Lampre NCG and Cerv?lo TestTeam recap on their team and rider performance during Stage 5 and 5 of the Tour de Suiss.
Cerv?lo TestTeam: Tour de Suisse Stage 5: St?fa – Serfaus / Ster Elektrotoer – Prologue
Michael Albasini (Columbia-Highroad) bested Swiss compatriot Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) in a two man sprint on the Serfaus climb to win Stage 5 in today’s Tour de Suisse. Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) finished just behind the duo in third position.
"The peloton started quite slowly today, though a Swiss rider (Pascal Hungerb?hler) attacked soon after the start and was in the lead until we passed the Arlberg mountain," said Sports Director, Marcello Albasini. "At his best he had more than a 10 minute advantage. But at the beginning of the uphill to the Arlberg, Team AG2R worked ahead of the peloton to bring Hungerb?hler back. After the mountain, when they caught him, the attacks started. Cerv?lo TestTeam with Cuesta, Wyss, Haussler and Florencio did a great job working ahead of the peloton to put Marchante into a good position for the last climb to Serfaus. About 10 km ahead of the finish, the final climb started and the group was built. Marchante who was now in a good position and was able to follow until about three quarters of the way up the mountain then, unfortunately he had a cramp and could no longer follow the lead group. He finished the race in 47th position in the third group together with Florencio. Tomorrow we are back in Switzerland with a stage from Oberiet to Zurzach where we will again do our best ."
Cunego’s Strong Rides Earns Him Third in Stage 5
Damiano Cunego had a strong ride in the 5th stage of Tour de Suisse, 202 km from Stafa to Serfaus. Lampre-NGC’s captain obtained the third place behind the winner Albasini and Cancellara.
After some breakaways that characterized the first part of the stage, the battle for the victory bagan at 10 km to go, at the base of the last climb: some attacks selected a little group of 12 athletes with Cunego in it.
No one of these cyclists could escape until, close to the arrival, Albasini and Cancellara took an advantage and could preceed the other athletes: victory for Albasini, Cancellara 2nd and Cunego third just behind them.
In the overall standing, led by Valjavec, Cunego is 10th at 1’02". Gasparotto is the new leader of the intermediate sprint classification.
"Damiano performance has been good – sport director Copeland said – We’re happy because today he showed a good fit that could be useful for the next stages too".
Cunego too is satisfied: "The stage was tough, but I was in the head of the race battling for the victory: this is very important. I’m sorry for the missed win, but they surprised me for one second. I’ll try again in the next stages".
Stage 4 – Gavazzi Joined the Break Away
Francesco Gavazzi seemed to like the Swiss streets since today, in the 4th stage fo Tour de Suisse (Biasca-Stafa, 195 km) he joined a 26 men breakaway that started in the first part of the race.
The attempt obtained a good advantage on the bunch, but on the Sattelegg climb some riders and Gavazzi too lost contact from other 9 riders that took the head of the race and then battled for the victory (Breschel on Iglinsky) and for the classification leadership (Valjavec new leader).
Gavazzi then reached the arrival in the bunch (51st at 1’04"), while Tiralongo was the best for Lampre-NGC (29th).
"What a pity for Gavazzi, who was having good feelings but suffered on the last climb, losing his high chances of victory – Lampre-NGC’s sport director Copeland said – I saw a calm Cunego, who will test his fit in tomorrow stage, and a good Ballan, who is pedalling better and better".
Cerv?lo TestTeam: Tour de Suisse Stage 4: Biasca – St?fa
The Tour de Suisse today traveled from Biasca to Stafa, and included an HC climb over the Gothard Pass. The stage was dominated by a large break of 27 riders, but only 9 riders from the break survived to the finish. Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) took the stage win, but today’s third-place finisher Tadej Valjavec (Ag2r-La Mondiale) was the big winner, taking over the yellow jersey.
"Early in the race we had a breakaway of 27 riders including Heinrich Haussler," said Sports Director Marcello Albasini. "After the Gothard Pass, they had a 3 minute gap and Rabobank started the chase in the peloton because they missed the breakaway. Then, on the last climb of the day with 50 km to go, the breakaway split in two parts and Heinrich was unfortunately in the second group. In the front group were 9 riders who managed to stay away to the finish where Brechsel from Saxo Bank took the stage victory. Because of the split in the break, we decided to help Rabobank to try to bring the peloton closer to the breakaway groups, but ultimately, there was a large time gap at the finish. It was not the best day and we lost some time with our GC riders. We thought that we were in a good position with Heinrich in the breakaway, but unfortunately he didn’t make it today."