRADA JoséCofidis-4
1HIGUITA SergioBORA - hansgrohe 32:38:38
2LEKNESSUND AndreasTeam DSM2:59
3EVENEPOEL RemcoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team4:09
4KRON AndreasLotto Soudal4:34
5BURGAUDEAU MathieuTotalEnergies5:50
6BERTHET ClémentAG2R Citroën Team17:57
7CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R Citroën Team28:40
8VAN WILDER IlanQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team36:06
9MONIQUET SylvainLotto Soudal38:25
10VOISARD YannisSwitzerland43:13
11PRODHOMME NicolasAG2R Citroën Team46:31
12RUTSCH JonasEF Education-EasyPost53:25
13SIMMONS QuinnTrek - Segafredo58:55
14VAN MOER BrentLotto Soudal1:05:23
15JACOBS JohanMovistar Team1:33:50
16FROIDEVAUX RobinSwitzerland1:45:01
17ASKEY LewisGroupama - FDJ1:49:57
1SIMMONS QuinnTrek - Segafredo60
2MASNADA FaustoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team31
3PINOT ThibautGroupama - FDJ28
4DENZ NicoTeam DSM20
5RODRÍGUEZ ÓscarMovistar Team16
6CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R Citroën Team15
7BERTHET ClémentAG2R Citroën Team14
8GILBERT PhilippeLotto Soudal12
10KAMP AlexanderTrek - Segafredo10
11VITZTHUM SimonSwitzerland10
12LUTSENKO AlexeyAstana Qazaqstan Team10
13THALMANN RolandSwitzerland10
14HOLMES MatthewLotto Soudal9
15MATTHEWS MichaelTeam BikeExchange - Jayco8
16RUTSCH JonasEF Education-EasyPost8
17REUTIMANN MathiasSwitzerland8
18THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers7
19REICHENBACH SébastienGroupama - FDJ6
20FUGLSANG JakobIsrael - Premier Tech6
21JACOBS JohanMovistar Team6
22HIGUITA SergioBORA - hansgrohe6
23OLIVEIRA NelsonMovistar Team5
24TURGIS AnthonyTotalEnergies5
25VAN WILDER IlanQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team4
26PASQUALON AndreaIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux4
27SCHÄR MichaelAG2R Citroën Team3
28POWLESS NeilsonEF Education-EasyPost2
29SCHACHMANN MaximilianBORA - hansgrohe2
30EVENEPOEL RemcoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team2
31BURGAUDEAU MathieuTotalEnergies2
32BADILATTI MatteoGroupama - FDJ2
33HOELGAARD MarkusTrek - Segafredo2
34HAGA ChadHuman Powered Health2
35IZAGIRRE IonCofidis1
36VAN BAARLE DylanINEOS Grenadiers1
37MANZIN LorrenzoTotalEnergies1
38HERRADA JoséCofidis-6
1Groupama - FDJ 98:00:04
2BORA - hansgrohe0:33
3AG2R Citroën Team16:03
4INEOS Grenadiers33:18
5Israel - Premier Tech36:47
6Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team37:47
7Movistar Team37:47
9Lotto Soudal1:13:57
10Team DSM1:26:32
11Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:38:39
13Team BikeExchange - Jayco2:04:43
14Trek - Segafredo2:14:55
15Astana Qazaqstan Team2:14:58
17Human Powered Health2:36:06

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.