65th Tour de Suisse - 2.HC
Switzerland, June 19 - 28, 2001
Stage 4 - June 22: Baar - Wildhaus, 144 km
Complete Live Report
Start time: 1320 EDT
Welcome to cyclingnews.com's coverage of the 4th stage of the Tour de Suisse (we will also be doing stage 5 and stage 8 live). Today's stage is 144 kilometres from Barr to Wildhaus, and is by no means flat. The last climb to Wildhaus is 12 kilometres long, and takes the riders to 1090 metres. Although it's not expected to be as tough as tomorrow, the stage will still be important for those aiming for the GC.
What's happened so far: Robbie McEwen (Domo) and Christian Heule (Post Swiss) attacked after 22 kilometres, gaining up to 33 seconds on the Tacconi Sport led bunch. Although he had a good ride yesterday to take the race lead, Tacconi's Gianluca Bortolami said that he doesn't feel strong enough on the climbs to win this race overall. We shall see whether he can hold on today.
1600 CEST - 104 km/40 km to go
Robbie McEwen and Christian Heule have carried out a remarkable escape, gaining as much as 4'35 lead at the 83 kilometre point. Heule has won both mountain sprints, but McEwen took the Post Finance sprint at km 93. He is the virtual leader of the race, with approximately an hour left.
1615 CEST - 119 km/25 km to go
The two leaders, McEwen and Heule, still look quite fresh as they race along the valley towards Sennwald. There are still some flat kilometres before the final 12 km climb up to Wildhaus.
Tacconi Sport is leading the peloton for Bortoloami, 3'27 McEwen and Heule.
1625 CEST - 124 km/20 km to go
The Cofidis team takes over at the front, as the gap slowly starts to come down to 2'30. The final climb is approximately 6 percent average gradient, and will certainly put an end to the break.
However, McEwen has acheived his aim in getting some exposure for the Domo team, and maybe increase his chances of Tour selection.
1631 CEST - 129 km/15 km to go
The pace is very high before the base of the climb, as Cofidis leads the charge still. The gap to the two leaders is just 1'26 with 14 kilometres to go. Lampre jersies are also seen near the front, along with a CSC rider (for Laurent Jalabert).
McEwen and Heule sit up as the peloton roars past at 50 km/h. Matthew White (USPS) is putting in a good ride for his captain Lance Armstrong (and Tyler Hamilton). Vandevelde, Hincapie, Kjaergaard and Vandevelde are also near the front. Rene Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner) is in second wheel.
Oscar Camenzind (Lampre) is on Hincapie's wheel.
1639 CEST - 10 km to go
Garzelli, Belli, Jalabert, Hamilton, Hincapie, Simoni. Camenzind, Zulle, Vinokourov, Atienza and Rebellin are near the front of the 40 strong group as the gradient gets steeper.
Bortolami is dropped as Inigo Cuesta (Cofidis) attacks.
1648 CEST - 6 km to go
Marcellino Garcia (CSC) and Manuel Beltran (Mapei) raise the tempo in the bunch. The Jalabert and Garzelli try, but Garzelli looks tired. Wladimir "Lightweight Boxing Champion" Belli has a go, but not it's stalemate again.
Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) puts in a serious attack as the bunch aren't interested. He catches Cuesta.
1650 CEST - 5km to go
Belli tries again with Garzelli on his wheel, but Simino brings them back. He attacks again, and catches Totschnig.
Atienza, Schnider( Fdj), Luttenberger, Garzelli, Belli, Simoni are near the front of the 18 man bunch.
1653 CEST - 3 km to go
Daniel Atienza (Cofidis) attacks, but Belli drags the rest back to him. Armstrong is right on Belli's wheel. There are about 18 men in the front and Cuesta has been caught.
A better attack now from Simoni with Alex Vinokourov (Telekom) on his wheel. Simoni still has great legs it seems after the Giro. They quickly get a 100 m gap.
1658 CEST - 1km to go
Last kilometre, and Simoni and Vinokourove have a small advantage. Vino attacks to win the stage! Simoni is caught. Jalabert is charging hard for second, but gets beaten by Simoni.
Can Bortolami hold his jersey? Yes he can, as he sprints in 2'20 behind. Just...
Unofficial 1 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Deutsche Telekom 3.39.15 2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 0.09 3 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) CSC-World Online 4 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin 0.12 5 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 6 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 7 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin 8 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 9 Ińigo Cuesta Lopez (Spa) Cofidis 10 Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step 11 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 12 Alex Zülle (Swi) Team Coast 13 Daniel Atienza Urendez (Spa) Cofidis 14 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 15 Peter Luttenberger (Aut) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 16 Daniel Schnider (Swi) La Francaise Des Jeux 17 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner 18 Alexandre Moos (Swi) Phonak-Hearing Systems 19 Tyler Hamilton (USA) US Postal Service 20 Marcelino Garcia (Spa) CSC-World Online General classification after stage 4 1 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 2 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Deutsche Telekom 0.12 3 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner 0.15 4 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) CSC-World Online 0.24 5 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 0.26 6 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 0.32 7 Tyler Hamilton (USA) US Postal Service 0.35 8 Daniel Schnider (Swi) La Francaise Des Jeux 0.36Results and report