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74th Tour de Suisse - Stage 4 & Photos
By Staff
Date: 6/15/2010
74th Tour de Suisse - Stage 4 & Photos

74th Tour de Suisse - Stage 4
A crash marred the finish in Wettingen...  an Italian victory

June 12 - 20, 2010

Stage 4:  Schwarzenburg - Wettingen 192.2 km
Lampre's Ale Jet Petacchi won a crash marred sprint into Wettingen. The Lampre/Farnese rider luckily was sprinting up the right side of the road was never in danger of being sucked into the maelstrom of the crash when Mark Cavendish swerved into  Cervélo's Heinrich Haussler causing a domino effect with about 20 riders crashing to the asphalt like dominoes  only 45 meters from the finish line.  watch the final kilometer and  sprint finish video here.

Saxo Banks Breschel and  Vacansoleil's Marco Marcato in for third

Caisse d'Epargne's Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil and Robbie McEwen (Katusha) finished fourth and fifth in that order.

The crash Haussler is down in the back ground in the red and white polka dot jersey, Mirams Ciolek is about to go over as Petacchi clears the crash on the ride side of the finish.  Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

I suppose we should have seen this coming when a crash took out three riders (one touched the others back of a wheel)  when the peloton  came through the finish area starting the final of two circuits packed like sardines - the peloton slowed  through the cramped two lane finish six abreast and moving cautiously through the funnel like finish.

The day was animated by Vacansoleil's Brice Feillu who spent over 150 km with his nose in the wind gaining over 9 minutes which ended up being a brave but futile attack as Teams HTC/Columbia, Lampre/Farnese Vini and Euskaltel/Euskadi led the chase to catch the optimist 25 km from the finish

No major changes in the G.C. with Tony Martin leading Fabian Cancellara by a second. However BMC Racings' Steve Morabito gained 3 seonds in time bonuses to move up to sixth place only 11 seconds off Tony Martin.

Top 15 results of the stage and G.C. and preview of stage 5 at the bottom. after the stage report below...
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157 riders took the start today, minus Michael Rogers. A few early attacks came to nothing, being chased down in quick order until 24 year old Brice Feillu of Vacansoleil purchased the open road and got half a minute on the Lampre led peloton and soon had over two minutes gap with 180 km remaining in the 192 km stage.

Feillu continued his solo flight up the road like one of the motor homes his sponsor rents to travelers in Europe - opening an impressive gap of 9:23 as he rode through Lindetal with 150 km to go. Feillu at this point was 13 seconds away from being virtual race leader on the road (currently in 162nd place at 9:36 behind race leader Tony Martin.)

This seemed to spur Martin's HTC/Columbia crew into action as they took control and led the chase; as expected it had an immediate effect on the young French riders adventure... nailing back 2 minutes back at 135 km to go. The gap stabilized at 8:30 at 125 km remaining.

Brice Feillu soloed through the Safenwil intermediate sprint taking the points with the peloton led by HTC's Hayden Roulston and Michael Albasini taking the remaining points - with Feillu leading the chasing mob at 6:30 with 100 km to go. Hayden Roulston continued to lead the HTC crew as they closed to 5 and a half minutes on the young French rider with 80 km to go.

Feillu seemed to struggle but held on to over 4 minutes, on the approach to the first of the two category 3 - 644 meter  climbs of the Regensberg on the two 28.5 km circuits. HTC/Columbia crew slowed to control the gap with no urgency to catch the Vacansoleil rider too soon and encourage attacks... at this point it was a controlled parade until the final 30 kilometers to insure a sprint finish for Mark Cavendish.

Arriving on Wettingen circuit Feillu still had 4 minutes on the chase led by HTC's Albasini with 56 km to go. Over the summit of the Regensberg Feillu led with 2 minutes, behind the tempo increased as the peloton geared up for the catch as teams Euskaltel and Lampre come to the front to lead the chase.

Mountain men - Euskaltel's Aitor Hernandez & teammate Amets Txurrka led Katusha's man, Alexandre Pliuschin taking the remaining points.

With 30 km to go Bruce Feillu's goose was cooked as the blue & Fucsia led peloton closed in to 40 seconds on our lone adventurer on the final circuit. Brice Feillu finally relented after 150 km was finally caught with 25 km to go.

Coming through the start with Lampre leading for Alessandro Petacchi. the road compressed from three to two tight  lanes the peloton was squeezed causing a crash of three riders as wheels touched and three riders down (Milram and Vacansoleil); not a good sign for the sprint finish to come.

Over the Regensberg for the second time Wouter Poels took the max mountain points. Garmin's Ryder Hesjedal attacked with 18 km to go and took the three second bonus in the final intermediate sprint.

Lampre and Euskaltel led the bunch with 10 km to go, with 7 km to go HTC/Columbia moved to the front with Cavendish. Petacchi and Boonen are near the front as the mob headed for the tight two lane finish. Behind Lovkvist is being brought back after a mechanical by two of his Sky team mates.

Phillipe Gilbert attacked with 4 km to go taking a 15 second gap but the Belgian was caught at 2 kilometers from the finish. Allen Davis is the next to try with 1500 meters but was caught with 500 meters with Phillipe Gilbert taking one more shot at the win.

The 'gentleman sprinter' Ale-Jet Petacchi takes the win without celebration
Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

The sprint starts entering the funnel in the final kilometer with Petacchi on the right and Cavendish and Haussler driving up the middle Cavendish swerved to the left taking out Haussler as 20 riders fell like dominoes on the left side of the road about 45 meters from the line.

Lampre's Petacchi was undeterred by the crash and won  the stage with Saxo Banks Breschel and Vacansoleil's Italian sprinter Marco Marcato joining his compatriot on the podium.

Riders tumble as Petcchi avoids the crash. On the ground from the left Cavendish, Boonen slowing down behind Cav (but would fall when hit from behind, Ciolek, Haussler, and an Ag2r rider.

Stage 4 Results
Schwarzenburg - Wettingen
192.2 km - 4:57:33

1   Alessandro PETACCHI Lampre - Farnese Vini  - 4:57:33
2   Matti BRESCHEL Team Saxo bank - 0:00
3   Marco MARCATO Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team - 0:00

4   Jose Joaquin ROJAS GIL Caisse d'Epargne - 0:00
5   Robbie MCEWEN Team Katusha - 0:00

6  Juan Antonio FLECHA GIANNONI  Team SKY  - 0:00
7   Daniele PIETROPOLLI Lampre - Farnese Vini - 0:00
8   Bauke MOLLEMA Rabobank - 0:00
9  Andreas KLODEN Team RadioShack - 0:00
10   Dries DEVENYNS Quick Step - 0:00
11   Fabian CANCELLARA Team Saxo bank - 0:00
12  Maxime MONFORT Team HTC - Columbia - 0:00
13   Johannes FRÖHLINGER Team Milram - 0:00
14  Philippe GILBERT Omega Pharma - Lotto - 0:00
15   Thor HUSHOVD Cervélo Test Team - 0:00
Stage 4 Complete Results & G.C.

General Classification After Stage 4
1   Tony MARTIN Team HTC - Columbia 14:35:37
2  Fabian CANCELLARA Team Saxo bank - 0:01
3   Thomas LÖVKVIST Sky Pro Cycling Team - 0:09

4   Rigoberto URAN Caisse d'Epargne - 0:10
5   Dries DEVENYNS Quick Step - 0:11

6   Steve MORABITO BMC Racing Team - 0:11
7   Frank SCHLECK Team Saxo bank - 0:13
8  Jacob FUGLSANG Team Saxo bank - 0:14
9  Nicolas Jonathan CASTROVIEJO Euskaltel - Euskadi - 0:15
10   Bauke MOLLEMA Rabobank - 0:17
11   Nicolas ROCHE AG2R - La mondiale - 0:18
12   Carlos BARREDO LLAMAZALES Quick Step - 0:19
13   Levi LEIPHEIMER Team RadioShack - 0:19
14   Joaquim RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Team Katusha - 0:21
15   Sandy CASAR Française des jeux - 0:24
16   Gustav Erik LARSSON Team Saxo bank - 0:24

Stage 5 Preview
Tomorrow's stage 5 over 172.5 kilometers from Wettingen to Frutigen should be another for the adventurers and sprinters. A flat start rises gradually towards the Cat.2 1167 meter climb of the  Schallenberg at 116.6 km. After the descent the three intermediate sprints come in  Uetendorf -138.6km, Amsoldingen -144.6km;and Spiez at 157.2km. Next up for the riders is a small gravity challenge on the climb of the Cat. 3 - 861 meter climb of the Aeschi with 10 km to go...  we can expect attacks to be launched on the final climb that could be decisive in a change of the leaders jersey on the uphill sprint in Frutigen.

Previous Tour of Switzerland Coverage
3rd 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  38.5 km
Final General Classification
Total length: 1,355 kilometres

Tour de Suisse - 2008 Race Coverage Index

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