Adam Yates wins stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse.

UAE looks dominant as Tour de France nears

Just two weeks before Tadej Pogačar attempts the Giro-Tour double, teammates Adam Yates and João Almeida go one-two on a summit finish at the Tour de Suisse.

Adam Yates won stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse with teammate João Almeida also in the frame a little ways behind him.

Dane Cash
by Dane Cash 13.06.2024 Photography by
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Just over two weeks out from the start of the Tour de France, UAE Team Emirates powered to an impressive one-two showing on the challenging Carì finishing climb on stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse, laying down a marker ahead of the biggest race of the year.

UAE’s João Almeida, sitting second overall in Switzerland at the start of the day, set a brutal tempo on the slopes of the Cat 1 ascent that whittled away at the GC group. Then, his teammate Adam Yates, already in the race lead after stage 4, soloed away from the rest of his rivals, and as the riders neared the top of the climb, Almeida found a second wind and weaved his way through those chasing Yates.

Yates, who claimed third overall at last year’s Tour de France, took the Tour de Suisse stage 5 victory and Almeida arrived five seconds later to nab runner-up honors ahead of Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers). The dominant showing tightened Yates’ grip on the GC battle and made Almeida’s hold on second more comfortable with a 36-second gap back to Bernal in third.

“The guys were super strong, controlled the break, and we set a super strong pace in the final, especially with João there at the end, he was going super fast,” Yates said afterward.

“We came in kind of like co-leaders, so it’s been a great day for the team.”

There’s no denying that fact. After stage 5, two key lieutenants for Tadej Pogačar – who just won the Giro d’Italia in similarly impressive fashion – are in pole position to finish first and second at the last big tune-up race before the Tour de France.

Meanwhile, amid all the recent success for UAE that is sure to boost the team’s confidence ahead of the Tour, rival squad Visma-Lease a Bike cannot seem to catch a break. Although there are some encouraging signs of rising form, it remains unclear whether two-time Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard will be fit to start the race after his crash at the Itzulia Basque Country, and crashes have also hit other Visma riders in recent days.

Dylan van Baarle and Steven Kruijswijk are both out of Visma’s Tour de France long team after crashing at the Critérium du Dauphiné, with van Baarle breaking his collarbone and Kruijswijk suffering “a small fracture in his hip.” Then, Wilco Kelderman crashed yesterday at the Tour de Suisse, although he was fortunately able to continue riding and finished a creditable 12th on stage 4 and 15th today, both summit finishes. In short, even if Vingegaard arrives at the Tour healthy enough to vie for a third straight yellow jersey, he will do so with some key lieutenants banged up and others missing entirely from the start list.

For now, everything looks to be weighing in favor of UAE ahead of the Tour de France.

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