Carapaz Tour de France favorite after Tour de Suisse Victory
Ecuador's Richard Carapaz of the Ineos Grenadiers team won the Tour de Suisse after Sunday's eighth and final stage claimed by home rider Gino Mader (Bahrain-Victorious)
Carapaz, who won the Giro d'Italia in 2019, finished fifth on the stage that featured a steep climb 15km from the finish line.
The result was enough for the Ecuadorian maintain his 17-second lead over Colombian Rigoberto Uran, his closest rival in the race for the yellow jersey.
The Ineos team had ridden hard as a unit to keep the race together during a fractured opening to the stage, and when the big attacks came on the cobbled Gotthardpass, Carapaz looked comfortable as he shut down each move.
Eddie Dunbar put in a towering performance in support of his teammate in the closing stages, setting a big tempo to pull back attackers, before re-joining to help on the descent and the final run-in, he won the young riders classification.
Dunbar, who ended up fourth place on the stage and 12th overall, said: "The team rode really super today. Even at the start we controlled it very well.
"We got to the climb and we rode our tempo – in the end it was a very strong tempo."
"We expected the favourites to attack and they did. Thankfully we were able to respond and bring it home. I think Richie is a worthy winner of this race. He showed all week he's the strongest rider here and he proved it again today. It's a great day for the team again."
The triumph follows Ineos victories by Egan Bernal in the Giro d'Italia at the end of May and by Richie Porte in the Criterium de Dauphine earlier in June.
Carapaz made it clear he will be a co-leader at the Tour de France and just be there to help Geraint Thomas.
"The truth is that this shows the strength of the team that we have," he said, "I'm going to share the leadership with G at the Tour. We just want to win the Tour. Of course it all depends on how it goes and Tour will put us in our correct place. We'll be there with a strong team."
VIDEO: 2021 Tour de Suisse Stage 8 Highlights
2021 Tour de Suisse Stage 8 Top 10
1 Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious 4:06:25
2 Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
3 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:09
4 Eddie Dunbar (Irl) Ineos Grenadiers
5 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
6 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
7 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos
9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
10 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:21
2021 Tour de Suisse Final General Classification
1 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers 24:44:01
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo 0:00:17
3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech 0:01:15
4 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:19
5 Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation 0:02:55
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:03:16
7 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates 0:03:43
8 Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:04:16
9 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:04:39
10 Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange 0:05:33