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Tour de Suisse - Stage 2 Report
 
By Staff
Date: 6/15/2008
Tour de Suisse - Stage 2 Report
 

Tour de Suisse Stage 2
The Battle on the cruel Flumsberg 10 kilometers of pain after 187 kilometers in the rain - the  favorites duel won by an orange warrior of the Eukaltel squad.

Stage 2 Langnau  - Flumserberg, 197km
A tough stage would only become tougher as the rain poured down in buckets on the riders in Switzerland. With three climbs on the menu, the cat 3 Kerenzerberg coming at 33 km, and two in the final 27 kilometers another Cat. 3 and the summit finish on the Cat. 1- 10 kilometer long Flumserberg featuring steeps of 16%, tough enough on a sunny day after 187 kilometers in your legs but just misery in the pouring rain.
Race elevation profile

Early attacks in the early part of the race were all eventually denied when Ag2r's Martin Elmiger launched an attack 50 kilometers in to the stage with 150 km to go on a downhill portion of the race. Elmigers attack saw him gain over 16 minutes as he went over the second climb and headed for the wall of the Flumserberg. When the peloton got into action.

Early attacks in  the race were all eventually denied when Martin Elmiger launched an attack 47 kilometers in to the stage with 150 km to go on a downhill portion of the race. Elmigers attack saw him gain over 16 minutes as he started over the second climb and headed for the wall of the Flumserberg. When the peloton got into action.

With Oscar Freire likely out of contention for the final climb to the finish the Rabobank squad left the chase to favorites teams. CSC led much of the way with Lampre, High Road, Liquigas and Gerolteiner sharing the chase effort peloton; the group got down to business as they crossed the valley to the final climb slowly closing the gap to the brave Martin Elmiger who continued his solo effort in the pouring rain.

The gap slowly came down at first as the peloton took a chunk of time with 30 km to go the gap was down to 4:30 see-sawing at that until the peloton put the hammer down and halved the gap with 13 km to go. By this point Elmiger looked to be struggling off the front as he started the final 10 km climb to the finish. The gap came down fast as peloton started the climb 50 seconds down on the brave Swiss rider.

Elmiger hit the first steeps of the Flumserberg and you could see it was a study in pain as he struggled through out of the saddle looking over his shoulder as if the peloton's arrival would give him some relief. Behind him the peloton was coming undone as Liquigas, Milram, and CSC flew up the climb as riders spewed out the back.  It wasn't long when the CSC led peloton swept up Elmiger and unceremoniously swept up and seemed to float back of the pack in the next kilometer.

8 km to go and an attack by Gianni Meersmen of FDJ once again raised the tempo for another selection, Jens Voigt pulled out the stops and joined the young rider. Behind the effort split the lead group to a selection of 40 riders while Voigt and Meersmen got a 20 second gap with 7 km to go.

The remaining riders stretched across the road as Lampre, Astana and High Road switched off the lead, it wasn't an organized chase as Frank Schleck, Cunego positioned themselves near the front. Meersmen faltered at 6 km to go as Astana's Iglinsky launched an attack and bridged to Voigt. Cunego and Igor Anton countered and it split the lead group to 30 riders as another ten started pedaling backwards out the back.

 Oliver Zaugg blew off the front with 5 km to go as Kreuziger, Anton and Cunego on his heels but Czech got a gap and headed up the road. Voigt led with 22 seconds followed by Iglinsky hung in between at 9 seconds back as Cunego and Andy Schleck responded to Anton who had attacked again. More attacks followed as Iglinsky joined Voigt with 4km to go and Gerolsteiner's Zaugg at 9 seconds and coming fast. Zaugg catches the two and attacks... 3 kilometers to go.

Behind the front exploded with as the lead group reduced to 10 riders as Frank Schleck, Cunego, Aton and Devolder put the pressure on. Devolder got a gap and was joined by Schleck as the two traded blows and passed Voigt and Iglinsky. The Luxembourg/Belgian duo opened up a gap of 50 meters with Cunego, Kirchen, Lovkvist, Kloden and Albasini on the chase behind any semblance of a group was gone as riders struggled to stay in contention the final 3 kilometers.

With 2 km to go Schleck and Devolder have bridged to Zauug and they continue trading the front, Zaugg attacks again, Schleck responds dropping him. Kreuziger attacks and Zaugg grabs his wheel as he is caught... Cunego, Kreuziger and Zaugg and Igor Anton join Frank Schleck and Devolder as gain as they go under the 1km flag. Alltogether as the attacks trade position on the front on this brutal climb.

400 meters to go and Igor Anton attacks... Orange warrior of Euskatel got a gap as he reaches the 175 meter mark and pours all he has into the final 100 meters gaining 3 bike lengths and rolls over the finish a good 5 bike lengths over the line as High Roads Kim Kirchen follows for second and Lampre's Damiano Cunego in at 12 seconds for third. CSC's Frank Schleck in for 4th as Oliver Zaugg of Gerolsteiner hangs on for 5th.

Anton pulls up after the finish and gets off his bike and has to be supported as he gasps for breath and his legs momentarily give way. That last ten kilometers beat the action of the final stage at the Dauphine Libere.

Tour de Suisse Stage 2 Results
Stage 2 Langnau  - Flumserberg
197km - 5:00:04

1. Igor Anton 5h00'04''
2. Kim Kirchen +0'06''
3. Damiano Cunego +0'06''

4. Frank Schleck +0'06''
5. Oliver Zaugg +0'08''
6. Roman Kreuziger +0'11''
7. Stijn Devolder +0'12''
8. Thomas Lövkvist +0'15''
9. Andy Schleck +0'30''
10. Andreas Klöden +0'30''

General Classification
Würth - Yellow & White Jersey
1. Igor Anton EUS ESP 8h42'29''
2. Kim Kirchen THR LUX +06''
3. Damiano Cunego LAM ITA +12''

4. Frank Schleck CSC LUX +16''
5. Oliver Zaugg GST SUI +18''
6. Roman Kreuziger LIQ CZE +21''
7. Stijn Devolder QST BEL +22''
8. Thomas Lövkvist THR SWE +25''
9. Andy Schleck CSC LUX +40''
10. Andreas Klöden AST GER +40''

11. Michae Albasini LIQ SUI +01'07''
15. Alexandre Moos BMC SUI +01'09''
17. Florian Stalder VBG SUI +01'34''
23. Johann Tschopp BTL SUI +01'48''
28. Mathias Frank GST SUI +02'20''
31. Steve Morabito AST SUI +02'35''
40. Rubens Bertogliati SDV SUI +03'37''

43. Hubert Schwab QST SUI +04'55''
51. Steve Bovay BMC SUI +06'26''
59. Andreas Dietziker VBG SUI +08'18''
60. David Loosli LAM SUI +09'22''
62. Markus Zberg GST SUI +09'33''
69. Steve Zampiere COF SUI +12'44
75. Fabian Cancellara CSC SUI +13'10''
92. Martin Kohler BMC SUI +16'25''
94. Martin Elmiger ALM SUI +17'12''
108. Grégory Rast AST SUI +18'18''
109. Danilo Wyss BMC SUI +18'18''
112. Elias Schmäh VBG SUI +19'46''

Classement Sprint
AXA Winterthur - White & Blue Jersey

1. David Loosli LAM SUI 14
2. Martin Elmiger ALM SUI 12
3. René Weissinger VBG GER 6
4. Steve Zampieri COF SUI 4
5. Inigo Landaluze EUS ESP 4

Classement de la Montagne KOM
La Gruyere - Pink Jersey

1. David Loosli LAM SUI 21
2. Stijn Devolder BEL QST 13
3. Steve Zampieri COF SUI 13
4. Inigo Landaluze EUS ESP 12
5. Martin Elmiger ALM SUI 10
6. Frank Schleck CSC LUX 8
7. Igor Anton CSC LUX 6
8. Damiano Cunego LAM ITA 4
9. Oliver Zaugg GST SUI 2
10. Daniel Moreno GCE ESP 2
11. Stuart O'Grady CSC AUS 2
12. Fabian Cancellara CSC SUI 1
13. Bobby Julich CSC USA 1
14. Andrey Mizurov AST KAZ 1

Points Classification
Blick - Red with Black Polka Dots

1. Kim Kirchen THR LUX 28
2. Oscar Freire RAB ESP 25
3. Martin Elmiger ALM SUi 20
4. Igor Anton EUS ESP 15
5. Greg Van Avermaet SIL BEL 13
6. Philippe Gilbert FDJ BEL 11
7. Damiano Cunego LAM ITA 10
8. Maxim Iglinsky AST KAZ 10
9. Frank Schleck CSC LUX 9
10. Eros Capecchi SDV ITA 9

Team Classification
1. Team CSC 26h10'11''
2. Astana +43''
3. Gerolsteiner +01'32''
4. Lampre +04'02
5. Crédit Agricole +04'09''
6. Caisse d'Epargne +04'17''
7. Bouygues Telecom +04'21''
8. Euskaltel-Euskadi +04'57''
9. Liquigas +05'40
10. Silence-Lotto +06'01''

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