Yves Lampaert triumphs in Tour de Suisse prologue

Yves Lampaert clinched the first leader’s jersey in the Tour de Suisse 2024, delivering a stunning performance in the 4.8-kilometre prologue in Vaduz. The Belgian rider, competing for Soudal Quick-Step, outpaced the Swiss specialists on their home turf, finishing with a time of 5:05 minutes.

Lampaert’s victory was particularly notable as he managed to best Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost) and Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers), who finished three seconds behind. João Almeida emerged as the best-placed general classification contender, clocking in at 5:12 minutes, with Wilco Kelderman the highest-placed Dutch rider, finishing eleventh.

Reflecting on his unexpected victory, Lampaert expressed his surprise at overcoming the local favourites. “I didn’t expect to beat the Swiss specialists like Bissegger and Küng,” he admitted. “I’m really proud to do it. I know this distance suits me well.”

The prologue route, although flat and straightforward with just three left turns, was challenging due to varying weather conditions. Early in the race, Lampaert set a blistering pace, averaging 56.1 km/h. His performance was made more remarkable as rain threatened to disrupt the later starters, but the Belgian’s early effort proved unassailable.

Stefan Küng, a resident of Liechtenstein, found the local conditions challenging, finishing four seconds behind Almeida. The home favourite had hoped for better on familiar roads but acknowledged the stiff competition.

Wilco Kelderman and Bauke Mollema were among those who put in strong performances early on, but it was Lampaert who decisively undercut Almeida’s time, securing the first victory of the race.

For Lampaert, this win marks a significant return to form. His last major victory came in the opening time trial of the Tour de France 2022. Reflecting on the challenges faced over the past years, Lampaert shared, “Nowadays the level is so high in cycling. At one moment, I started to doubt myself. But I never gave up believing and kept training as well as possible. So it gives me a lot of satisfaction that I could take the victory today.”

With the leader’s jersey now on his shoulders, Lampaert looks ahead to defending his position in the next stage from Vaduz to Regensdorf, which is expected to culminate in a reduced bunch sprint.

The Tour de Suisse’s opening stage has set a competitive tone, with Almeida leading the general classification contenders, followed by Kelderman, Mattias Skjelmose, Adam Yates, Ben Tulett, and Alexey Lutsenko, all within close time gaps.

Meanwhile, Frank van den Broek of Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL had a commendable performance, finishing his effort in five minutes and 18 seconds. Reflecting on his experience, Van den Broek said, “Oscar and I travelled to Switzerland straight after a three-week high-altitude training camp on Tenerife with the team. It was my first ever camp like that, so I was not sure how I would feel in this short effort and also what to expect for my first competitive TT this season. I gave it a good crack and was happily surprised with the result I got in the end so we can take this with us into the next days here.”

2024 Tour de Suisse Men Prologue result

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