inCycle take you into the middle of the peloton and show footage of how the sprinters lock horns on stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse.
Hometown favorite Fabian Cancellara won the Tour de Suisse on Sunday after dominating the ninth and final stage of the race, an individual time trial in Bern.
Saxo Bank’s big time-trial specialist, clad in the Swiss national champion’s kit, blitzed the 38.5km course in 45 minutes and 59 seconds, for an average speed of 50.236km/h (31.2mph). He knew he had the overall locked up and took the time to cross the line with both hands in the air, road-stage style.
Tony Martin (Columbia-Highroad) took second on the stage at 1:27 with Thomas Dekker (Silence-Lotto) third at 1:42.
It was the first stage-race victory since the 2008 Tirreno-Adriatico for Cancellara, a two-time world champion in the race against the clock and the reigning Olympic champ in the discipline.
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Saxo Bank, 33:05:51
2. Tony Martin (G), Columbia-Highroad, at 2:02
3. Roman Kreuziger (Cze), Liquigas, at 2:24
4. Andreas Klöden (G), Astana, at 2:50
5. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Katusha, at 3:18
6. Damiano Cunego (I), Lampre, 3:23
7. Tadej Valjavec (Slo), Ag2r, at 3:45
8. Rein Taaramae (Est), Cofidis, at 4:04
9. Kim Kirchen (Lux), Columbia-Highroad, at 4:04
10. Maxime Monfort (B), Columbia-Highroad, at 4:08
11. Michael Albasini (Swi), Columbia-Highroad, at 4:53
12. Peter Velits (Svk), Milram, at 5:40
13. Rui Costa (Por), Caisse d’Epargne, at 5:58
14. George Hincapie (USA), Columbia-Highroad, at 6:08
15. Oliver Zaugg (Swi), Liquigas, at 6:11
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Jun 21 Sunday
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Recap of the TOUR de SUISSE
General classification after stage 8
1 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) 32h19'48"
2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank :04
3 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas :28
4 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - Highroad :39
5 Andreas Kloeden (Ger) Astana :45
ITT Bern-Bern 39 KM
“I’d tried the same kind of move on Friday at the mountain-top finish in Juraparc but it didn’t work out,” he noted. “This time round was different. I waited a lot longer and finally accelerated 500 metres from the line. I got a good gap, and then I knew that I was going to be able to win.”
Already victorious in the time trial stages of the Criterium International in France and the Bayern Rundfahrt in Germany this year, the second-year pro said he considered his Swiss victory “to be the first big win of my career.”
“Hopefully I can do a good time trial on Sunday, too,” he added.
Last year’s winner, Czech rider Roman Kreuziger, was second over the line and Germany’s Linus Gerdemann third.
It was the fifth stage win at the Swiss tour for the Columbia team.
The stage victory by the 2008 Tour de France yellow jersey-holder adds to the success record by the Columbia team during this event.
It also represents a return to form for 30-year-old Kirchen, who broke a shoulder bone in a fall during the Tour of California at the beginning of this season.
The 24-year-old Columbia-Highroad rider – winner of four stages in last
year’s Tour de France – won in a sprint finish ahead of Spain’s three-time
world road race champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank).
Cavendish had already won Monday’s stage from Davos to Lumino.
The last-moment charge towards the finish was launched by Thor Hushovd of
the Cervélo team but the Norwegian was overhauled by his rivals. Third on the
day was Italian Francesco Gavazzi of Lampre.
Slovenia’s Tadej Valjavec (AG2R) retained the overall lead in what is the last major cycling event before the Tour de France starts on July 4.
Swiss favorite and twice world time-trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Saxo-Bank), second overall, reduced the margin behind Valjavec to just nine seconds, setting him up for the Sunday’s final day time trial in the Swiss capital, Berne.
Tadej Valjavec (Ag2r) retained the race lead, even managing to drop his biggest rival on Wednesday – Saxo Bank’s Andy Schleck – down the overall standings.
Valjavec now leads Swiss rider Oliver Zaugg, of Liquigas, by 14 seconds with four stages remaining.
Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara of Saxo-Bank battled hard in the closing few hundred meters to close the gap to Albasini, but the big Swiss could only finish runner-up.
Damiano Cunego (Lampre) took third place as the 28-year-old Albasini grabbed his second stage win of the race, after his maiden win at the Swiss tour in 2005, to make it an impressive 38 wins this season for Columbia.
Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) triumphed in the fourth stage of the Tour of Switzerland on Tuesday.
The Dane held off Astana’s Maxim Iglinsky by a whisker to take his third victory of the year in the 195km ride from Biasca to Staefa.
Tadej Valjavec (Ag2r-La Mondiale) finished third in the nine-man sprint to take the leader’s jersey from Saxo’s Fabian Cancellara, who crossed 1:03 down on the escapees.
Cancellara had led the race since winning the opening time trial.
As Cavendish soaked up the win, Spanish ace Oscar Freire of Rabobank came through late to leave Cervelo’s main sprinter Hushovd in third place.
1. Fabian Cancellara (SUI/Saxo Bank) 8:25:39.
2. Roman Kreuziger (CZE) 0:22.
3. Andreas Kl˚den (GER) 0:25.
4. George Hincapie (USA) 0:27.
5. Tony Martin (GER) 0:34.
6. Kim Kirchen (LUX) 0:34.
7. Maxime Monfort (BEL) 0:35.
8. Gustav Erik Larsson (SWE) 0:36.
9. Rui Costa (POR) 0:38.
10. Oscar Freire (ESP) 0:39.
The Austrian sprinter achieved the first and went a long way toward securing the second after out-kicking the bunch in a tightly fought sprint to win Sunday’s romp around Davos.
“I went for a long sprint, found my own line and, above all, I didn’t look back until I crossed that finish line,” Eisel said. “It was a very technical finish. Fortunately (teammate) George Hincapie gave me a really good lead-out, so I was in a great position to go for it and go for the stage win.”