73rd Tour de Suisse - Stage 4
The Break of Nine Succeeds! Saxo Bank's Matti Breschel takes stage in
Stäfa. Ag2r la Mondiale's Slovenian Tadej Valjavec
takes the yellow jersey as the top of the G.C. crumbles like a house of cards...
Stage 4: Biasca - Stäfa 197 km
Saxo Bank's Matti Breschel won the sprint of nine survivor of the stage long
break of 27 riders today in Stäfa. Astana's Maxim Iglinskiy and Tadej Valjavec
of Ag2r la Mondiale filled out the top steps of the podium in that order. Andy
Schleck sent up the road to baby sit the mini peloton that escaped at 8
kilometers finished 4th with Swiss Liquigas rider Olivier Zaugg filling out the
Matti Breschel takes the win over Maxim Iglinskiy and Tadej Valjavec on the far
left. Milram's Peter Velits and Liquigas' Olivier Zaugg follow in the
The big winner of the day was Ag2r's Slovenian Tadej Valjavec who took the
yellow jersey off of Fabian Cancellara when the Saxo Bank and other teams plans
back fired sending riders up the road and not participating in the chase until
the closing kilometers when the break of 27 split from attacks on the final
climb of the Sattelegg, about 40 km from the finish.
Rabobank who had no riders in the group led the chase, as Cancellara and Saxo
Bank sat on with their two watchdogs on the front. Later Astana team of favorite
German Andreas Klöden would get active in the chase up the Gotthard pass. The
two teams led the effort to rein in the 27 fugitives but got no help from the
other teams until the final 17 kilometers from the finish when the other teams
realized that the there was a possibility that their positions on the G.C. were
Too little, too late was the case with the peloton finishing over a minute
behind. Katusha's Pippo Pozzato and Milram's Gerald Ciolek led the peloton home
at 1:03 in that order to sprint for tenth place; the honor went to the Italian.
But not so bad for Milram either, placing three riders in the top 11.
The sprint for tenth place: Yahueni Hutarovich, Fllipo Pozzato, Gerald Ciolek
and Davide Viganò.
The finish rewrote the top of the General Classification with the former
yellow jersey Cancellara's team mate Andy Schleck in second place at one second
and Milram's Peter Velits in third at 11 seconds.
An excellent day for the top French team Ag2r with two riders in the top ten
and the race lead. Milram likewise could be satisfied with two of their
"Milkmen" jumping to 3rd and 4th on the G.C. with Austrian Thomas Rohregger 4th,
joining Velits at 3rd. Liquigas.Swiss man Olivier Zaugg made the jump to 5th in
the rankings at 14 seconds just ahead of fellow countryman Fabian Cancellara.
Garmin's Huub Duyn suffers on the cobbled climb of the Gotthard pass.
Three Milram riders Peter Velits, Thomas Rohregger and Johannes Fröhlinger
made the jump to the mini peloton that attacked after 6 kms. Joining them were:
Saxo Bank duo Matti Breschel and Andy Schleck, Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo
TestTeam), 2 Astanas, Maim Iglinskiy and Dmitriy Muravyev. Liquigas'
Olivier Zaug and Ivan Santaromita, two Ag2r la Mondiale riders: Alexander
Efimkin and Tadej Valjavec. Silence/Lotto offered up three to the break matching
Milram:Johan Van Summeren, Greg Avermaet, and Fracis De Greef.
The Singles representatives in the adventurers group were: Garmin's
Huub Duyn, Quick Steps Sylvain Chavanel, Columbia's Tony Martin
(current KOM), Andrey Amador Bipkazacova (Caisse d'Epargne), Katusha's Sergey
Klimov, Euskaltel's Markel Irizar, Lampre's serial attacker -Francesco
Gavazzi , FdJeux's Jérémy Roy, Cofidis' Maryan Hary, Fuji's Robert
Kiserlovski, and local Silvère Ackermann of Austrian
Columbia's Tony Martin in the pink jersey of the climbers competition.
The group stayed together over the Gotthardpass where Iglinskiy took the max
point followed by KOM leader Tony Martin, on the Sattlelegg group
shattered from the attacks; at the summit with 44 km to go Martin led protecting
his lead in the climbers contest followed by Iglinskiy and Valjavec, Zaugg and
Schleck. Martin only 41 seconds down on Cancellara was dropped after that and
was caught along with the 18 other riders that did not make the selection, on
the way to the finish.
The nine at the front worked well together while Rabobank led the chase
behind joined by Astana later and crossed over the Sattlegg at almost three
minutes down. The race was on in the final 35 km as Astana took control of
the front and started absorbing the dropped riders trying to close the gap.
But the nine had 1:45 as they approached the finish as first Ag2r's Valjavec
a furious attack with 5 km to go, it didn't hold and Milram's Rohregger
countered making an ill timed effort with 2 km to go. The milkman was caught
with 150 meters to go and passed by Saxo Banks Matti Breschel who took the stage
New Leader Tadej Valjavec slips into his yellow jersey.
Wednesday features another difficult stage. The 203 kilometers from Stäfa to
Serfaus, Austria has four ranked climbs climbs with a mountain top finish. We
can expect all the big dogs to attack on the final climb and attempt to
rearrange the general classification... but Tadej Valjavec a strong climber
won't go easily and he's team has sworn to defend his yellow jersey with their
Top ten for the day and GC and team comments below. Links to previous reports
and photos below that.
Stage Top Ten Result
1 Matti Breschel (DEN) Team Saxo Bank
2 Maxim Iglinskiy (KAZ) Astana
3 Tadej Valjavec (SLO) AG2R La Mondiale
4 Peter Velits (SVK) Team MILRAM
5 Andy Schleck (LUX) Team Saxo Bank
6 Olivier Zaugg (SUI) Liquigas
7 Alexander Efimkin (RUS) AG2R La Mondiale
8 Thomas Rohregger (AUT) Team MILRAM
9 Robert Kiserlovsky (CRO) Fuji-Servetto 0:05
10 Filippo Pozzato (ITA) Katusha 1:03
11 Gerald Ciolek (GER) Team MILRAM
General classification After Stage 3
1 Tadej Valjavec (SLO) AG2R La Mondiale
2 Andy Schleck (LUX) Team Saxo Bank + 2
3 Peter Velits (SVK) Team MILRAM + 11
4 Thomas Rohregger (AUT) Team MILRAM + 13
5 Olivier Zaugg (SUI) Liquigas + 14
6 Fabian Cancellara (SUI) Team Saxo Bank + 20
7 Robert Kiserlovsky (CRO) Fuji-Servetto + 29
8 Maxim Iglinskiy (KAZ) Astana + 42
9 Roman Kreuziger (CZE) Liquigas + 42
10 Andreas Klöden (GER) Astana + 45
Ag2r la Mondiale
Tadej Valjavec Leader of the Tour of Switzerland
A breakaway of 26 riders emerged after only 10 km of racing. There were among
them the Slovenian Valjavec and his teammate, Alexander Efimkin. Tadej Valjavec
attacked in the last kilometers, but in vain, he finally took 3rd place in a
stage behind Dane Matti Breschel.
No stage victory for Tadej Valjavec but a beautiful yellow jersey as the team
Ag2r la Mondiale will defend to the heart of tomorrow with an arrival at the
summit. This performance comes on the day of the launch of the new jersey of the
team that will be raised from the Tour de France. A good omen for new colors ...
Stage Win for Matti Breschel - Andy Schleck Second Overall
Fabian Cancellara was sitting in the peloton and he had launched his two
teammates from Team Saxo Bank, Andy Schleck and Matti Breschel to supervise the
events of today's major breakaway of27 riders. The worst threat to the jersey in
the group was Tadej Valjavec (Alm). Towards the end of the stage the two Team
Saxo Bank riders split the front group several times by keeping a high pace.
Andy Schleck even made a pass on the jersey underway by winning the last two
bonus sprints before the finish line.
Fabian Cancellara finishes.
With six kilometres to go, the actual fight for the stage win commenced and
the riders tried to break lose in turn. At last Matti Breschel put the icing on
the cake for Team Saxo Bank and their dominance on the fourth stage of Tour de
Suisse by winning in front of Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) and Tadej Valjavec (Alm).
Andy Schleck is now second overall where Tadej Valjavec (Alm) is the man in the
First words from the stage winner Matti Breschel,
"The perfect scenario would have been Andy and Gustav in the break to have one
more in the GC and to save strength in the front group. We stayed away from the
wind on the first 150 kilometres and that is one of the benefits of having the
yellow jersey in the peloton. In the final I barely managed to pull my self over
the last climb. Finally, I was unsure whether I could take the stage when I
closed a gap 400 meters to go with a huge series of cramps as a result. 200
meters from the line Iglinskiy, my worst competitor, fortunately opened the
sprint and eventually I could squeeze myself by him.”
And sports director, Kim Andersen, was
naturally happy to see his plans realized, "It was a good day and we got what we
came for. This morning we agreed that we should have Andy and another rider in
the long break to have an alibi for not working in front of the peloton and we
got what we wanted. It is ok to pass on the jersey now so we are not bound to be
working the next few days now that both Matti and Andy have been away throughout
the day. Now Andy is well-positioned in the GC where I expect that he will meet
particularly severe resistance from Valjavec when we are moving uphill again.”
Team Milram just missed a win in the fourth stage, but made up ground on the
overall rankings. Peter Velits finished fourth and Thomas Rohregger eighth. They
are now third and fourth overall, behind the new leader, Slovenaian Tadej
Valjavec (AG2r). The stage win, which included one mountain of the Hors
Categorie on the Sankt Gotthard as well as another climb in Sattelegg, went to
Dane Matti Breschel of Team Saxo Bank. He won the sprint of an eight-man group
ahead of Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) and Tadej Valjavec (AG2r).
"That was a very strong performance from Thomas Rohregger. He went full out
and risked it all again in the finale,“ said Christian
Henn, Team MILRAM's Directeur Sportif in Switzerland. "Unfortunately
it didn't work out for either the stage win or the yellow jersey. We will
continue to fight and attack in the coming days."
Blue & Fucsia rider Francesco Gavazzi, another aggressive day.
Francesco Gavazzi seems to like the Swiss streets road just fine getting away
with the break today; but on the Sattelegg climb some riders along with Gavazzi
too lost contact with 9 riders who would decide the race. Gavazzi finished the
bunch (51st at 1'04"), while Tiralongo was the best for Lampre-NGC (29th).
"What a pity for Gavazzi, who was having good feelings but suffered on the
last climb, losing his high chances of victory - Lampre-NGC's sport director
Brent Copeland said - I saw a calm Cunego, who
will test his fitness in tomorrow stage, and a good Ballan, who is riding better
"Early in the race we had a breakaway of 27 riders including Heinrich Haussler,"
said Sports Director Marcello Albasini.
"After the Gothard Pass, they had a 3 minute gap and Rabobank started the chase
in the peloton because they missed the breakaway. Then, on the last climb of the
day with 50 km to go, the breakaway split in two parts and Heinrich was
unfortunately in the second group. In the front group were 9 riders who managed
to stay away to the finish where Breschel from Saxo Bank took the stage victory.
Because of the split in the break, we decided to help Rabobank to try to bring
the peloton closer to the breakaway groups, but ultimately, there was a large
time gap at the finish. It was not the best day and we lost some time with our
GC riders. We thought that we were in a good position with Heinrich in the
breakaway, but unfortunately he didn't make it today."
73rd Tour de Suisse - 2009 Stages
June 13 - 21
Stage 1:Mauern - Rugell (Lichtenstein) ITT 7.8 km
Stage 2: Davos - Davos 150 km
Stage 3 Davos - Lumino 195 km
Stage 4: Biasca - Stäfa 197 km
Stage 5: Stäfa - Serfaus (AUT) 202 km ^^^
Stage 6: Oberriet - Bad Zurzach, 178 km
Stage 7: Bad Zurzach - Vallorbe Juraparc 204 km
Stage 8: Le Sentier - Crans Montana 182 km^^^
Stage 9: Bern - Bern ITT 39 km
Total length: 1,355 kilometres
Tour de Suisse - 2008 Tour of Switzerland
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