Simon Spilak gave Katusha-Alpecin one of two stage race victories this week: while the Slovenian sealed the overall Tour de Suisse for the second time in his career with a solid final time trial, across Europe his teammate Jose Goncalves won the Ster ZLM Toer.
While the Tour de Suisse is often used as a warm-up and form check for the Tour de France, Spilak has no such ambitions, and his next race will be the Tour of Poland.
“No Grand Tours for me since 2014 – this is my own decision,” Spilak said. “I prefer stage races of six to 10 days. Of course, it would be nice to win a Tour de France stage or to become world champion.”
Spilak pulled out his winning margin in the race with a strong ride to the summit at Sölden on stage 7, heading into the final time trial with a rather comfortable 52-second lead on BMC’s Damiano Caruso.
Despite suffering in the heat of the day, Spilak lost just four seconds to his Italian rival. “This was a very hard day and difficult TT,” Spilak said. “It was harder than we expected. We did our recon of the route in the morning. By this afternoon it was so hot, but I am so happy.
“I am happy for my teammates, too. All week all of them did such a great job. Temperature is my biggest enemy here in Suisse, but I beat the heat this time.”
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