Adam Yates wins Tour de Suisse after holding off teammate João Almeida

<span>Top dog: Adam Yates is greeted by his pet dog Zoe after crossing the finish line at Villars-sur-Ollon.</span><span>Photograph: Tim de Waele/Getty Images</span>
Top dog: Adam Yates is greeted by his pet dog Zoe after crossing the finish line at Villars-sur-Ollon.Photograph: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Britain’s Adam Yates held on to win the Tour de Suisse after finishing second in Sunday’s closing time trial stage.

Yates’s closest rival was his UAE-Team Emirates colleague, João Almeida, who was fastest on the 15.7km route from Aigle to Villars-sur-Ollon. The Portuguese rider finished in 22 minutes and 23 seconds, but his nine-second advantage over Yates on the day was not enough to take the title.

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Having led by 31 seconds at the start of Sunday’s eighth stage, Yates was able to hold on to top spot in the general classification with relative comfort. The Bury-born cyclist claimed wins on the fifth and seventh stages of the race through Switzerland, adding this trophy to the 2023 Tour de Romandie and 2021 Volta a Catalunya.

“I wasn’t sure if I could do it,” said Yates, who was greeted at the finish line by his wife, Lisa, and their pet dog Zoe. “I knew [Almeida] was going to accelerate a little bit there in the end. I just couldn’t accelerate; I was already over the limit so I just tried to hold the pace and thankfully it was enough.”

The 31-year-old added that his defeat at the 2019 Tirreno-Adriatico, where he lost by one second to Primoz Roglic, had played on his mind. “That has lived rent-free in my head for many years so it’s finally good to win a race and win it with a TT like this,” Yates concluded.

Almeida finished second overall, completing a dominant week for Team Emirates as they continue their preparations for the Tour de France. Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) came third on the day and overall, edging out Ineos’ Egan Bernal in the GC. Britain’s Tom Pidcock and Oscar Onley finished sixth and eighth respectively.

Yates – who finished third in La Grande Boucle last year – and Almeida are both likely to be valuable support riders for Tadej Pogacar as the Slovenian bids to complete a Giro d’Italia and Tour double. This year’s Tour de France starts in Florence on 29 June with three Grand Départ stages in Italy.