Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

71st Tour de Suisse - PT

Switzerland, June 16-24, 2007

Main Page    Results & report      Stage Details      Previous Stage   Next Stage

Stage 6 - June 21: Giubiasco - Crans-Montana, 190.8km

Live commentary by Bjorn Haake and Gregor Brown

Live coverage starts: 15:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 18:15 CEST

Complete live report

15:21 CEST    95.8km/95km to go
Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the 71st Tour de Suisse.

A big storm had the riders scramble for shelter under trees and the hail even did some damage to team cars. The race jury therefore decided to interrupt the race and skip the 2,749 metre high Nufenenpass.

This may come to the relief of some riders and the dismay of others, but obviously the rider's health goes first.

The restart in Ulrichen, with 95 kilometres to the finish, will be momentarily.

15:24 CEST   
I've never experienced anything like that before. All of a sudden these huge hailstones were falling from the sky," said Gerolsteiner Directeur Sportif Reimund Dietzen. "Our team cars have several dents and some of the bike frames have been broken from the hail. Beat Zberg, Johannes Frohlinger, Markus Zberg and especially David Kopp, none of whom could get under cover quickly enough, have lumps on their arms and backs [from where they were hit by hailstones]. Some of the other teams' cars had their windshields broken. I saw one rider changing clothes and his back was covered with really big bumps."

15:39 CEST   
Well the start has been postponed twice again. As Reimund Dietzen indicated, some riders actually sustained injuries during the hail storm.

15:42 CEST   
This gives us some time to reflect on the race so far. Fabian Cancellara showed he's back on form and won the prologue in Olten. Oddly enough the Swiss didn't officially call it a prologue but stage one instead. This is unusual for a race only 3.8 kilometres long.

15:44 CEST   
Cancellara defended his jersey by sprinting ahead of specialists like Robbie McEwen to take third place on stage two.

15:45 CEST   
Then it was Frank Schleck from Luxembourg who took the lead, keeping CSC on top of the GC.

15:46 CEST   
Now the race has finally started.

15:49 CEST   
When the hail hit many riders were able to find shelter in someone's garage. The bikes had to stay outside, though. Still, getting there was an ordeal and some riders are bleeding.

15:50 CEST   
The field is all together at the moment.

15:55 CEST   
As the storm stopped the riders came out of the shelter and they gingerly rode across the icy surface. Then many discussions started and eventually it was decided to start the race after the pass, in Ulrichen.

The second start then was at 15:35

15:58 CEST    110.8km/80km to go
CSC is leading the chase of an escape of two. Pena and a rider from Volksbank.

15:59 CEST    113.8km/77km to go
The gap is now 25". We are racing under sunny skies. It is really beautiful here.

16:03 CEST   
The two in the front are continuing to increase their lead, which is now 35".

The two must be motivated by the sunny weather, which a few hours ago never appeared to be an option for the remainder of the day.

16:06 CEST    117.8km/73km to go
And the next time gap is 43".

The German Weissinger is riding for the Austria-based Volksbank team which made the headlines earlier this year when they announced they had hired Jan Ullrich. Eventually the contract got canceled due to the continuing alleged Fuentes connections of the former Tour winner.

16:08 CEST    120.8km/70km to go
The riders are heading down a descent with many switchbacks. They can now enjoy the view of the very pretty country side - they are riding next to a pretty creek.

The two in the front have less time to enjoy this scenery, but as a reward their lead has climbed to 50"

16:10 CEST    123.8km/67km to go
CSC is on the front with their yellow boy, Fränk Schleck, safely attached behind them near the front of the peloton.

16:11 CEST    123.8km/67km to go
There has been a crash in the peloton. A Saunier Duval rider is quick to get up again, but the Lampre man is lying on his back, not looking too good.

16:13 CEST   
The lead has climbed over the minute mark. It is currently 1'12.

16:17 CEST    130.8km/60km to go
The peloton is riding through the Rhône valley, heading towards the skiing area of Crans Montana.

The lead is sky-rocketing, CSC-permitting. It is now at two minutes.

16:20 CEST   
The streets are now dry, the street surface in perfect condition as they ride on the main road through the towns and the scenery is pretty. No wonder CSC is enjoying the calm day on the front, letting the gap go up to 2'30.

16:21 CEST   
Weissinger and Peña are going so fast they have trouble with a sharp, narrow right-hand bend. They are heading down into a tunnel.

16:25 CEST   
The Lampre rider who crashed was Paolo Tiralongo. He looks seriously injured and is strapped onto the stretcher and taken away by the ambulance. We hope it is not too serious. We will try to find out about Tiralongo's condition as soon as possible. Check the race report after the race.

16:26 CEST    134.8km/56km to go
The peloton is strung out now. CSC is increasing the pressure, which means the lead is currently not going up anymore. It is at 2'50".

16:29 CEST    137.8km/53km to go
Juan José Cobo is at the Saunier team car and gets some help with his radio system.

16:36 CEST    142.8km/48km to go
The two in front have currently a lead of 2'59". So the field lets them dangle in the front.

The main climb of the day has been cancelled, but still the riders face an uphill finish to Crans Montana at 1,452 metres.

16:39 CEST   
The front group has already passed the sprint where Weissinger was ahead of Peña. Stalder, a teammate of Weissinger from the Volksbank squad, is getting third place.

16:42 CEST    146.8km/44km to go
The lead is coming down now. It is currently 2'41

16:43 CEST   
Fabian Cancellara went from yellow jersey to team helper, and he is doing his job well. Stuart O'Grady also looks comfortable in the CSC lineup on the front.

16:47 CEST   
On one side of the valley a narrow, unpaved road - or should we call it a path - is winding up its way. Good thing that the days of racing on unpaved roads are mostly over.

Instead the two riders in the front are heading west on the main, tree-lined road.

16:50 CEST    149.8km/41km to go
Bennati is talking into his radio. He is wearing the points' jersey, which is a red jersey with black dots and would be considered a mountain leader jersey in most other races.

Instead the mountain's leader jersey is pinkish, not to be confused with the Maglia Rosa that the lead in the Giro d'Italia is wearing.

16:52 CEST   
The lead has come down to 2'09. This happens when stars like Stuart O'Grady and Fabian Cancellara are domestiques for their team.

16:56 CEST    153.8km/37km to go
Fumiyuki Beppu of Discovery Channel is wearing the jersey of the national champion of Japan.

The lead is down to 1'52 now.

The very long straight road is not the breakaway's friend. Once the field can see the guys in front it is often over.

16:58 CEST    156.8km/34km to go
John Gadret (Ag2r), who was placed 14th overall before today's stage, has abandoned the race. He has had knee problems the last few days and the weather today probably didn't help.

17:03 CEST    158.8km/32km to go
The two in the front work well together. Victor Hugo Peña rode for US Postal from 2001 to 2004 and helped Lance Armstrong to secure some of his Tour victories.

Riding through the valley they face a headwind. This helps the field to cut down the lead to 1'38

17:04 CEST   
Oscar Freire is riding is at the back of the peloton. The three-time World Champion must be thinking of training kilometres and the Tour de France. Today's mountain top arrival will not suit his style.

17:07 CEST    161.8km/29km to go
Peña is now riding for Unibet, a company that takes sports bet, such as outcomes of soccer games or if their own squad is even be able to take part on certain races. Chances are that if the race is in France they will not, due to the French gambling laws.

But it's more of a political issue as the team has tried to race in neutral colours (with a question mark across their chest) or with Canyon, their co-sponsor.

AG2R's climbing specialist John Gadret.
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
(Click for larger image)

17:10 CEST   
To find out more about John Gadret, who abandoned the race earlier, read this article today's news.



17:16 CEST   
Rabobank reports that Freire is suffering from injuries from a crash last Sunday, and he supposedly went to the hospital last night to get checked out.

17:18 CEST    168.8km/22km to go
In a few kilometres the last sprint of the day will be coming up.

The Unibet and Volksbank rider will definitely reach it before the field. Their lead is going back, it is now 1'55

17:20 CEST   
Last kilometre before the sprint.

Oscar Freire is riding at the back of the peloton, which has to go through a construction zone.

17:23 CEST    170.8km/20km to go
Weissinger is riding on the front and checks back with Peña, but the Unibet rider does not seem to be interested in the points. So Weissinger gets to take the second sprint as well.

17:23 CEST   
Damiano Cunego noted before the start, "it will be an explosive finish that will suit the attackers." This could be why we see the Amstel Gold winner, Schumacher, moving up in the peloton.

17:24 CEST   
Behind it is again Florian Stalder of Switzerland who takes the third spot.

17:26 CEST    173.8km/17km to go
Going closer towards the final obstacle of the day the lead has now diminished again and it just over a minute.

17:27 CEST   
Stalder is leading the sprint's jersey, which is why he was sprinting for the points.

17:29 CEST   
The field is riding between the Rhône river on the left and the vineyards on the right, occasionally vanishing into a tunnel.

17:30 CEST    176.8km/14km to go
With 14 kilometres the go the two breakaway riders have been caught. It really went very quickly in the end.

17:31 CEST   
CSC is now really pushing the pace. They don't want to have to control any counter attacks. The best way to prevent is to keep the pace high enough that no one can attack.

17:32 CEST    177.8km/13km to go
A left hand bend and we are on the final climb of the day, 11,300 metres long!

17:33 CEST   
The peloton breaks into tow immediately. Guess where the sprinters are.

The "autobus" is forming.

17:35 CEST    178.8km/12km to go
Schleck is currently only helped by Cancellara. Astana is on their heels.

17:37 CEST    179.8km/11km to go
Sastre is coming back up rapidly, though and helps out.

17:38 CEST   
Andreas Klöden is sitting right behind Schleck.

17:40 CEST    180.8km/10km to go
Cancellara has done a tremendous amount of work and is now dropping back. Carlos Sastre is taking over as the pacemaker for CSC.

17:41 CEST   
Stijn Devolder of Discovery Channel attacks with 10km to go! A Caisse d'Epargne rider goes with him

17:42 CEST    181.8km/9km to go
They come around a switchback and they have about 100 metres.

17:42 CEST   
David López García is the rider for Caisse d'Epargne.

17:43 CEST   
Devolder is 9th in GC, 2'03" back.

17:44 CEST   
The two ride past a reservoir and have a 6" lead.

17:44 CEST    182.8km/8km to go
They pass the 8 kilometre to go sign.

López García drops Devolder!

17:46 CEST   
The group behind is down to maybe 25.

The Austrian Gerrit Glomser attacks and passes Devolder.

17:46 CEST   
Glomser rides for Volksbank who had a good day so far. He is about 100 metres behind López García

17:47 CEST   
Devolder is still ahead of the field but he has given up.

Now he is passed.

17:49 CEST   
Glomser goes out of the saddle and makes a strong effort to reach the Caisse d'Epargne in the front. He has reached the Spaniard!

17:50 CEST    183.8km/7km to go
It is seven kilometres to go. The duo has a lead of 20 seconds.

17:51 CEST   
Sastre us still riding on the front of the field, keeping Schleck out of the wind and out of trouble.

17:51 CEST   
Saunier's magical duo Simoni and Piepoli are moving to the fore beside Cunego.

17:52 CEST   
The front group has entered the town of Lens with 25 km/h!

17:53 CEST   
After the town a horse has entered the race!!!

17:54 CEST   
But it was quickly disqualified for short cutting the rest of the race and the course marshal guided the horse into some other street. Phew.

17:55 CEST    185.8km/5km to go
The lead is now down to eleven seconds. Glomser accelerates, but López García can catch up.

Schleck is running out of horse power.

17:56 CEST   
He had dropped back to the centre of the group earlier, but is now dropped and loosing ground.

Simoni has attacked and joined the front in a hurry!

17:57 CEST    186.8km/4km to go
Sastre is with Schleck, but that is all of a sudden not looking good for CSC.

17:58 CEST   
The trio in the front has 7 seconds over the main group.

Schleck is a further 19 seconds down.

Cunego powers up with Marchante on his wheel!

17:58 CEST   
Cunego attacks!

He is followed by Marchante.

17:59 CEST    187.8km/3km to go
Schleck is now 45 seconds back and loosing ground all the time.

18:01 CEST   
Cunego is trying to drop José Angel Gomez Marchante of Saunier Duval-Prodir.

18:03 CEST    188.8km/2km to go
Eight guys are now in the front.

18:04 CEST   
They have passed the mountain points.

18:05 CEST    189.8km/1km to go
Thomas Dekker got the mountain points. He is on the last kilometre

18:05 CEST   
And Dekker wins it!

18:06 CEST   
Gerrit Glomser gets second and Gilberto Simoni third.

18:09 CEST   
Schleck has come to the finish 1'20 back.

He likely lost the yellow jersey to Efimkin (Caisse)

18:12 CEST   
Thanks for joining Cyclingnews at our live coverage from the Tour de Suisse. Despite the cut of the main climb of the day due to weather this was exciting finish. Check out the full report and results later on the website.

See you tomorrow.

Provisional Results

1 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank
2 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) Volksbank
3 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
4 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
5 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
6 José Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir
7 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
8 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Unibet.com
General classification after stage 6
1 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne ????



Back to top