Bernal wins again to extend Switzerland lead

Egan Bernal took stage seven by 23 seconds

Egan Bernal took stage seven by 23 seconds

Team Ineos’ Egan Bernal secured a second successive stage win to extend his overall Tour of Switzerland lead.

The Colombian completed the 216.6km seventh stage on the Gotthard Pass in five hours 37 minutes and 40 seconds.

It was enough to earn the 22-year-old victory from Domenico Pozzovivo by 23 seconds, with the Italian’s Bahrain-Merida team-mate Rohan Dennis third.

With two stages left, Bernal is 41 seconds clear of Australian Dennis in the overall standings.

Bernal left his rivals with 2.7km of the final 13km climb remaining of the longest and most demanding stage of the Tour.

The penultimate stage takes place on Saturday and is a 19.2km time trial around Goms, before the race ends with a 101.5km final stage in the same region.

“Tomorrow, I will certainly lose time on the clock but there will be a mountain stage on Sunday, and we will control that as much as we can,” said Bernal.

During Friday’s stage, Team Ineos rider Geraint Thomas posted a video of himself out on his bike as the 33-year-old continues to recover from a crash on Tuesday.

Thomas will look to defend his Tour de France title when the event begins on 6 July.

With Britain’s Chris Froome, who is also with Team Ineos, and Dutchman Tom Dumoulin of Sunweb, ruled out of the Tour de France, Bernal has emerged as a potential rival for Thomas.

Stage seven results

1. Egan Bernal (Col/Ineos) 5hrs 37mins 40secs

2. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) 23secs

3. Rohan Dennis (Aus/Bahrain-Merida) same time

4. Patrick Konrad (Aus/BORA-hansgrohe) +34secs

5. Jan Hirt (Cze/Astana) Same time

Overall classification

1. Egan Bernal (Col/Ineos) 24hrs 17mins 48secs

2. Rohan Dennis (Aus/Bahrain-Merida) +41secs

3. Patrick Konrad (Aut/BORA-hansgrohe) +1min 13secs

4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 17secs

5. Jan Hirt (Cze/Astana) +1min 19secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48725933

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