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Photo ©: Bettini

69th Tour de Suisse - PT

Switzerland, June 11-19, 2005

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Stage 5 - June 15: Bad Zurzach - Altdorf UR, 172.4 km

Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Anthony Tan

Complete live report

Live coverage starts: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:30 CEST

15:02 CEST   
Welcome back to the Tour de Suisse for our live coverage of Stage 5, 172 km between Bad Zurzach and Altdorf UR. Today's stage is fairly lumpy, with a couple of Cat. 3 climbs at km 120 and km 143 sure to liven things up. There are also two bonus sprints at Arth (km 133) and Brunnen (km 157).

After yesterday's sprinters' stage, Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) is still in yellow with a two second advantage over Brad McGee (Francaise des Jeux), who has kept the pressure off his team by not going for the bonus seconds en route. That means the T-Mobile boys will ride to defend the jersey, even if it's not their main goal in this tour.

15:09 CEST    86.4km/86km to go
At the moment, we have a breakaway of seven riders: Maarten Den Bakker (Rabobank), Grégory Rast (Phonak Hearing Systems), Allan Johansen (Team CSC), Gustav Erik Larsson (Fassa Bortolo), Yannick Talabardon (Crédit Agricole), Michael Albasini (Liquigas - Bianchi), René Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner), who have 3'46 on the T-Mobile led peloton. They escaped after 50 km, and have never gained more than 4'22. That's enough to keep Jan in yellow, as Talabardon is the best placed on GC, starting the day in 55th at 7'09 behind.

15:14 CEST    93.4km/79km to go
Alejandro Valverde (Illes Balears) didn't start today, reducing the field to 151 riders. And during the stage, Christophe Le Mevel (Credit Agricole) also abandoned.

Davitamon-Lotto has put a couple of men in front of the peloton to control the break. After McEwen's huge sprint yesterday, he probably fancies his chances of another stage win.

15:29 CEST    105.4km/67km to go
Davitamon-Lotto has pegged the gap to about 4'00, not letting this break of seven get too far in front.

15:38 CEST    109.4km/63km to go
Marco Fertonani (Domina Vacanze) has abandoned, reducing the field to 149 riders.

The weather today is quite good, although it was a bit humid at the start. The sun is out at least.

15:48 CEST    125.4km/47km to go
Rast takes the 5 points at the top of the Cat. 3 climb at Udligenswil, ahead of Talabardon, Den Bakker, and Haselbacher.

Davitamon-Lotto has pulled the gap back to 3'41 now with 47 km to go.

15:52 CEST    127.4km/45km to go
FDJ has put a man in front of the peloton to help the chase. There are a couple of T-Mobile jerseys up there, as well as Moos (Phonak). The gap is up to 3'56 again.

15:55 CEST    130.4km/42km to go
With his 5 points on that last climb, Gregory Rast has now put himself on equal points with leader Koldo Gil, so he will probably take the mountains jersey at the end of the day as there is another climb to come.

Sprints leader Michael Albasini (Liquigas) will also consolidate his lead today, as he is in the break too.

Lotto, FDJ, Phonak, and Lampre are chasing now.

15:58 CEST    132.4km/40km to go
As predicted, Albasini takes the sprint points in Arth ahead of Johansen and Haselbacher.

16:01 CEST    134.4km/38km to go
The peloton has upped the speed as it flies through Arth, 3'37 behind the breakaways. The front of the bunch is strung out now.

16:05 CEST    136.4km/36km to go
The seven leaders, working hard, hit the second climb of the day as the peloton starts to haul them back. It's 3'29 now, but the break definitely has a chance.

16:08 CEST    138.4km/34km to go
Talabardon and Rast drive it up the climb, putting Haselbacher in a bit of difficulty. But the Austrian is hanging on OK.

16:10 CEST   
Talabardon now opens up a gap, but the others are able to come back.

16:12 CEST    139.4km/33km to go
Now Albasini does a strong turn...still, Haselbacher can hang on. He's the fastest on paper in this break, so they probably don't want to take him to the finish.

The gap is 3'24, so the leaders are doing a good job.

16:14 CEST    140.4km/32km to go
The leaders reach a flatter section of the climb, and Haselbacher actually rides to the front and does a turn. Much harder to get dropped from the front than it is from the back.

16:16 CEST    141.4km/31km to go
The seven leaders are less than a km from the top of the Sattel climb. Looks like Rast will be back in the mountains jersey at the end of the day.

16:18 CEST    142.4km/30km to go
Rast accelerates as the climb steepens in the last 500m, then drops back to third wheel, before moving up again and taking the points ahead of Johansen and Larsson . The leaders still have 3'28 at the top.

Rast has that Swiss TV camera on the back of his saddle today.

16:18 CEST   
Back in the peloton, and it's Lampre doing most of the chasing now. It's not having much of an affect.

16:21 CEST    145.4km/27km to go
The peloton, led by Lampre's Gerrit Glomser, crosses the summit of the Sattel climb 3'19 behind the break. All the sprinters have survived, so maybe their teams will start to chase again. 3'20 in 27 km is still possible.

16:22 CEST   
Yep - here's Wim Vansevenant and Nick Gates, who move to the front and start working.

16:23 CEST    147.4km/25km to go
At the back of the bunch, Arnaud Coyot goes back to the Cofidis team car for bidons.

The riders in the break: Maarten Den Bakker (Rabobank), Grégory Rast (Phonak Hearing Systems), Allan Johansen (Team CSC), Gustav Erik Larsson (Fassa Bortolo), Yannick Talabardon (Crédit Agricole), Michael Albasini (Liquigas - Bianchi), René Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner).

16:25 CEST   
The leaders are now on the descent down to Brunnen, where the second sprint of the day is located. Haselbacher has survived OK up until now.

16:26 CEST    150.4km/22km to go
It's 3'01 at the bottom of the climb, as the bunch picks up speed. This will be touch and go for the peloton. The breakaways might just stay away. We'll see in about 10 km how much the bunch has made up.

16:30 CEST    154.4km/18km to go
The seven have 2'33 on the peloton now with 19 km to go. It's coming down quickly, and the leaders realise it. They are working harder.

It's still Vansevenant, Gates, and Lampre chasing. They go through Altdorf and Vansevenant has to go onto the footpath after taking a corner a bit fast.

16:32 CEST    155.4km/17km to go
Quick.Step has also joined in the chase, with Knaven. 2'27 with 17 km to go.

16:33 CEST   
Albasini takes the last sprint in Brunnen ahead of Rast and Talabardon.

16:35 CEST    157.4km/15km to go
Lotto is really working hard now, with Steegmans, Gates, and Vansevenant. There's a few FDJ and Quick.Step jerseys up there too. It's 2'05 with 15 km to go.

16:38 CEST   
Some sad news from Spain: Italian rider Alessio Galletti (Naturino-Sapore di Mare) has been reported by VRT as dying of a heart attack. He was 37.

16:38 CEST    160.4km/12km to go
The gap is now under two minutes as the break rides alongside a beautiful blue lake. It's 1'52 with 12 km to go, and the peloton is running out of kilometres...

16:40 CEST    162.4km/10km to go
We have four teams chasing this break of seven fairly hard, but it looks like the leaders will stay away. It's not over yet though, but 1'48 in 10 km is hard to peg back.

16:41 CEST    163.4km/9km to go
1'42 now as the peloton flies along at 55 km/h. There's not going to be much in it at the end, and the break had better work all the way to the finish...

16:44 CEST    164.4km/8km to go
The leaders can sense a victory, even though they only have 1'25 now. Although both Albasini and Haselbacher are decent sprinters, one of the others could easily steal the stage with a well timed attack.

16:45 CEST    165.4km/7km to go
The chase is relentless though - if it's a minute in 6 km, it will be extremely close. Still Lotto, FDJ, Quick.Step and Lampre working.

16:47 CEST    167.4km/5km to go
Johansen does a turn in the break, then Den Bakker. Larsson attacks! That'll stir things up. It strings everyone out, but the Swede can't get a gap. 1'13 with 5 km left.

16:48 CEST    168.4km/4km to go
Talabardon counters, but is pegged by Albasini and Den Bakker. He sits up. Albasini urges the others to keep working.

16:49 CEST    169.4km/3km to go
The gap is a minute as Den Bakker attacks with 3 km to go. He gets a gap. But Larsson is chasing him, and Albasini.

16:49 CEST    169.4km/3km to go
It's Haselbacher chasing, not Larsson. But Den Bakker is back and the seven are together again. 1'03, so they should stay away.

16:50 CEST    170.4km/2km to go
Johansen attacks, but Albasini sees him coming and marks him. Now Talabardon counters - nice!

16:50 CEST   
Den Bakker and Rast chase down Talabardon. Larsson leads the rest of the group at 20m. This is dangerous.

16:51 CEST   
Now it's Rast and Den Bakker together in front. They've dropped Talabardon, but the others are coming back.

16:51 CEST    171.4km/1km to go
Albasini and Haselbacher catch Rast and Den Bakker with 1 km to go. The other three also claw their way on.

16:52 CEST   
It's more or less a seven man sprint. Albasini is in front. Larsson goes very very early.

16:53 CEST    172.4km/0km to go
Albasini hits out as Haselbacher gets himself boxed in, then Rast comes at Albasini but can't quite get him and Albasini wins the stage! Rast second, ahead of Haselbacher.

Aurelien Clerc wins the sprint for 8th ahead of Angelo Furlan (Domina Vacanze) and Markus Zberg (Gerolsteiner), 38 seconds behind.

No real changes to the GC and Ullrich keeps yellow.

17:04 CEST   
That's all folks from stage five. Please join us again in the blimp for tomorrow's sixth stage between Bürglen UR and Arosa, which has two very serious climbs in it. Should be fun!


1 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas-Bianchi                        3.48.01
2 Gregory Rast (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                      
3 Rene Haselbacher (Aut) Gerolsteiner                    
4 Allan Johansen (Den) Team CSC                          
5 Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe) Fassa Bortolo                     
6 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Credit Agricole                        
7 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank                             
8 Aurelien Clerc (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                       0.38     
9 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Domina Vacanze                     
10 Marcus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                        

General classification after stage 5

1 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team                               17.02.33
2 Bradley McGee (Aus) Française Des Jeux                            0.02
3 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step                                   0.18
4 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                                   1.12
5 Beat Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                                     1.14
6 Fabian Jeker (Swi) Saunier Duval-Prodir                           1.25
7 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner                                1.31
8 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                                      1.41
9 Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) Quick Step                                1.47
10 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Phonak Hearing Systems                      1.53


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