Eddie Dunbar takes best young rider at Tour de Suisse

Meanwhile, it will be announced this week whether Sam Bennett will lead team in Tour de France sprints

File photo of Eddie Dunbar. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

File photo of Eddie Dunbar. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

Eddie Dunbar ended his participation in the Tour de Suisse in style on Sunday, finishing an impressive fourth on the final stage and winning the best young rider classification.

The Ineos Grenadiers rider was one of the strongest riders on the mountainous stage to Andermatt, doing a lot of work for his teammate Richard Carapaz, the overall race leader, and still having the strength to ride aggressively in the finale. Although Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) and Michael Woods (Israel Start-up Nation) clipped away and took first and second on the stage, Dunbar had enough left in the tank to finish towards the fore of the seven-man chasing group and net that fourth place.

Carapaz won overall, with Dunbar six minutes 15 seconds back in 12th place. He undoubtedly would have finished even closer to the podium had he not ridden for Carapaz. Dunbar received plenty of plaudits for his performance and, more importantly, beat the next-best rider in the youth classification by over a minute and a half. It is his most consistent performance since turning pro and underlines his status as one of the most promising young riders in the sport.

“I think the main thing was we kept yellow today,” he said after the stage. “The team rode superbly. We knew there were going to be attacks, we matched them and Richie (Richard Carapaz) brought home the jersey.

“I always knew I had this in me. I just need a run of races and a bit of good luck. I have been thankfully injury-free now this year, and I stayed upright, which makes a big difference. I am feeling good and I am enjoying riding my bike at the minute.”

Meanwhile on Saturday, Ben Healy had a superb performance on the final stage of the Giro Ciclistico d’Italia, winning alone. The 20-year-old Trinity Racing rider beat breakaway companions Jacopo Menegotto (General Store Essegibi F.lli Curia) and Daan Hoole (SEG Racing Academy) by 38 seconds, finished second in the points classification and 12th overall.

In other news, Sam Bennett and his team will make clear this week if he will indeed lead his Deceuninck Quick-Step squad in the sprints of this year’s Tour de France. Bennett suffered a knee injury recently and was forced to miss the Baloise Belgium Tour. Although he is understood to be making decent progress, his team manager Patrick Lefevere generated headlines in recent days when he pondered whether Bennett could recover in time for the Tour. He indicated there was a chance his place could be taken by multiple Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish.

Cavendish is six years older than Bennett and was almost forced to end his career last autumn due to a lack of results in recent seasons and a corresponding indifference from teams. However he agreed what Lefevere described as a minimum-wage contract with the squad, only to bounce back with several wins this year. He triumphed on Sunday’s final stage of the Belgium Tour.

Tour de Suisse, Switzerland (WorldTour)

Stage 8 Andermatt to Andermatt

1 Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) 159.5 kilometres in 4 hours 6 mins 25, 2 M Woods (Israel Start-up Nation) same time, 3 M Cattaneo (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at 9, 4 E Dunbar (Ineos Grenadiers), 5 R Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), 6 R Costa (UAE Team Emirates) all same time

Young Riders: 1 Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) at 4 hours 6 mins 25, 2 E Dunbar (Ineos Grenadiers) at 9, 3 N Powless (EF Education-Nippo) at 44

Teams: 1 Ineos Grenadiers 12 hours 27 mins 14 secs, 2 Astana-Premier Tech at 33 secs, 3 Movistar Team at 1 min 5 secs

General classification after stage 8

1 Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) 24 hours 44 mins 1 secs, 2 R Uran (EF Education-Nippo) at 17, 3 J Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech) at 1 min 15, 4 M Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 1 min 19, 5 M Woods (Israel Start-up Nation) at 2 mins 55, 6 D Pozzovivo (Team Qhubeka Assos) at 3 mins 16

Irish: 12 E Dunbar (Ineos Grenadiers) at 6 mins 15

Points classification: 1 Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) 21, 2 M Cattaneo (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 20, 3 R Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) 18

Mountains classification: 1 Michael Woods (Israel Start-up Nation) 29, 2 D de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) 29, 3 S Samitier Samitier (Movistar Team) 29

Young riders classification: 1 Eddie Dunbar (Ineos Grenadiers) 24 hours 50 mins 16, 2 N Powless (EF Education-Nippo) at 1 min 39, 3 A Kron (Lotto Soudal) at 7 mins 26

Teams classification: 1 Jumbo-Visma 62 hours 10, 2 Bahrain Victorious at 1 min 7, 3 Astana-Premier Tech at 1 min 51

Other: 4 Ineos Grenadiers at 3 mins 16

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