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

74th Tour de Suisse - Stage 4 Reactions
Team & Rider Comments on the stage and crash at the finish - Heinrich Haussler injury update - out of Swiss tour, and  more...

June 12 - 20, 2010

Lampre/Farnese Vini
Alessandro Petacchi Lucky

After hree months without victories, Ale Jet's bad luck ended suddenly with the victory in the 4th stage of Tour de Suisse; The Lampre-Farnese Vini's athlete claimedthe victory in a sprint characterized by a massive crash, caused by a contact between Cavendish and Haussler, both were well positioned for a top result.

After the long breakaway of Brice Feillu had been neutralized, in the bunch the battle between the attackers and the sprinters' team began, and the latter won i so, the end of the stage ended  in a massive sprint. The crash didn't involve Petacchi, who was sprinting on the other side of the road;  Alessandro preceded Breschel and Marcato. Our only rider involved in the crash was  Spilak after he stopped short he hit  he the ground but without injuries.

Ale-Jet, Breschel and Marcato avoid the mayhem - Milrams Ciolek falls as Haussler rolls attempting to get our of the way. Petacchi never raised his arms in victory as he crossed the line. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

Alessandro Petacchi on his win...
"I obtained the victory at the end of a jerky final part of race, characterized by the bad crash. I chose the right side of the road for my sprint and it was really the" right: side, since it allowed me to to avoid the crash: I was turning my head sometimes in order to look at my opponents on the other side and suddenly I saw a strange movement and I heard a strong sound of crash. I went on pedaling and I won. I don't know if I could have won even without the crash, but I'm sorry that Cavendish, Haussler and Ciolek could not compete until the finish line. Anyway, I lived a very unlucky period until now, today I had good luck".

Saxo Bank
Matti Breschel Second After Horrible Crash in Mass Sprint

Team Saxo Bank's Matti Breschel demonstrated exquisite skills in the position battle and finished second on today's stage. The mass sprint was marred by a terrible crash including Mark Cavendish (Columbia) and Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo) and unfortunately, they brought down several other top sprinters in the peloton.

Caisse d'Epargne's Coyot Arnaud was taken away in an ambulance, here he gets medical help. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

Team Saxo Bank's Matti Breschel navigated around the crash and finished the stage on second place after Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) who didn't celebrate crossing the finish line first.

Danish national champion, Matti Breschel on the sprint
”It was a crazy finale and I'm happier avoiding a close encounter with the asphalt than I am about finishing second. Naturally, I would never have finished second if the crash didn't happen but I would have finished in the top five. However, the stage and the finale showed me that the shape is coming along after a long break from racing and finishing with the best sprinters today, gives me great confidence. My current condition will hopefully enable me to defend my Danish national championship even though that race is particularly hard to win. Besides the World Cup jersey the Danish national jersey is by far the most beautiful of the peloton and it would certainly be an honor wearing it for another year. More importantly, it has to stay with the Team.”

Heinrich Haussler, his face swathed in pain... Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

Cervélo Test Team
Heinrich Haussler - Out of Tour de Suisse
Heinrich Haussler was involved in a finish line crash today along with Mark Cavendish (GBR-HTC Columbia), Gerard Ciolek (GER- Milram), Tom Boonen (BEL-Quick Step) Lloyd Mondory (FRA-AG2R La Mondiale) among others who were also involved in the late fourth stage crash at the Tour de Suisse.

D.S. Marcello Alabsini
“Today’s stage was flatter, quite a change from the first two, and it probably would have ended in a bunch sprint. It was quite an easy day with just one rider in the front, Brice Feillu, who was in the break for almost 170 km. We decided to wait and see what might happen in the final laps because there were also two climbs. After the climbs we decided to go for Heinrich again in the bunch sprint. Brett Lancaster (AUS) and Jeremy Hunt (GBR) had the task to stay with him. Brett had a puncture in the final but was able to come back. Brett and Jeremy did a great job and brought him into a good position before the sprint. It looked pretty good for Heinrich until the final, at the finish line when he crashed after Mark Cavendish drove into him. It’s a shame because Heinrich could have won the stage today and with the crash we also lost the points jersey.”

Heinrich Haussler on the crash...
“I didn’t see Cavendish coming. He drove into my wheel and before I knew it, went down and was lying on the ground. I could have won the stage today.”

Heinrich Haussler gets up after the crash. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

“Heinrich was taken to the hospital for an examination and stitches”, said Team Doctor Lorenz Emmert. “He has a deep wound on his right elbow and will need to rest for a few days now.”

Caisse d'Epargne
Luis León Sánchez - "Feel better every day"

Luis León Sánchez is recovering every day from the accident that happened on June 2 and is taking advantage of the demanding stages of the Tour de Suisse to try and get the ideal condition before the start of the Tour de France that will start next July 3 from Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

“I am feeling better every day,” Luis said this evening in Wettingen after the fourth stage which finished in a chaotic sprint where most of the riders who were trying to win the stage and Cavendish, Haussler and Boonen were the victims of a crash.

“Yesterday I attacked in the final part of the stage at about eleven kilometers from the finish line. I did it for two reasons. The first one is that I wanted to know how I was really feeling. The second is the fact that we knew our team had a chance to win that stage.”

“Team-mate Rigoberto Uran wanted to try something and it was better to have a rider of the team ahead than chase behind one or more escapees. Rigoberto finished second but at least we did our best to try and do win, because we knew that in case we had to face a sprint José Joaquín Rojas was also able to win; and today he showed again he is in great condition by taking fourth.”

“I had very bad days in the prologue and the first stage. I almost could not breathe and of course the rain and the cold weather did not help. But yesterday and today I began having good feelings again. I hope I will improve tomorrow too before the terrible mountain stage on Thursday.”

Mark Cavendish looks a bit shell shocked after the crash. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

HTC Columbia
Cavenish Crashes - Xrays Next

Mark Cavendish suffered a crash in the Tour de Suisse Tuesday, but team doctors say after an initial exam he does not seem to be seriously injured.

The 25-year-old rider was at the head of the field sprinting for the win when the crash occurred, and Cavendish fell to the ground at high speed. HTC-Columbia team doctors said after a first checkup that Cavendish's worst injuries are that he suffered from severe road rash and major bruising. The rider will undergo x-ray examination as a precautionary measure.

HTC-Columbia teammate Tony Martin continues in the lead of the Tour de Suisse for a second consecutive stage.

Team Quick Step
Tom Boonen hits left knee during crash

Today Tom Boonen was involved in a fall with just a few metres to go until the finish line in the fourth stage in the Tour of Suisse, fortunately without important consequences. In the fall the Belgian Champion from Team Quick Step retained a trauma to his left knee, the same he hurt in the crash in California few weeks ago.

Tom Boonen on the crash and consequences..
"The consequences of the fall could have been worse. Fortunately I realized right off that riders in front of me were falling and I managed to reduce my speed significantly. But a rider hit me from behind and I ended up on the ground, hitting my left knee. The knee hurts a little but tomorrow I will be at the starting line for the stage hoping that the problem doesn't get worse during the race."

Team Quick Step was in the front at the finish, guiding Tom Boonen in a good position for the sprint. A massive crash disturbed the plans of most sprinters, except that of Alessandro Petacchi who took the stage win. Dries Devenyns finished 10th and stays 5th in the overall rankings, which is led by Tony Martin.

 Team Milram
Gerald Ciolek involved in crash at finish line

Milram captain Gerald Ciolek was involved in a crash in the last meters before the finish line on the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse  and thus missed out on a podium place. He was in the lead in the closing sprint when Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) and Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo TestTeam) pushed themselves ahead of the 23-year old at the last second, causing the mass crash and the unhappy end of the stage.

Ciolek was lucky enough to come away with scrapes and bruises and a big scare. Alessandro Pettachi (Lampre), who had been in a hopeless position, took advantage of the crash to win the stage.

D.S. Ralf Grabsch.on the final kilometer
We rode a good finale. Gerald Ciolek was in an optimal position at the finish.. It may not have been enough for a victory, but a podium placing was certain. In the end, of course, we are just happy that Gerald wasn't injured. Tomorrow's stage has another category three climb 10 kilometers before the finish, and then there is an ascending finale. We hope we will have our next chance for a top finish there."

Direct from the first kilometer, Milram's Björn Schröder took off and tried to get away from the field with three other riders. The potential group was caught again immediately. But as they were caught, another rider took off in a solo effort. Frenchman Brice Feillu (Vacansoleil) got away at km 10 and built up a lead of up to more than nine minutes.

Feillu was caught again 25 km before the finish, shortly before the first intermediate sprint of the day. Milram's Matthias Russ tried to get away, but was trapped in the peloton and was thus unable to gather points or defend his blue jersey. The rest of the stage, including another sprint and the second and final climb of the day (category three), was marked by multiple attacks. The field was alert and defended itself against all attacks, leading to the mass sprint.

BMC Racing Team
Morabito Closer To The Lead

Steve Morabito of the BMC Racing Team continued his climb up the overall standings at the Tour de Suisse Tuesday by winning a time bonus sprint that also earned him the intermediate sprints jersey.

BMC Racing Team Director Sportif John Lelangue
The seconds Morabito gained on overall leader Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) moved the Swiss from eighth to sixth place (11 seconds behind) with five stages left. "The plan was not to lose time in the final laps and take good position,"  said. "But once the opportunity came, we decided to go and Steve had good help from Karsten Kroon." Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) won the stage as a major crash before the finish line took down several riders, including BMC Racing Team's Alex Moos, who was not seriously hurt.



Stage 3 Reactions
Team Milram

Milram's Matthias Ruß easily defended the blue jersey of the best sprinter in the third stage Allrounder Fabian Wegmann rode competitively and showed that he is recovered from his injury, setting accents in the finale.  Wegmann, Johannes Fröhlinger and Milram captain Gerald Ciolek reached the finish with the decimated main field.

D.S. Ralf Grabsch on the finish...
"The finale was in effect a bit too hard for Gerald Ciolek and for Fabian Wegmann today. We had hoped that Fabian or Gerald could stay at the front, but the top favorites and climbing specialists turned on the speed and gave us no chance. Now we need to look to tomorrow. The stage will again be rolling and we hope that we will have our chance there.“

Dominic Nerz Out
Even before the stage started, Team Milram had to accept a blow. Youngster Dominik Nerz, who had been involved in a crash on the final descent yesterday, was not allowed to start by the Tour de Suisse official doctor. The 20-year-old had suffered a severe concussion and was under medical observation overnight and in the hours leading up to the race.

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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