Team News – Simon Å pilak wins Tour de Suisse


Katusha’s Simon Å pilak wins the Tour de Suisse after final stage time trial battle with Geraint Thomas

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Team News – Simon Å pilak wins Tour de Suisse


Photo © Tim De Waele / Team Katusha

In a thrilling final stage of the 79th Tour de Suisse, Team Katusha’s Simon Špilak gave his all on the 38,5km challenging time trial course to emerge the overall victor by five seconds.

Špilak, age 28, needed 47-seconds to take over the race lead from Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) but when it became clear the Frenchman had dropped well away from contention, Simon’s battle became neck-and-neck with second on GC, Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas.

Once Å pilak crossed the finish line in Bern, it was all eyes on the clock to see if he could beat Thomas by the necessary 13-seconds, a feat he accomplished to win the fourth longest race on the WorldTour calendar and earn his most important career victory.

“I am really happy! This was a main objective in the season and I was very motivated, so to get this victory is incredible. After a lot of second and third places, finally I have managed again to win a big race. Of course this is the biggest victory in my career. This week was a hard one, but I felt good and strong and the team provided great support for me.”

“I want to thank all of the guys, management and sponsors for everything they did to make this win possible. Yesterday I could see the circuit and I realized it suited me well. It was really hard but I like the races like this. So I was motivated and concentrated in the morning before the start. In the race I did my best and it worked out well for me. It was a very intense part of the season so now I will take some rest.”


“And I am happy to go home with such a great trophy! In two days I have my birthday – what a great present I have!” concluded Simon Å pilak, referring to the winner’s trophy which stands almost as tall as he is.

Joining Å pilak on the final podium were Geraint Thomas in second place and stage winner Tom Dumoulin at 5- and 19-seconds respectively. For Simon Å pilak, the victory in the 2015 Tour de Suisse comes as the biggest win for the Slovenian rider and his first in the current racing season.

Sitting in the hot seat for most of the race was Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) with a top time of 48:55 on the technical course featuring climbs, corners and cobbles, used in yesterday’s road stage. Tom Dumoulin unseated the Swiss champion by 19-seconds with a new best time of 48:36 and took the stage win, with Špilak claiming second place at 18-seconds, one second ahead of Cancellara finally landing in third.

“Simon was very motivated to win” said sports director Torsten Schmidt. “This was always his goal and he trained very hard for this. In the end he did it and it’s fantastic for him. We were very aware of his closest competitors in this race and when we saw his second split-time where he was ahead, it was great to follow him in the car and hope for the victory. I am so happy with the work from the team this week. They were motivated and sharp, ready to ride for results. This goes for the staff and management also – it’s great what we have going with Team Katusha this year.”


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