69th Tour de Suisse - PT
Switzerland, June 11-19, 2005
Main Page Results
& report Stage
Stage 8 - June 18: Lenk - Verbierl, 162.2 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
The best seat in the house
Welcome one and all to Cyclingnews' live coverage of Stage 8 of the Tour de Suisse.
Today's rather lumpy stage is 162 km between Lenk and Verbier, passing over two
Cat. 4 and two Cat. 2 climbs, with the finish atop a Cat. 2 ascent. The first
climb is the Cat. 2 Col du Pillon (1546m) after 46 km, then the Cat. 4 climbs
in Chamoson (km 114) and in Vollèges (km 149).
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
The sprints today are
at Martigny (km 135) and Villette-Le Châble (km 153), with a money sprint at km
28 in Gstaad, the playground of the rich and famous.
on the general classification has Mick Rogers (Quick.Step) in the lead with a
20 second advantage over Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) and 22 over Brad McGee (Francaise
des Jeux). Fabian Jeker (Saunier Duval) and Frank Schleck (CSC) are fairly well
placed at 1'11 and 1'27, while Chris Horner (Saunier Duval) is at 1'31.
15:20 CEST 66.2km/96km to go
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto)
didn't start today. The Australian sprinter has decided to recover his energies
for the Tour de France, having shown that he is in good form. Bernhard Eisel
(FDJ), Fred Rodriguez (Davitamon-Lotto), and Anton Luengo (Euskaltel) also didn't
It took only a handful of kilometres before today's breakaway
was established. Mathew Hayman (Rabobank), Niki Aebersold (Phonak), Fabian Wegmann
(Gerolsteiner), Daniele Righi (Lampre) and Walter Beneteau (Bouygues) attacked
after six kilometres, and were chased by another group with Daniele Nardello
(T-Mobile), Thorwald Veneberg (Rabobank), Allan Johansen (Team CSC), Angel Gomez
(Saunier Duval - Prodir), Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros-Würth), Kjell Carlström
(Liquigas - Bianchi), René Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner), and Pablo Lastras (Illes
Balears). The two groups joined after 10 km to form a lead group of 13, which
now has a 6'24 lead over the peloton with 96 km to go.
the best placed rider on GC, starting the day at 10'10 behind Rogers, so the
break isn't a big threat.
Niki Aebersold won the sprint in Gstaad,
and the Cat. 2 climb of the Col du Pillon was won by Carlos Barredo from Pablo
Lastras, Niki Aebersold, Thorwald Veneberg and Rene Haselbacher. Allan Johansen
(CSC) missed out, even though he is the only rider that could really threaten
Roberto Laiseka's lead.
15:27 CEST 77.2km/85km to go
The lead group and
the peloton fly on the descent of the Pillon down into Aigle, the siège of the
UCI. The gap is kept constant at around six and a half minutes.
15:35 CEST 82.2km/80km to go
The pace has picked
up slightly in the peloton, and the 13 leaders aren't gaining any further ground.
The last time check was 6'16, with Quick.Step keeping control of the bunch as
we reach the halfway point in the stage.
15:41 CEST 87.2km/75km to go
The leaders are
approaching the feed zone at Vernayaz, still enjoying their 6 minute plus advantage.
Race leader Michael Rogers must be
fairly happy with the current situation on the road, as the break doesn't really
threaten his slender lead. "I expect today we will be under attack from the
start but I'm hopeful we can keep the main contenders together until the last
climb," said Rogers this morning. "Ideally I'd like a harmless break to go like
it did yesterday and set up the top ten to battle it out on the climb. It's
going to be a tough day but I'm prepared and I want to win this."
15:49 CEST 105.2km/57km to go
The break is rolling
along very nicely in the valley under blue skies and sun. They have 6'47, which
is a pretty handy lead, and this group could go all the way to the finish. We'll
15:53 CEST 109.2km/53km to go
five riders in the front of the peloton, with Rogers in sixth and Sinkewitz
in seventh. It's not a chasing pace though.
Tom Boonen is working
today, but will almost certainly not start tomorrow's stage.
Nicolas Inaudi (Ag2r) has abandoned.
He was in trouble early in the stage.
15:57 CEST 112.2km/50km to go
The wind is coming
from behind the riders, from the right to the left, but the pace is not quite
high enough to put everyone in the gutter. T-Mobile is right behind the Quick.Step
train, with Ullrich well protected. Also McGee is up there in the FDJ camp.
He's wearing the polka dotted points jersey.
16:00 CEST 113.2km/49km to go
Wegmann sits at
the back of the break, which is now on the Chamoson climb, averaging 5.6% for
3 km. Not many points on offer here.
16:02 CEST 114.2km/48km to go
leads the break on this short climb. He'll be working for Wegmann today, as
the young German is a very big candidate for the stage win.
gets some help from the team car. The gap is up to 6'52.
The break passes through the narrow
streets of Chamoson, and it's a fairly solid tempo to the top of the climb.
Looks like Righi or Barredo got the points.
16:06 CEST 117.2km/45km to go
It was Righi who
got the three points, ahead of Veneberg and Carlstrom. The break is now at the
bottom, fighting a headwind. Beneteau and Haselbacher grab bidons from the neutral
service bike. No spitting please!
16:09 CEST 118.2km/44km to go
The peloton cruises
up the climb to Chamoson with a 6'25 deficit. Angelo Furlan (Domina Vacanze)
is suffering, but trying to hold on.
It looks likely that the break
will stay away, although it's not over yet. Quick.Step and T-Mobile don't have
to chase, and FDJ doesn't really either. Most of the other big teams are represented
16:11 CEST 119.2km/43km to go
In the break, Johansen
signals for some support from his team car. He has been in three long breaks
during this tour, but there's no prize for that. He takes a couple of bidons
and rejoins the break. It's fairly warm today, with temps in the upper 20s/lower
16:13 CEST 121.2km/41km to go
The break and the
peloton are making their way back down the valley towards Martigny. Many riders
are refueling from the team cars, as it's a nice wide road here. The gap is
6'38 and steady.
16:14 CEST 122.2km/40km to go
Wesemann and Ullrich
do a bit of a bottle exchange, and Ullrich now has two fresh bidons as he cruises
The water bottle moto is getting a good workout today!
16:17 CEST 123.2km/39km to go
Boonen does a turn
in the peloton now - he's got a massive motor and puts his head down. Quick.Step
has had to chase the break with five men, whereas the leaders are 13.
16:19 CEST 124.2km/38km to go
winner Linus Gerdemann (CSC) rides up the peloton with a stomach full of bidons
in his jersey for his teammates. He has to go a fair way up the peloton. He's
on the wrong side though - his teammates are on the right, where he is on the
left. He finds a gap.
16:26 CEST 128.2km/34km to go
The break is now
up to 7'00 as both it and the peloton fight the headwind coming into Martigny.
It's a loooooong straight, flat road as both groups prepare for the final climb.
It's now very likely that the winner of the stage will come from the break in
front, but there will be another big battle for the GC behind.
16:30 CEST 131.2km/31km to go
boys continue to work hard, knocking the gap under seven minutes now. Once the
road goes uphill, Rogers will have to mostly rely on Sinkewitz to pace him.
Horner and Ivanov are now sitting right behind Rogers.
16:33 CEST 132.2km/30km to go
The riders in the
break again: Daniele Nardello (T-Mobile), Mathew Hayman and Thorwald Veneberg
(Rabobank), Niki Aebersold (Phonak), Allan Johansen (Team CSC), Angel Gomez
(Saunier Duval - Prodir), Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros-Würth), Kjell Carlström
(Liquigas - Bianchi), René Haselbacher and Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Daniele
Righi (Lampre - Caffita), Walter Beneteau (Bouygues Telecom), Pablo Lastras
On paper, Wegmann, Aebersold, Lastras, and Gomez
are probably the biggest chances for the stage win. Aebersold would love to
get one for Phonak, which has missed out so far in this tour.
16:33 CEST 133.2km/29km to go
The wind is now
from the left to the right, and Quick.Step has turned the screws a bit to make
life tough. They know how to do this to perfection. The peloton starts to split.
16:35 CEST 134.2km/28km to go
The race passes
an old amphitheatre in Martigny.
The break is looking a little ragged
as Righi skips a few turns. The gap is down to 6'32.
16:36 CEST 134.2km/28km to go
The leaders are
very watchful as they get close to the first time bonus of the day. The time
and points matter little, but there's also a few Swiss francs for first across
16:38 CEST 135.2km/27km to go
Hayman leads the
group up towards the sprint, then Barredo, Lastras, Veneberg, and Gomez do short
turns. Then Hayman accelerates to take the 300 euros.
16:40 CEST 136.2km/26km to go
The road will start
to climb in a few kilometres, but the final climb up to Verbier really starts
at 9 km to go. There is a Cat. 4 climb along the way too.
and Lastras took second and third in the sprint behind Hayman.
16:41 CEST 137.2km/25km to go
Voigt and Kroon
chat to each other at the rear of the peloton. They don't have too much work
to do today, although Voigt will probably try to help Schleck a bit.
Guido Trenti comes back from the Quick.Step car, laden with bidons. Gap is 6'26
and the pace has eased off a bit after that crosswind nastiness.
16:43 CEST 138.2km/24km to go
en masse at the front of the peloton as it passes through the sprint in Martigny.
The pace has eased, but the gap is down to 6'15. The breakaways would be suffering
now, and there is still a big climb to come.
16:46 CEST 139.2km/23km to go
start to climb now with 23 km to go, riding through the vineyards. The gap is
6'09, more than enough to stay clear. Lastras again gets a bidon from the team
16:48 CEST 141.2km/21km to go
the break! Let the games begin...
Veneberg has company from Lastras
and Haselbacher. The rest of the break come back.
16:50 CEST 142.2km/20km to go
the pace - he doesn't want any attacks just yet. The break resumes working,
then Angel Gomez attacks!
Gomez tanks and the rest come back.
Who'll go next? The gap is now 5'25 and falling quickly.
16:53 CEST 144.2km/18km to go
In the peloton,
it's just Sinkewitz and Moreni working for Rogers, who has Horner, McGee, and
Ullrich following. 4'53 - the gap is falling fairly quickly. But it should be
16:58 CEST 147.2km/15km to go
The break is hanging
together, still climbing but only gradually now. The gap is down two 4'45, so
it's no threat at all to Rogers (Lastras is the best placed at 10'10).
17:00 CEST 148.2km/14km to go
The leaders are
now on the Cat. 4 climb to Vollèges, which is short but sharp.
The peloton is still quite big, but
there is a long tail as riders hang onto the group.
on the climb, and Wegmann, Lastras, Gomez, and Beneteau chase him. Hayman is
17:03 CEST 149.2km/13km to go
A high altitude soccer game
Johansen is also dropped as Haselbacher leads the rest of the break behind the
lone Aebersold, who really wants this stage. He has about 6-7 seconds. He looks
back and Barredo and Righi and the rest come back to him. Oh well.
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
17:04 CEST 149.2km/13km to go
a small counter, then Gomez makes a much bigger one, nearly taking out Haselbacher
who moves to the right. Gomez is away on the flat. The peloton is now at 4'00
17:06 CEST 151.2km/11km to go
Saunier is now
working in the peloton, quite hard as a matter of fact. They want to put Jeker
in a good position to reclaim the 1'11 deficit he has on Rogers. Sinkewitz,
Rogers, Evans, McGee and Ullrich follow the Saunier boys.
has 3'29 on the peloton. He won't be overly pleased that his team is chasing
hard, but they are working for the greater good of the Team. Surely he can't
lose 3'29 in 11 km.
17:07 CEST 152.2km/10km to go
Veneberg is now
chasing Gomez alone, while the rest of the break try to work out what to do.
Sinkewitz leads the peloton over the climb at Vollèges, 3'36 back.
17:09 CEST 153.2km/9km to go
Gomez just before the final sprint of the day in Le Châble and takes the points/time/money.
Now it's all uphill.
The rest of the break is about 10
seconds behind Veneberg and Gomez, so they're still in with a shout.
The peloton is thinning out a bit, maybe 40-50 riders now. Moreni and Sinkewitz
are working with Rogers in third.
17:10 CEST 154.2km/8km to go
Veneberg and Gomez
are back with the break, which is being towed by Haselbacher, who took third
in that sprint. Wegmann is in last wheel.
Results of the Vollèges climb: 1.
Righi, 2. Barredo, and 3. Aebersold.
17:12 CEST 154.2km/8km to go
The gap has increased
again to 3'39 as Moreni sets a steady tempo in the peloton, which is also on
the final climb now.
Rogers looks fairly comfy in third
wheel, as Horner and Jeker mark him. Ullrich and McGee are just behind them.
17:14 CEST 155.2km/7km to go
This climb averages
7.7& for 7.7 km, with a maximum of 12%.
Gomez and Veneberg are dropped
as Barredo and Aebersold attack.
17:17 CEST 156.2km/6km to go
Now it's the break's
turn to figuratively explode.
Ahead we have Carlos Barredo (Liberty
Seguros-Würth), Pablo Lastras (Illes Balears), then Niki Aebersold (Phonak),
Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Daniele Righi (Lampre - Caffita), and Walter
Beneteau (Bouygues Telecom), then Daniele Nardello (T-Mobile), René Haselbacher
and Kjell Carlström (Liquigas - Bianchi),. then Angel Gomez (Saunier Duval -
Prodir), and Thorwald Veneberg (Rabobank), then Mathew Hayman (Rabobank), Allan
Johansen (Team CSC).
Subject to change at any moment, of course.
The peloton is now under 3'00 behind.
Jeker has vanished, and it's only
Horner from Saunier who can follow Sinkewitz and Rogers. The peloton is about
25 riders strong now. Ullrich is behind Horner, then Schleck, Guerini, Gil,
Aitor Gonzalez, Valjavec... McGee is a fair way down.
Jeker is going
backwards. He's off the back with Michael Barry. There goes his GC chances.
Laiseka lifts the tempo in the Rogers
group, which is now 20 riders strong. Voigt has just been dropped, as has Flores.
17:20 CEST 157.2km/5km to go
Laiseka and Aitor
Gonzalez ride ahead of Rogers, who still has Horner and Ullrich on his wheel.
Aitor attacks! No-one reacts.
They pass Hayman.
17:22 CEST 157.2km/5km to go
Aitor Gonzalez has
a nice lead as Rogers takes over in front. He's the only Quick.Step rider left,
but there's only 5 km to go.
In front of the race, Barredo, Lastras,
and Wegmann are together. Wegmann looks good.
Gonzalez now has 17 seconds on Rogers'
group. He needs to get 1'38 to take the yellow, but there's still tomorrow's
tough stage to come. Now Guerini and Ullrich are leading with Horner in third.
Rogers has lost a few positions.
17:24 CEST 158.2km/4km to go
Guerini goes at
a solid pace, shedding a few more riders.
The three leaders: Wegmann,
Lastras and Barredo, will fight it out of the stage win.
now 1'58 behind the front of the race and 30 seconds ahead of Rogers!
17:27 CEST 159.2km/3km to go
in front! Lastras and Wegmann get together and try to limit the damage.
Aitor G. is now 1'30 from the front riders! The Rogers group is at 2'02, so
Aitor has picked up 33 seconds. He passes Johansen, Carlstrom, Haselbacher...
Some names in the Rogers group: Rogers, Ullrich, Piepoli, Horner,Totschnig,
Evans, Guerini, McGee, Atienza, Valjavec, Gil.
17:29 CEST 159.2km/3km to go
Aitor might do it!
He is flying up to the leaders at 1'17 with 3 km to go.
group is now Rogers, Ullrich, Piepoli, Horner, Guerini, McGee, Atienza, and
Schleck. Now Gil attacks, and Rogers chases.
In front, Lastras has
now caught Barredo and gone past him. He's digging deep now! Barredo can't follow.
17:31 CEST 160.2km/2km to go
to gobble up the breakaways, passing Aebersold now. He has 1'06 to Lastras and
35 seconds to the Rogers group, which is now Rogers, Ullrich, Piepoli, Horner,
Guerini, and Atienza, and chasing Koldo Gil.
Lastras should stay
17:32 CEST 160.7km/1.5km to go
Lastras gets to
the top of the climb with 1.5 km to go. But that's only the points. The climb
gets harder now. Barredo follows at 10 seconds, then Wegmann.
17:33 CEST 161.2km/1km to go
not Horner is in the Rogers group of six.
Lastras is hammering towards
the finish, less than 1 km to go.
Aitor Gonzalez catches and drops
Beneteau, and has a good 50 seconds on the Rogers group, where McGee, Horner
and Gil have latched back on.
17:35 CEST 162.2km/0km to go
Lastras dies a thousand
virtual deaths on the way to the finish, but he hangs on to win the stage. Great
ride by the Spaniard!
Barredo takes second, then Wegmann
and Aitor come in right behind. Then Beneteau for fifth, then Righi.
Gil crosses for 7th at 1'17, then
Schleck at 1'21 for 8th with the Rogers group. That means Aitor Gonzalez has
moved up on GC by over a minute. He'll be up to fourth overall now. It'll all
happen in tomorrow's very tough final stage.
Thanks for following stage 8 with
us on Cyclingnews! We'll be back with what should be a great final stage tomorrow
in Ulrichen, from 15:00 CEST. Aitor G. looked great today, but can he do it
1 Pablo Lastras (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 4.09.09
2 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 0.16
3 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner
4 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0.19
5 Walter Beneteau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 0.56
6 Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 1.00
7 Koldo Gil Perez (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 1.17
8 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 1.21
9 Daniel Atienza (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone
10 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step
General classification after stage 7
1 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step 30.04.33
2 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.20
3 Bradley McGee (Aus) Française Des Jeux 0.22
4 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0.36
5 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 1.27
6 Koldo Gil Perez (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 1.38
7 Chris Horner (USA) Saunier Duval-Prodir 1.40
8 Beat Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner 2.32
9 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner 2.41
10 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Phonak Hearing Systems 3.12
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