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Tour de Suisse - Stage 8 Time Trial Live Part 2
By Staff
Date: 6/21/2008
Tour de Suisse - Stage 8 Time Trial Live Part 2

Tour de Suisse - Stage 8 Live Part 2
All the riders have passed the first check point. The time to beat is Jose Rujano's
1:00:38 -  Young Gun Roman Kreuziger has put in a scorching effort setting a new best time at the check

Fans line the finish area and use the top of a glacier as a gallery.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Stage 8 Altdorf - Klausenpass 25km ITT
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.

Andreas Kloeden is apparently having a good ride today, but we'll get to know more as soon as he hits the second time check (km. 18.1). Damiano Cunego continues his march over the line. He can't be a match to Rujano, but can pose a threat to Schleck (01'10" behind the Venezuelan) and Voigt (a further nine seconds back).

Kloeden having a good day... Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Kloeeeedeeeeen! The German scored the best time at the second intermediate time check, setting a great 41'43". The man from Cottbus improved Rujano's record by 8 SECONDS. He gained 14" on the South-American climber in the last 9 kms or so.

1817 CEST - 1:00:38. Rujano keeps the best finishing time at the moment, but the "K" factor (Kloeden & Kreuziger) is putting his comeback to victory highly in danger. Some Belgian and German fans wave their equally coloured flags as Damiano Cunego passes by. The Italian is closer and closer to the line.

Laurens Ten Dam put in a good performance. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

But Rabo-boy Laurens Ten Dam is even closer than him.  His time is not that good, at least if compared to Rujano's: 01h03'12". A record putting the Dutchboy in fourth place so far.  Cunego catches Knees as both guys go under the flambe rouge; one kilometre to go for the Italian, who had a positive response from today's "test".

KREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEUZIGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER: the Czech scores at great 41'10" at the second check. Roman and Andreas basically had the same performance in the second portion of the stage, but the former leads the latter by 31 seconds.

Damiano Cunego showing strong today. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Cunego to the line, the Italian scores a good time for sure: 01h01'16". He sets the second best time to the finish, "only" 37 and a half seconds behind Rrrrrujano. The Venezuelan was roaring today, but so was Krrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreuziger, who's on the way to take both the stage and the jersey. Also because Kim Kirchen doesn't look fine at the saddle at the time being either.

1825 CEST - Disaster strikes for the gold jersey holder: 43'26" at the second check. He's losing 02 minutes and 16 seconds to the Czech, but his time deficit to the other top contenders is significant too.  His hopes to win the overall vanished, but he might even lose any chances to make the top three too.

Krezuiger can see Stijn Devolder. The Czech is gonna catch the Belgian ... who started FOUR minutes before him.  The Czech passed the QS rider in the twinkling of an eye. Kreuziger was apparently thrice as fast as the Flemish. Kirchen and Devolder are waving white flag today. Igor Anton isn't; the Spaniard is doing his best to limit his losses. 

1833 CEST - Andreas Kloeden covers the last thousand metres of the day. 400 metres left for Kloeden as he looks to catch  CSC's Andy Schleck. Kreuziger lost the battle to Kloeden at Tour de Romandie, but is going to take his revenge on the German today. 

Kloeden crosses the line in ... 01h00'39" HE MISSES THE TOP SPOT BY ONE SECOND!! Rujano kept the leadership by the slimmest margin, but Roman Kreuziger is still on the road.

Roman Kreuziger finishes Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Kreuziger continues his apparently winning march to the line while Lovkvist the Swede makes it to the finish. And sets 01h02'30". The sixth best time thus far.  Kreuziger is going to win the stage and capture the jersey while Kloeden is moving up into second place overall. And Igor Anton can still harbour podium hopes. Four riders left to finish.

200m metres to go for the Czech ... 150 ... 100 metres  here he is: ONE HOUR and TWENTY-TWO SECONDS. He demolished José Rujano's hopes for victory by sixteen seconds!  Devolder and Kirchen have yet to cross the line. But they apparently gave up the fight already.

1843 CEST -  Roman Kreuziger leads Kloeden by 48 seconds on GC now. Cunego moves ahead of Kirchen on GC. Is the Italian moving up into third? Perhaps not, Anton should be ahead of him.

Kim Kirchen finishes Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Kirchen had a very poor time to the finish, and got angry at the cameras still on him after he crossed the line. Cunego did better than Anton by 55 seconds in the stage, not enough for the Italian to get into the top three spots. The gap to the Spaniards is 16 seconds. Kirchen slipped into seventh place overall, even behind compatriot Andy Schleck, whilst Stijn Devolder was thrown out of the top ten spots overall!

1850 CEST - Despite his stellar performance, Kreuziger didn't make any bold statements in his first after-race interview, and said that it's too early to call him a winner, there's still one stage left.

Stage 8 top three: 1. Roman Kreuziger 2. José Rujano at 17". 3. Andreas Kloeden at 18"
General Classification: 1. Roman Kreuziger 2. Andreas Kloeden at 48". 3. Igor Anton at 01'55".

Kreuziger has climbed the podium as stage winner and GC leader already while now it's the turn of KOM leader Maxim Iglinskiy (Astana) and Sprints leader René Weissinger (Volksbank).

Stage 8 Results - top ten
1. Roman Kreuziger LIQ 1h00'22''
2. Jose Rujano Guillen GCE 0'16''
3. Andreas Klöden AST 0'17''

4. Damiano Cunego LAM 0'54''
5. Frank Schleck CSC 1'26''
6. Jens Voigt CSC 1'35''
7 Igor Anton EUS 1'49''
8. Thomas Lövkvist THR 2'08''
9. Andy Schleck CSC 2'20''
10. Laurens Ten Dam RAB 2'50''

General Classification After Stage 8
1. Roman Kreuziger LIQ CZE 31h42'31''
2. Andreas Klöden AST GER   49''
3. Igor Anton EUS ESP   1'55''
4. Damiano Cunego LAM ITA  02'11''
5. Thomas Lövkvist THR SWE  2'37''
6. Andy Schleck CSC LUX   02'57''
7. Kim Kirchen THR LUX   02'58''
8. Markus Fothen GST GER   04'08''
9. Christian Knees MRM GER   04'08''
10. Laurens Ten Dam RAB NED   04'26''
12. Michael Albasini LIQ SUI   05'10''

Stage 9 Altdorf - Bern, 168km
One for the stage hunters and sprinters, or could we see a last minute attempt, albeit unlikely effort by Andreas Kloden to overcome the less than minute lead of young gun Roman Kreuziger. In the end of the race the fans are the winners with a much better idea of the developing form of the Tour de France contenders.

This concludes our live coverage of Stage 8... Thanks for joining us. Complete official results and photos to come.

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