The final stage of the Tour de Suisse saw Kasia Niewiadoma put in a strong performance to finish second in Ebnat-Kappel. The CANYON//SRAM Racing rider was beaten in a two-rider sprint after a brave attack, to ride herself onto the general classification podium. Teammate Elise Chabbey secured the win in the mountain classification after leading from the first day. Niewiadoma and Chabbey moved up two places in the general classification, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
The 100km stage was contested in hot conditions, with Tiffany Cromwell powering into the main breakaway of the day within the first 15km of the stage. Later, when Niewiadoma attacked and bridged across, Cromwell was able to give one final push to help Niewiadoma extend her gap on the chasing group. Niewiadoma, with Niamh Fisher-Black on her wheel, rode herself into the virtual GC leader and forced the peloton behind her to split into pieces under the pressure to bring back the Polish rider. Niewiadoma gave everything to ride onto the GC podium, missing third place by just seven seconds. In the final, Fisher-Black was able to outsprint Niewiadoma to win the stage.
Niewiadoma said after the stage, “It was all or nothing today. I felt very good for the whole tour and was disappointed after my time trial on stage two. My motivation was high to create an opportunity to flip the GC standings.”
“Having Tiffany in the breakaway was really helpful for our team. When I bridged across, I just yelled her name, and she led me perfectly to the bottom of the climb on the local lap. From there, I had a time trial to the finish,” added Niewiadoma, who rode the final 30km with Fisher-Black, a teammate of the GC leader, sitting in her slipstream.
“I wanted to gain as much time as it was possible for the GC. I was cramping at the end as the temperature today was quite high, but I think that distracted me from the pain I felt in my legs! I knew that Fisher-Black would be fresh, but I still had the hope that I could outsprint her on the little kick in the final 200m.”
Chabbey said, “I’m really happy with the race our team did here in Switzerland, racing aggressively and creating opportunities. It’s a shame it didn’t work out with Kasia today, as she rode strongly. I keep surprising myself with what I can do in time trials and climbing, and I’m happy to finish fifth in GC. I should have more self-belief and confidence in what I can achieve.”
“I’m pleased to get the QOM jersey. I enjoyed going on the podium each day in my home country with all of the fan support, and again, going on the final podium today was nice. After all that has happened with Swiss cycling and the bigger cycling community with Gino (Mäder), we saw that cycling is a big family. I hope that having some Swiss riders on the final podium can help in a small way to give also some positive memories for Swiss cycling in the tour.”