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65th Tour de Romandie - Stage 5
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 5/1/2011
65th Tour de Romandie - Stage 5

65th Tour de Romandie - Stage 5
Team SKY puts a Swift End to Stage 5 - Ben Swift that is... Cadel Evans seals his  second victory in the Romandie Tour

Ben Swift won the bunch rush sprint finish in Genève 'Swifty' won the the duel in the sun for final stage honors with fast finishers Italian David Vigano (Leopard-Trek) and Rabobank's Spanish master sprinter Oscar Freire  - finishing in that order ahead of 103 riders.

Italian pair, Liquigas' Fabio Sabatini and and Enrico Gasparotto filled out the top 5 with RadioShack's popular Fumiyuki Beppu of Japan sixth.

The race came down to a sprint finish when the last of the days break was swept up by the BMC led peloton with 7 km to go... our quartet included:: Matthias Brandle (Geox), EuropCar's Pierre Rolland, Rabobank's Steven Kruijswijk and Ag2r's  John Gadret who made their escape after 125 miles never gaining more than one minute as they attempted to foil the sprinters in the final 40 kilometers of the 164 km stage.

Team SKY had the lead into the final kilometer guiding Ben Swift to the final 200 meters where he powered off Chris Sutton's wheel to take a clear victory and his fourth win of the season.

Tony Martin was the first of the C.C. Rivals to finish crossing the line in 7th place while race leader Cadel Evans and Alexandr Vinokourov followed to the line in 26th and 28th in the same time with Evans putting a lock on his second victory of the Swiss stage race, having won it in 2006.

The General Classification remains unchanged from yesterday, Evans takes home another yellow jersey to add to his collection, Tony Martin (HTC) second and Alexandre Vinokourov third after the final dust settled on the Alps today.

Martin's Italian team mate Marco Pinotti finished in fourth which is a good omen for Stapleton's raiders for the Giro d'Italia.

Spaniard Intxausti Floria of Movistar filled out the top five. Former G,.C. leader Pavel Brutt (Katusha) finished out the race in 8th place, all and all a satisfying result for the Katusha rider.

Jonathan Vaughters can be proud of his team, Garmin-Cervélo team that took the team prize and riders: Andrew Talansky and David Millar 7 & 8th on the G.C.... an especial good performance by Talansky taking the best young riders trophy and maillot blanc home... and we should note that Peter Stetina placed second to his team mate in the U25 division... Vaughters shows once again he's got his hand firmly on the future culturing young talent.

Austria's Matthias Brandle (Geox-TMC) picked up the points jersey while in the day long break today winning both intermediate sprints, toppling former race leader Pavel Brutt off the points pedestal. We also got a change of King - of the Mountains, that is, with Chris Anker Sorensen once again on the fly today picking up the points to bump Ukrainian Oleksandr Kvachuk  (Lampre-ISD) out of the pink jersey of King of the Mountains

Photos to come...

Stage 5: Champagne - Geneve 164.6 km
Sunny skies and cool temps marked the start of the final stage of this years race to Geneva for line honors in what was expected to be a sprint finish even with the two Cat. 1 climbs of the Mollendruz and Marchairuz. The final summit came 59 km before the finish sure to tease the opportunists with an attempt to deny the sprinters glory; high aspirations with a long descent and rolling terrain to the line... but us cyclists are not only a determined bunch we're also a optimistic tribe as well and every opportunity will find a few riders up to the challenge.

We didn't have to wait too long today with an attack of 5 gaining ground after only 4 km, by the 20 km marker the lads established a gap of 2:20. Our optimists, Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil), Jack Bobridge (Garmin), Jose Garcia (Movistar), Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) and Pierrig Quemeneur (EuroCar). Westra was the best placed rider in the group only 1:42 behind race leader Cadel Evans... so briefly the Vacansoleil rider could enjoy being virtual leaders... While the BMC team got to the front to manage the gap.

The gap fell under the pursuit of the men in red & black falling to under two minutes in the next six km. Vladimir Gusev said bye - bye  to his companions shortly after opening a gap of 40 seconds.

Gusev opened a gap of 4:15 on the peloton by the 50 mile mark with former four break mates in-between chasing at 2:40. At 60 km Gusev had 3:25 on the peloton and continued to lead the chase of four by over 2 minutes.

Gusev continued to solo the at the front after 70 km while his former companions were scooped up by the peloton.

Gusev started the 12 km climb of the Mollendruz with a minute on his chasers. starting the climb an attack of 7 riders went in pursuit of Gusev, Tom Danielson (Garmin)  Thomas Rohregger (Leopard), Jurgen Vandewalle (Omega Pharma), Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel), Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank) and Mauricio Ardila (Geox).

Vlad Gusev led over the summit by 21 seconds followed by Chris Anker Sorensen, Christophe Kern, Maricio Ardial and Rob Ruigh (Vacansoleil).  Behind the peloton split on the climb as a group of about 100 went over the top.

The escape was caught on the descent attacks followed with 4 riders leading through the points sprint in Le Brassus  at 97.8 km - Matthias Brandle took the max points followed by Omega man Osca Pujol and Esteban Martinez (Euskaltel).

The escape was returned shortly after as the riders started the final climb of the day, attacks followed with 7 leaders driving the pace on the climb as the G.C. rivals marked each other.

Pierre Rolland (EuropCar) led over the summit of the Col Du Marchairuz  followed by Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank) David Lopez Garcia (Movistar), Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank-SunGard) and John Gadret of Ag2r La Mondiale the quintet led on the top with 15 seconds as the attacked the descent... only 59 km to go.

Rolland, Gadret and Kruijswijk attacked opening a gap of 26 seconds  and were joined by Brandle with 40 km to go the 4 riders held on to 35 seconds with BMC team leading the chase. The group worked well together, 34 km to go the gap went to a minute, but that would be the extreme end of the gain.

By the intermediate sprint in Nyon with 22 km to go the gap was 45 seconds as  Brandle flew through the line leading Rolland, Kruijswijk, Gadret and Sorensen.

Liquigas and SKY joined BMC on the front bringing the gap to 25 seconds with 18 km to go... it was only a matter of time before the peloton would claim its quarry. The five fought back but with 7 km to go the bunch was closing in as Brandle a Kruijswijk made one more attempt but the duo were caught with 6 km to go.

An attack by Vinokourov animated the final kilometers but he was swept up by the SKY, Liquigas and sprinters teams with  Team SKY once again in control under the 1 km flag giving Ben Swift the perfect lead-out to claim the victory.

Stage 5 Results
Champagne - Genève
164.6 Km - 3:50:51 - 42.781 Km/H
1 78 *Swift Ben Team SKY Gbr B:10  - 3:50:51  B:10
2 55 Vigano Davide Leopard-Trek Ita  -  0:00  B:6
3 33 Freire Gomez Oscar Rabobank Esp -  0:00  B:4 
4 127 Sabatini Fabio Liquigas-Cannondale Ita  -  0:00
5 172 Gasparotto Enrico Team Astana Ita - 0:00

6 18 Beppu Fumiyuki RadioShack Jpn - 0:00
7 27 Martin Tony HTC-Highroad Ger - 0:00
8 157 Roche Nicolas Ag2r La Mondiale Irl - 0:00
9 186 Arashiro Yukiya Europ Car Jpn - 0:00
10 98 *Sanz Enrique Mov Esp - 0:00

65th  Tour De Romandie 2011
General Classification After Stage 5 (Final)
1 61 Y Evans Cadel BMC Racing Team Aus 16:51:49 0
2 27 Martin Tony HTC-Highroad Ger 16:52:07 -  0:18
3 177 Vinokourov Alexandre Team Astana Kaz 16:52:08  - 0:19

4 21 Pinotti Marco HTC-Highroad Ita 16:52:20 -  0:31

5 91 Intxausti Elorria. Mov Esp 16:52:30 -  0:41
6 37 Weening Pieter Rabobank Ned 16:52:40 -  0:51
7 11 Brajkovic Janez RadioShack Slo 16:52:41 -  0:52
8 136 Brutt Pavel Team Katusha Rus 16:52:47 -  0:58
9 44 W* Talansky Andrew Garmin-Cervélo Usa 16:52:48 -  0:59
10 41 Millar David Garmin-Cervélo Gbr 16:52:49 - 1:00
Complete Results & Photos

65th Tour de Romandie
Stages (6) April 26 - May 1 2011

Prologue - Martigny  3 km
Stage 1: Martigny - Leysin  169.3 km
Stage 2:  Romont - Romont  171.8 km
Stage 3: Thierrens - Ville de Neuchâtel  165.7 km
Stage 4: Aubonne - Signal-de-Bougy ITT  20.1 km
Stage 5: Champagne - Geneve  164.6 km
65th Tour de Romandie 2011 Results & General Classifications
Race Website
Index: 64th Tour de Romandie

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