71st Tour de Suisse - PT
Switzerland, June 16-24, 2007
Results & report
Stage 7 - June 22: Ulrichen - Grimselpass, 125.7km
Live commentary by Bjorn Haake and Gregor Brown
Live coverage starts: 15:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:45 CEST
Complete live report
15:12 CEST 53.7km/72km to go
Gruezi and welcome
to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the Queen stage of this year's Tour
de Suisse. No less than three mountain tops higher than 2,000 metres have to
be conquered today. The first two, the Furkapass and the Sustenpass are rated
HC (hors catégorie) for the most difficult climb. The last one, the Grimselpass
is "only" a category one climb, but is also over 2,000 metres high. The climb
is 25 kilometres long, so a little less steep, which is why it is not rated
In fact there are even sprint points to bed obtained on the last
climb! Only in the Tour of Switzerland will you have a stage that is less than
4 kilometres long and sprint points on a 25-kilometre climb!
McEwen, the sprinter from Australia, and Oscar Freire, all-rounder from Spain,
have decided to forfeit the sprint points today and packed their suitcases.
Along with them the T-Mobile riders Guiseppe Guerini, Andreas Klier and Michael
Rogers are heading home early, as is Cofidis rider Tristan Valentin.
15:34 CEST 57.7km/68km to go
The riders are passing
the feed zone in Meien. This is always a tricky part of the race, as riders
have to make sure to get their bags with food from the soigneurs waiting on
the side of the road.
Once they load their back pockets they discard
the cloth bags (popular souvenirs for the spectators), which sometimes can blow
into someone else's spokes and cause a crash.
But this time everything
went smoothly as the riders are chewing along.
15:36 CEST 58.7km/67km to go
Marcus Zberg, who
was dangling between the front group and the peloton has managed to reach the
ten others that are ahead by 4'38 over the peloton.
15:43 CEST 58.7km/67km to go
The riders are now
about half way up the second climb of the day, the Sustenpass.
riders in the main field, among others Hubert Schwab (Quickstep-Innergetic),
have trouble following the pace.
The main topic of the peloton's talk
was the hail storm from yesterday. Nobody had ever seen anything like that,
with the hail having the size of a golf or even tennis ball (depending on who
Most riders found shelter in garages,
but the less lucky, who were on the attack (that'll teach you a lesson to attack
at kilometre one) were out in the open. Some riders actually went into dog houses!
You can read more details in the
in Switzerland news article.
15:54 CEST 68.7km/57km to go
The peloton has
reduced the gap slightly to 4'15. Andreas Klöden is over six minutes behind
in the overall, so current leader Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d'Epargne) is not
too worried for the moment.
Chris Horner is in the front group.
He is just putting on his rain jacket.
Caisse d'Epargne is on the front
of the main field, making the pace and sharing a bottle with each other.
15:58 CEST 69.7km/56km to go
The lead has dropped
below the four minute mark. More riders in the break have put on their rain
jackets. It is not as bad as yesterday, but certainly not fun to going downhill
after heaving sweated up the mountain.
The riders can see the snow covered
mountain tops all around them. They are vanishing into a tunnel, which fortunately
16:03 CEST 70.7km/55km to go
The front group
has passed the mountain top. They get there in the following order:
1. Daniel Navarro
2. Vladimir Gusev
3. Marzio Bruseghin
5. Andreas Klöden
The field has now passed the top
as well. They are descending down into the valley. The are riding in a long
line while taking one switchback after the other.
It is lush and
green and a great place to take a break and enjoy the view - if you are on a
16:06 CEST 76.7km/49km to go
The riders are passing
an area of a recent rock slide. The clean up work is still going on.
There are quite a few tunnels to
ride through. The one they are passing now is underneath a waterfall. Stunning
The gap has not changed much since
the downhill has started. It is now 4'01.
It is always easier for
a small group to go down the hill where it is easier to pick a good line.
The main field is moving down at
70km/h - no pedalling required.
There is a steep drop on one side
of the road. The riders are now reaching a tree covered area. There are some
patches of fog hanging around.
16:13 CEST 84.7km/41km to go
The lead of the
front group, which contains American Chris Horner, is at 4'18.
are using the downhill to their advantage and increase the lead.
Beat Zberg and Matthew White are
off the front from the main field as they pass the town of Gadmen, which is
guarded by the army on the left and right of the road.
Martin Elmiger (Ag2r Prévoyance)
is hammering on the front here. What a beautiful style he has on these wet roads.
His fore-arms are resting on the tops of the handlebars... Scanning up to his
jersey we notice the Swiss bands of a former national champion. Pay attention,
this is how to ride a bike.
He 20" on the chasers.
Vladimir Efimkin has put on a vest.
His yellow jersey is hardly visible.
16:22 CEST 94.7km/31km to go
The group containing
Chris Horner is chasing Elmiger. They are eight in this group and are about
The main field has now dropped back
further and is at 5'13.
Caisse d'Epargne is leading the field.
They are going into the corners carefully as the road is slightly wet.
16:26 CEST 98.7km/27km to go
Elmiger is at the
end of the descent, taking the left hand turn at full speed.
at the intermediate sprint.
Gusev and Beat Zberg are 31 seconds
The rest of the group including Klöden
and Horner are at 1'11.
It is actually Beat Zberg, not his
brother Marcus, who is in the front. They both ride for Gerolsteiner.
Elmiger is now in the tough spot
of being by himself through the valley. He is still 30 seconds ahead of the
duo behind and 1'15 over the group of eight.
The peloton is at 5'30.
It has started to rain. Zberg and
Gusev are now closing in on the front rider.
16:31 CEST 102.7km/23km to go
passes Elmiger and gaps Zberg. But he can catch back up and Elmiger also gets
on their wheel.
Gusev's jersey is unzipped and wide
open. A Russian will think any temperature above freezing is summer time weather.
16:36 CEST 103.7km/22km to go
Gusev attacks at
the beginning of the final climb! It is 22 kilometres to go.
Horner is looking good in the group
behind, but can they catch the front?
The Zberg brothers are both in the
front groups, but Marcus has now been dropped.
16:40 CEST 105.7km/20km to go
Gusev of Discovery
Channel is riding along on the front, looking good. The team car comes up to
give last minute advice. Or maybe just a bit of draft.
Gusev adjust his helmets, then goes
out of the saddle for a steeper section of the climb. He is now entering one
of the gazillion tunnels.
And about half a minute later it
is Beat Zberg who goes into the dark.
Then Elmiger, who has paid for his
The group with Horner is further
back and is now dropping Halgand.
16:45 CEST 107.7km/18km to go
Gusev has just
won the "sprint"! It is 18 more kilometres.
He is riding through more construction
area. The storms definitely leave a lot of damage behind.
The Horner group is 2 minutes behind
Halgand is at 2'22
Beat Zberg got second at the sprint
points and Steve Zampieri (Cofidis) third.
The gap between Zberg and Gusev is
In the peloton it is still Caisse
d'Epargne on the front. For a little while a Rabobank rider was pulling until
someone told him they don't have anybody up in GC.
16:51 CEST 110.7km/15km to go
The field has now
reached the sprint. They are 6 minutes back. Efimkin has taken off the vest
and again displays his yellow jersey.
Other riders are also taking off
their rain jackets.
16:53 CEST 111.7km/14km to go
Chris Horner attacks!
An update on T-Mobile, who now only
has five riders in the race: Italian climber Giuseppe Guerini is suffering from
stomach problems. Rogers, the team's hope for the Tour de France, is having
knee problems and is going home for physical therapy.
"I am certain
that the problem will pass soon so that I can make a quick return to intensive
training," he said. His home is in Switzerland.
The American decided that he didn't
get enough help from the break, which contains two Astana riders and went.
It is now Gusev by himself, ahead
of Zberg. The Horner, who is trying to catch the Swiss guy.
Then a group
of four with Klöden, Zampieri, Bruseghin, Navarro
Horner reaches Zberg!
Laurens Ten Dam and Marcus Zberg
have now been caught by the field.
17:00 CEST 113.7km/12km to go
The field is now
going through the tunnel that the front guys passed several minutes earlier.
Horner has now left Zberg behind!
The American is on fire.
Oscar Sevilla has won in France.
The Spaniard took the second stage of the Route du Sud over Giunti of team Miche.
But he still is 1'48 behind Gusev,
who is riding strongly up the final climb of the day. The climb is not too steep,
good for a power rider. If Gusev doesn't crack it'll be tough for the US rider
to catch up.
17:04 CEST 114.7km/11km to go
And Gusev is looking
good. His jersey wide open, he even looks a bit at the mountains around him.
And is passing another tunnel - no, they guide them around the right onto a
very, very narrow road.
This must be the old road to the
top. Horner is just now reaching the turnoff, at 1'52"
The peloton is still on the main
road, over six minutes behind.
Klöden and Navarro have left
the other two and caught up with Zberg. So this trio is now behind Horner and
Gusev, who is still a couple of minutes ahead of the American.
Horner, riding along in second, must
be overwhelmed by this mountain. The road seems to be cut out of the vertical
face of the mountain, which is all grey and green. The colours are very crisp
and clean here in Suisse.
The American has about a four-metre wide
road, which is plenty for climbing.
17:10 CEST 116.7km/9km to go
Gusev is still looking
good. He grabs the handle bars on the top and storms uphill, occasionally going
out of the saddle to get more power and to stretch a bit.
17:11 CEST 117.7km/8km to go
Gusev is riding
towards a big dam. He passes the eight-kilometre mark.
Horner is riding up - we will see
shortly how far he is behind.
The main field has shrunk in size.
They are also on the narrower road now.
The average gradient is 6%, with
a maximum of 12%. The climb is 23 kilometres long.
Gusev is now on top of the dam, riding
next to the lake.
Gusev is passing the six kilometres
to go sign. There is currently no info on how far Horner is back. But he is
still well ahead of the trio behind.
Yesterday's winner Thomas Dekker
is safely placed in the main field.
17:18 CEST 119.7km/6km to go
Chris Horner is
reported to be 1'35 back. So he gained a good 15 seconds since they entered
the small road, with about 10km to go.
This is not coming down quick enough
for Horner to still catch Gusev.
Zampieri grimaces. The climb is really
The field is also close on Zampieri's
back. Another reason to not look happy.
Efimkin still has four teammates
around him. This is looking good as nobody has tried to attack yet.
17:21 CEST 121.7km/4km to go
Gusev passes the
4km to go sign. He is still going strong.
The main field is now riding around
the lake. Caisse d'Epargne keeps the pace up high so nobody will attack their
17:23 CEST 122.7km/3km to go
Gusev is now at
the three kilometres to go sign. He is zipping up his jersey. Is he getting
Oh, he actually fiddled with it for
some other reason. It is still flying full swing in the wind.
There are already some barriers.
They weren't needed at there aren't many spectators at this point. It is too
cold. But at least the sponsors can get a word in.
Glomser has attacked out of the main
He finished second yesterday, but
left it too late today. He can get 6th at best, which still would be great for
17:27 CEST 123.7km/2km to go
Gusev is less than
2 km from a stage win.
Glomser is labouring hard to stay
ahead of the field. He has 12 seconds right now
Gusev is now entering the foggy area.
Cars are parked on the left. He is 250m from the GPM (Grand Prix de la Montagne).
Devolder also left the main field
and has caught up with Glomser.
Gusev passes the flamme rouge - one
Not much news on Horner, who should
be coming in second.
17:31 CEST 124.7km/1km to go
Efimkin in the field
has the overall under control.
Gusev can't see the finish, it is
Glomser and Devolder won't stay away.
The field is almost there.
Gusev enters the last 100 metres.
He raises his arms and rolls across
A great victory for Discovery Channel.
Gusev enters the tent where he can
relax before the doping control and the ceremony.
Cunego tries to attack!
But Kirchen is on him.
Horner is hard to see as he crosses
the foggy finish line. He is 2 minute behind, but second is awesome!
Klöden gets third before Bruseghin.
Zberg comes in a few seconds later.
Last minute attack by Cunego! 400m
Kirchen has gapped the others and
Cunego could not drop Efimkin to
gain some time in the overall.
Kirchen may have moved up a few spots
in the overall.
Gusev actually crashed right after
the line. As helpers tried to stop him he locked up his front wheel and went
face first over the bars. But he is not hurt.
Kirchen moved up into second overall
with his last minute attack!
The reigning champion of Luxembourg
is some 20" behind Efimkin.
It is close and there should be some
more interesting racing this weekend. Hope you join us again at around 15:30
tomorrow here at Cyclingnews
1 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel
2 Chris Horner (USA) Predictor-Lotto
3 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana
4 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
5 Beat Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner
6 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile
7 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
8 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
9 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
General classification after stage 7
1 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
2 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile
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