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73rd Tour de Suisse - Stage 5
By Staff
Date: 6/17/2009
73rd Tour de Suisse - Stage 5

73rd Tour de Suisse - Stage 5 Just In
Michael Albasini continues the Columbia Swiss tour success.


Stage 5: Stäfa - Serfaus (Austria)  202 km
Columbia/Highroad's 28 year old Michael Albasini won the Queen stage today besting Fabian Cancellara in a two up sprint; the two escaped in a the final kilometer after Albasini's team mate and holder of the pink jersey of KOM softened the field up with a series of attacks in the final  5 kilometers. It is the third stage for the unstoppable Columbia team in this years edition of the Swiss tour. This is Albasini's second win having won a stage here in 2005. Damiano Cunego finished third with Olivier Zaugg and Vladimir Karpets filling out the top 5.

Damiano Cunego counter attacks and leads the chase. Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

 Slovenian Tadej Valjavec (Ag2r la Mondiale) finished 9th on the day, and held on to his yellow jersey for a second day with 14 second lead over the Swiss Oliver Zaugg and Cancellara.

Voralberg Corratec's Swiss rider, Pascal Hungerbühler was caught after 163 kilometers, having escaped after 34 km the rider gained a maximum gap of 11 minutes during his adventure and was absorbed by on the Cat. 1 climb of the Arlberg.


Local Swiss rider Pascal Hungerbühler of the Austrian team Vorarlberg-Corratec escaped sscaped after 34 km and led over the first climb of the Hauptstrasse; the rider gained a maximum gap of 11 minutes during his adventure.  Hungerbühler had 8 minutes on the chase group as he started the Cat. 1 climb of the Arlbergpass solo with the summit at 141 km.

Hungerbühler was followed  at six minutes over the summit by a chase group of Iker Camano who led Fuji teammate Eros Capecchi and Saxobanks Chris Anker Sorensen and Thomas Voeckler of Bbox Bouyouges Telecom. Behind Cervelo TestTeam helped Ag24 la Mondiale lead the chase.

It was all over for Hungerbühler as the he and his chasers with 29 km to go wre swept up as an elite group with the yellow jersey Tadej Valjavec approached the final 10 kilomerter climb to Ladis and the uphill finish.

Peter Velits was the first to attempt a get-away with ten kilometers to go joined by Rein Taaramae the duo gapped the yellow jersey group by 33 seconds but were soon caught on the climb.

All the favorites minus Andy Schleck were in a group of 18 on the summit of the Cat.3 Ladis with 7 km to go.

Michael Albasini joins Cofidis Joins Rein Taaramae in the attack.

The action came down to the final 5 km as Tony Martin ravished the front of the peloton to collect the climbing points on the Ladis, and then followed the last attack with Sorensen, Taaramae and Karpets for the final  points in Fisser-hole with 4 km to go. The attackers gained little time at this point with Frank Schleck leading Fabian Cancellara, Cunego et al in the chase.

attack Rein  Taaramae, Michael Albasini and Fabian Cancellara
Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Taaramae led the attack in the final kilometer that started with a 10% bit, he was  followed by Martin, Cancellara and Cunego.... but as the gradient dropped to 5%... Michael Albasini counter attacked with Cancellara the only one who could respond and join him in the pursuit of the victory.

Martin, Zaugg,  Frank Schleck, Karpets, Kloden and Kreuziger would battle for the top ten as race leader Tadej Valjavec of Ag2r kept to finish ninth ahead of Maxime Monfort to keep his yellow jersey.

Vittoria Michael Albisini!!  Fabian Cancellara, Damiano Cunego and yellow jersey Tadej Valjavec can be seen in the background. Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

In the end it was Michael Albasini taking a decisive win by two lengths over Fabian Cancellara and Damiano Cunego. Michael's father Marcello Albasini was there to congratulate his son. Senior Albasisni is the Cervélo TestTeam Sports Director.  All and all a day for Swiss fans to celebrate with a favorite son as stage winner, champion Fabian Cancellara second; and fellow countrymen Olivier Zaugg and Fabian Cancellar on the podium in second and third place only 14 seconds in arrears to race leader Ag1r's Tadej Valjavec.

Liquigas' Swiss rider Olivier Zaugg finishes fourth.

Stage 5 Results - Provisional top ten
1. Michael Albasini THR 5:24:04
2. Fabian Cancellara SAX gl. Zeit
3. Damiano Cunego LAM
4. Olivier Zaugg LIQ
5. Vladimir Karpets KAT
6. Roman Kreuziger LIQ
7. Frank Schleck SAX
8. Andreas Klöden AST
9. Tadej Valjavec ALM
10. Maxime Monfort THR

General Classification (Provisional)
751.1 km - 18:52:01 - 39.807 km/h

1 138 VALJAVEC Tadej ALM SLO 18:52:01
2 8 ZAUGG Olivier LIQ SUI 18h52'15" 14"
3 61 CANCELLARA Fabian SAX SUI ' ' ' '
4 1 KREUZIGER Roman LIQ CZE 18h52'43" 42"
5 71 KLODEN Andreas AST GER 18h52'46" 45"
6 47 MARTIN Tony THR GER 18h52'55" 54"
7 48 MONFORT Maxime THR BEL 18h52'56" 55"
8 64 LARSSON Gustav Erik SAX SWE 18h52'57" 56"
9 51 KARPETS Vladimir KAT RUS 18h53'02" 01'01"
10 151 TAARAMAE Rein COF EST 18h53'03" 01'02"
11 111 CUNEGO Damiano LAM ITA ' ' ' '
12 42 ALBASINI Michael THR SUI 18h53'06" 01'05"
13 66 SCHLECK Andy SAX LUX 18h53'08" 01'07"
14 67 SCHLECK Frank SAX LUX 18h53'09" 01'08"
15 41 KIRCHEN Kim THR LUX 18h53'25" 01'24"
16 186 KISERLOVSKY Robert FUJ CRO 18h53'40" 01'39"
17 46 HINCAPIE George THR USA 18h53'53" 01'52"
18 68 SÖRENSEN Chris Anker SAX DEN 18h53'57" 01'56"
19 167 VELITS Peter MRM SVK 18h54'03" 02'02"
20 164 ROHREGGER Thomas MRM AUT 18h54'05" 02'04"
Complete results soon...

Team & rider Comments
 Columbia Highroad
Albasini wins third tate in Switzerland

A strong, long sprint by local rider Michael Albasini netted Columbia-Highroad their third win in five stages in the Tour de Suisse. Albasini’s victory came on the toughest stage of the race, a 202-kilometre leg from Stafa to Serfaus, with a first category climb and third category climb immediately preceding an uphill finish. The Swiss rider took off from a group of favorites in the final kilometre and stayed away for his first victory since a stage of the Tour of the Basque Country in Spain in early April.

Albasini’s stage-five win continues a spectacular succession of victories for Columbia-Highroad in the Tour de Suisse started by Bernhard Eisel on stage two and continuing with Mark Cavendish on stage three.

“I had to push myself hard to win, but it was worth it to win the hardest stage of the race,” Albasini said afterwards. “I didn’t know the climbs at all, either, because it’s a long way from my home in Switzerland. Fortunately I was able to get on [rival] Fabian Cancellara’s wheel when he went for another rider (Rein Terramae) who’d already attacked in the last kilometre. Then immediately after that I got past Fabian and just gave it 100 percent. It wasn’t really a sprint because it came at the end of a long day in the mountains, but somehow I managed to keep going. I’ve been targeting this race since the beginning of May, because this is my home race and so obviously it’s a big goal for me. Winning here in Switzerland is always special for a Swiss rider.”

Looking further ahead, Albasini said he did not rule himself out for the overall classification, although not the top three. “I wanted to go for a podium place, but in the first couple of stages I suffered more than I expected. I didn't have good legs, and it was very difficult for me to say with the favorites. Still, if I finish with a top ten place overall as well as this stage win, I’ll be more than satisfied.”

Albasini’s teammate Tony Martin was in the thick of the action in the last part of the stage and remains in control of the King of the Mountains classification. In the 2009 season, Columbia-Highroad men’s team have now taken a total of 38 victories, making them the ProTour squad with the highest tally of wins in the year so far.

Damiano Cunego shining and in a good fitness  in the 5th stage of Tour de Suisse, Lampre-NGC's captain got third place behind the winner Albasini and Cancellara.

After some breakaways that characterized the first part of the stage, the battle for the victory bagan at 10 km to go, at the base of the last climb: some attacks selected a little group of 12 athletes with Cunego in it. None of these cyclists could escape until, close to the arrival, Albasini and Cancellara took an advantage and could precede the other athletes to contest the victory.

In the overall standing, led by Valjavec, Cunego is 10th at 1'02". Gasparotto is the new leader of the intermediate sprint classification.

"Damiano's performance was excellent, - sport director Copeland said - We're happy because today he showed good form that could be useful for the next stages too."

Cunego too is satisfied: "The stage was tough, but I was at the head of the race battling for the victory: this is very important. I'm disappointed I missed win, but they surprised me for one second. I'll try again in the next stages".

Cervélo TestTeam
"The peloton started quite slowly today, though a Swiss rider (Pascal Hungerbühler) attacked soon after the start and was in the lead until we passed the Arlberg mountain," said Sports Director, Marcello Albasini. "At his best he had more than a 10 minute advantage. But at the beginning of the uphill to the Arlberg, Team AG2R worked ahead of the peloton to bring Hungerbühler back. After the mountain, when they caught him, the attacks started. Cervélo TestTeam with Cuesta, Wyss, Haussler and Florencio did a great job working ahead of the peloton to put Marchante into a good position for the last climb to Serfaus. About 10 km ahead of the finish, the final climb started and the group was built. Marchante who was now in a good position and was able to follow until about three quarters of the way up the mountain then, unfortunately he had a cramp and could no longer follow the lead group. He finished the race in 47th position in the third group together with Florencio. Tomorrow we are back in Switzerland with a stage from Oberiet to Zurzach where we will again do our best ."

Note: Cervélo TestTeam Sports Director Marcello Albasini is the father of Michael Albasini, today's stage.

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
Race Website  
 72nd Tour de Suisse - 2008 Tour of Switzerland
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