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Tour de Suisse - Stage 9 Report & Photos
By Staff
Date: 6/22/2008
Tour de Suisse - Stage 9 Report & Photos

Tour de Suisse - Stage 9
Fabian... Fabian Cancellara wins in another lightning attack for his second stage win and the points jersey.

Stage 9 Altdorf - Bern 168km
Fabian Cancellara won the final stage of the Tour of Switzerland - once again in a last kilometer attack for his second stage win in his home tour. In what was billed a sprinters stage over a rolling course Cancellara once again re-wrote the book on fast finishes, coming  to the front with 2 kilometers of road left to the finish catching and passing Philippe Gilbert (FDJ) at 400 meters, dropping him at 200 meters to  relegate Gilbert to second. The Peloton was led to the finish four seconds later by Caisse d'Epargne's Daniel Moreno who snatched the final podium step in Berne.

The stage produced no changes to the general classification or final disposition of the jerseys with 22 year old Roman Kreuziger from the Czech Republic finishing as the Best Young Rider and winner of the 2008 72nd edition of the Tour of Switzerland.

The day opened to sunny skies with 134 riders taking the start minus points leader Rabobanks Oscar Freire. Kim Kirchen is second in the classification with Markus Zberg second at 5 points, but with 25 points on hand for the finish nothing could be taken for granted as far as who would take the red jersey with black polka dots home.

Attacks started ten km into the race with a group of eleven riders including: Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne), Claudio Corioni (Liquigas), Pietro Caucchioli (Credit Agricole)., Greg van Avermaet (Silence Lotto), Hubert Schwab (Quick Step), Gregory Rast (Astana), Christophe Megin (Francaise des Jeux), Ronny Scholz (Gerolsteiner), and BMC duo Alexandre Moos and Martin Kohler opening a gap. The crew managed to gain a max of 4 minutes before being pulled back by the pack led by Liquigas with Milram.

Liquigas leads the peloton in the chase. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

The next attack would be the break of the day instigated by Caisse d'Epargne rider Francisco Perez Sanchez who took a flyer midway into the race with 78 km to go. Sanchez was joined by: Lotto's  Maarten Tjallingii, Cofidis' Herve Duclos-Lassalle, Darren Lill (BMC) and intermediate sprints blue jersey wearer Rene Weissinger of the Volksbank outfit.

The quintet worked well together and built up a gap of 2:40 in the next 5 kilometers as the peloton passed through the feed zone; that would be the maximum gain for the five as the peloton kept a tight leash on the group to two minutes with 50 km to go.

And so it went, with points leader Weissinger picking up the intermediate points to lock up the blue jersey. First in Ittigen taking the max points with Herve Ducloss-Lasalle second, but in the final hot sprint in Bremgartenstrasse with 14 km to go it would be Silence/Lotto's Herve taking the max points relegating Lampre's David Loosli into third in the competition. Behind the escape another battle waged between Astana's Iglinsky and Lampre's David Loosli tied at 42 points each for the  final King of the mountains pink jersey.

Lampre, Quick Step and Gerolsteiner come to the front to lead the chase as they enter the outskirts of Berne. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Briefly the quintet increased the gap to 2:35 at 38 km to go but it only signaled the peloton into action. With 35 km to go the peloton started to apply pressure with Quick Step's Stijn Devolder taking a long pull, and Lampre adding some muscle to the chase; the gap responded dropping to below 2 minutes. The clock was now ticking on the five working on the front.

With 26 km to go Volksbank's Rene Weissinger led, South African Darren Lill of BMC and Cofidis' Herve Duclos-Lassalle through the KoM in Kruchtal taking the first of the mountain points. Loosli and Iglinsky's battle would come down to the final points up for grabs in Aargauerstalden  at 159.9 kilometers.

By 20 km to go the escapees continued to work the hills together showing no sign of weakness, but what showed on the clock was a diminishing gap that neared one minute, a few more km it went under a minute. The peloton toyed with the quintet as the gap melted to 30 seconds as the 10 km to go marker passed and the peloton had the outriders in their site.

The lads are about to be swept at 9 km to go as Francisco Perez Sanchez launches an attack with Weissinger on his wheel for the last climbers preem in Aargauerstalden. Iglinsky responds our of the peloton with Loosli on his wheel as both fly past Weissinger and then Sanchez to take the points for the Cat 4 climb. Iglinski succeeded in his gambit to put a lock on the pink jersey by one point.

Astana's Iglinski kept the gas down over the summit and got a gap on the disorganized grouppo, but he was back in the fold with 4 km to go as the sprinters teams went to work.

Cancellara holds of Phillipe Gilbert for the victory... the peloton follows in the distance. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Phillipe Gilbert led under the flamme rouge leading the sprinters as Fabian Cancellara lit his afterburners flying by Gilbert with 200 meters to go and finish ahead of the French rider for the line honors of the final stage win and his second in this tour... using pretty much the "kill'em with speed in the final km" tactic.

Cancellara also moved to the top of the points classification with the stage win, taking the jersey by 1 point from Markus Zberg... (red and black polka dot jersey).

Roman Kreuziger after the finish drenched in sweat from the hot day in the saddle and final victory of the tour. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

There was no major change to the General Classification from yesterday however... in the UCI Pro Tour Damiano Cunego jumps to the top step of the competition with 104 points, Andreas Kloden to second with 96 points, and Roman Kreuziger in third with nine points over Cadel Evans the most recent wearer of the white jersey.

Tour de Suisse Stage 9 Results
Altdorf - Bern 168km
168,400 km - 4h01'07" - 41,905 km/h

1 124 CANCELLARA Fabian CSC SUI B:10" 00"
2 112 GILBERT Philippe FDJ BEL B:06" ' '
3 8 MORENO Daniel GCE ESP B:04" 04"
4 86 TOSATTO Matteo QST ITA 05"
5 138 ZBERG Markus GST SUI 08"
7 92 IVANOV Serguei AST RUS ' '
8 5 *ROJAS GIL Jose Joaquin GCE ESP ' '
9 62 BALLAN Alessandro LAM ITA ' '
10 51 ZABEL Erik MRM GER ' '

Liquigas team mate congratulates Roman.  Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

2008 Tour of Switzerland
General Classification After Stage 9 (Final)
1411,600 km - 35h43'46" - 39,507 km/h
1 15 *KREUZIGER Roman LIQ CZE 35h43'46" 00"
2 93 KLÖDEN Andreas AST GER 35h44'35" 49"
3 161 ANTON Igor EUS ESP 35h45'41" 01'55"
4 61 CUNEGO Damiano LAM ITA 35h45'57" 02'11"
5 175 *LÖVKVIST Thomas THR SWE 35h46'23" 02'37"
6 128 *SCHLECK Andy CSC LUX 35h46'43" 02'57"
7 174 KIRCHEN Kim THR LUX 35h46'44" 02'58"
8 132 FOTHEN Markus GST GER 35h47'54" 04'08"
9 54 KNEES Christian MRM GER 35h48'04" 04'18"
10 108 TEN DAM Laurens RAB NED 35h48'12" 04'26"

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