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Tour de Suisse - Stage 8 Time Trial Live
By Staff
Date: 6/21/2008
Tour de Suisse - Stage 8 Time Trial Live

Tour de Suisse - Stage 8 Live
The fate of the favorites and victory of the tour will be won or lost on the 25 kilometer climb of the Col du Klausen... time for the leaders and dreamers to take the stage for the penultimate drama of the 2008 Tour of Switzerland.

Stage 8 Altdorf - Klausenpass, 25km ITT
Welcome to our live coverage of stage eight of  the Tour of Switzerland 2008. A quick look at Stage 8 and one sees that the 25 km mountain time trial could produce significant gaps and will be decisive in determining the final general classification of the race on the penultimate stage of the tour of Switzerland.

What remains to be seen is how much time can be lost or won on the climb that averages 8% with tougher sections that will test the leaders and dreamers legs after 8 days and 1218.2 kilometers in the saddle. The day will also provide the last opportunity for the mountain goats in the peloton to claim a stage win.

Our current top ten :
2 15 *KREUZIGER Roman LIQ CZE  27"
3 161 ANTON Igor EUS ESP   33"
4 82 DEVOLDER Stijn QST BEL  46"
5 175 *LÖVKVIST Thomas THR SWE   56"
6 93 KLÖDEN Andreas AST GER  58"
7 128 *SCHLECK Andy CSC LUX  1'04"
8 92 IVANOV Serguei AST RUS   1'06"
9 132 FOTHEN Markus GST GER  1'06"
10 137 ZAUGG Oliver GST SUI   1'13"

1712 CEST - We join the stage in progress with José Rujano, the little big climber from Venezuela that burst into spotlight at the Giro d'Italia 2005, having the best time at the finish. The Caisse d'Epargne mountain goat covered the route in 1 hour and 38 seconds.

Jose Rujano finished setting the time to beat.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

But the mighy German Jens Voigt (Team CSC) bettered Rujano's time by six seconds at the first check, coming after 9.1 kilometres. The weather took a turn for the better in the last couple days, and the sun is blessing the race also today.

Ster Elektrotoer update: Mark Cavendish powered to victory in the last stage of the Dutch race, while Enrico Gasparotto became the first ever Italian to clinch the overall title of the event.

Johan Tschopp of Bouygues Telecom makes it to the second intermediate check, about 18.1 kilometres into the stage. His time is far worse than Rujano's anyway. Switzerland's Michael Albasini of Liquigas was the last rider to show up at the startline.

The next rider in the saddle will be 12th placed Germany's Christian Knees (Milram) at 1'45". Despite losing 02'07" to Rujano after 18 kilometres, Tschopp had the second best time at the second check, nine seconds clear of Steve Zampieri, with France's Perget in fourth at 02'46".

Jens Voigt attacks the climb sparing nothing in his effort. 
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Franck Schleck scored 20'18" after nine kilometres. His record was worse than Voigt's by 40 seconds. Voigt struggled in the second part of the ascent, that suits pure climbers like Rujano. His six-second advantage on the Venezuelan at the previous check turned into a time deficit of about half a minute!

1726 CEST - Pieter Jacobs of Silence-Lotto set the third best finishing time, but nevertheless lost over five minutes to Rujano! Damiano Cunego is off and running too, but it's going to take some more time for the Italian to reach the first time check.  Only six riders have to take to the startline yet after Andy Schleck, 64 seconds down on GC, just got back in the saddle.

Kirchen suffers on the climb. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Astana's Andreas Kloeden is about to start his challenge against the clock. And against all other main GC players. The German has got to make up for a 58-second deficit to Kim Kirchen. Cunego is getting closer to the first time check. This stage will be significant test for him with the Grande Boucle kickoff just two weeks away.

1735 CEST - Saunier's Rubens Bertogliati loses 02'18" to Rrrrrrujano at the second time check while Sweden's Thomas Lovkvist is off and running. Only four rider left.

Route du Sud update: Prezmyslaw Niemec's (Pol - Team Miche) put in a winning move in the last kilometre to claim stage honours.

Johan Tschopp is about to reach the line in Switzerland. Here he comes, setting a good 01h03'43". That's the second best time ... but worse than the first one by over three minutes!!!!!!! Rujano had an unbelievably great ride today.

1740 CEST -  Tour of Serbia update: Simone Cadamuro sprinted to victory in Saturday's sixth stage while Croatia's Radoslav Rogina held on to the overall leadership of the race.

Roman Kreuziger second on the G.C. at 27 seconds starts his crucial challenge to the clock and to Kim Kirchen, who's the only rider not showing up at the start line yet. José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios is a great TTist, but not when the road tilts upward: his time gap to Rujano at the km. 18 check was well over three minutes.


Stijn Devolder, obviously not wearing the Belgian National RR champion jersey today, has to make up for a 40-second deficit to the current gold jersey holder, just started his ride. Damiano Cunego set a decent 19'57" at the first check. 21 seconds down to Voigt, 15 to Rujano. Jens Voigt is about to finish his race. The German had further time losses to Rujano and set 01h01'57". His final deficit to Rujano went up to 01 minute 19 seconds.

1745 CEST - Franck Schleck set a decent 42'31" at the second check, but his time is nowhere near Rrrrrrujano's!! Will the Venezuelan finally make his comeback to ancient form complete today? It looks like that, but it ain't over until is over, you know. Poor time for Fothen at the first check. 20 minutes and 35 seconds, Almost one minute down on Voigt and 53" behind Rujano.

Boucles de Mayenne update: Jimmy Casper took line honours today while his fellow Frenchman Freddy Bichot sits atop the overall standings of such stage race.

1755 CEST - 1:00:38 the time to beat. Back to Swiss roads and hills, with Rubens Bertogliati setting 01h04'12", Fourth best time to the finish. But faaar from Rujano. Kloeden set a good 19'48" after nine kilometres while Lovkvist the Swede had a quite a lousy performance in the first portion of the stage.

Devolder's first time: 20'21". The Belgian is doing far worse than Voigt (by 45 seconds), Rujano and notably Kloeden (by 33"). Here comes Steve Morabito. The Astana Swissman crossed the line in 01h33'48", throwing Bertogliati down to spot number five.

Roman Kreuziger attacks the climb gasping for air with his tongue out.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Igor Anton does worse than Devolder: 20'31" at the opening check. But Kreuziger is having a HELLUVA ride: 19 MINUTES and 13 SECONDS at the first check.  The Liqui-guy improved Voigt's record by 23 seconds, and is 29 seconds clear of current stage leader Josè Rujano. He did better than Kloeden by 35", while his time gains to both Devolder and Igor Anton are immense. We'll see how the fast-starting Czech performs in the hilliest portion of the stage.  His performance so far today was surprising for sure.

Kim Kirchen at the first check in ... 20 minutes and 06 seconds! The Luxembourgian lost 53 seconds to Kreuziger in the first nine kilometres. He was leading Kreuziger by just 27" before the stage kickoff. So he has to speed up the pace big time if he wants to have the gold jersey on his shoulders also at the stage end.

Igor Anton Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Franck Schleck scored the second best time to the line, but 01'10" down to Ruajno. The Venezuelan has the best time at the second time check (km. 18) too, with Damiano Cunego is second place at 25 seconds and Jens Voigt a further six seconds back. The Italian is having a good ride today. He's not in top form yet, but his build-up to the forth coming TdF seems to be good and fruitful.

Roman Kreuziger on a steep section surrounded by snow covered mountain.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1810 CEST - Kreuziger leads Kirchen by 26" and Kloeden by 01'06" ON GC at the time being, with Igor Anton in fourth at 01 minute 24 seconds, and the Spaniard is about to get caught by the Czech, who gives no signs of slowing his pace as the going gets vertical. Kirchen looks much worse in the saddle than Kreuziger.

Stage 8 Live Coverage Continues in Part 2

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Tour de Suisse - Stage 7 General Classifications & Photos
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Tour de Suisse - Stage 8 Time Trial Live Part 2

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