As much as we admire Stevie Williams for his riding talent, today is arguably a day where we appreciate his honesty above everything else. Narrowly beaten into second place following a challenging uphill finish on stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse, his summary was commendable.

“I gave it a good go, a really good go,” he says. “But on a finish like that, whoever is the strongest wins, so I can’t complain.”

It was Thibau Nuys (LTK) who got the better of the Welshman following an undulating end to today’s stage into Rüschlikon. Three categorized and four uncategorized climbs – including an 800-meter, 7.2 % ramp to the finish line – delivered the much-anticipated finale.

“Yeah it was a tough final, really tough actually, especially the last 10 kilometers,” Williams adds. “I put myself in an excellent position coming into the final climb.”

The Welshman was superbly assisted by all six of his teammates throughout. German pair Pascal Ackermann and Michael Schwarzmann looked after him in the flatter part of the stage, before Marco Frigo and Jake Stewart provided invaluable support and positioning on the first climbs. To use his own words, this was Stewart’s most impressive performance for IPT to date, encouraging signs just months after the Brit required surgery on a knee injury.

“The guys did a great job all day keeping me out of trouble,” says Williams. “So I’m really grateful for that.

“I’m happy with second, as much as I wanted to win, so nevertheless it’s a good day.”

Williams moves up to fourth overall, six seconds off the race lead. Matthew Riccitello and George Bennett also showed their form as they finished 28th and 34th respectively to maintain their top-10 GC hopes. American rider Riccitello is best-placed of the pair, sitting in 29th.