FINAL TIME TRIAL TO DECIDE TOUR OF SWITZERLAND
The Tour of Switzerland will be decided in Sunday’s 33.7km time trial around Bern after the final road stage failed to shake up the overall standings.
Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d’Epargne) still leads the nine-day race but five riders are within a minute of the talented Russian and could snatch overall victory.
Kim Kirchen (T-Mobile) is second at 24 seconds, Vladimir Karpets (Caisse d’Epargne) is third at 30 seconds, Matteo Carrara (Unibet.com) is fourth at 31 seconds, Frank Schleck (CSC) is fifth at 33 seconds and Damiano Cunego (Lampre) is sixth at 57 seconds.
“The race is going to be decided by a few seconds but I think either me and Vladimir Karpets have a great chance,” Efimkin said.
World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (CSC) is favourite to win the time trial on home roads as he prepares for the Tour de France prologue time trial in London.
URAN WINS STAGE WITH CHARGE
Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran (Unibet.com) won the eighth stage to Schwarzsee on Saturday with a powerful late attack. The 20 year-old jumped away from the main field five hundred metres from the finish to win by two seconds. Italy’s Cristian Moreni finished second, with Germany’s Andreas Kloden third, also at two seconds. It was Uran’s first victory of his two-year professional career.
“I’m very, very happy to have won the stage but I honestly didn’t expect it,” Uran said as team mates celebrated by spraying him water.
“I felt good on the slightly uphill finish and just decided to go for it in the final kilometre. I got a gap pretty quickly but I only knew I’d won when I looked back just before the finish line.”
Uran crossed himself and pointed to the sky as he crossed the finish line, dedicating the victory to his late father.
“This is my first victory and I want to dedicate to my father who I’m sure was watching me from above,” he said.
Britain’s Roger Hammond (T-Mobile) finished 100th on the stage, 12-24 behind Uran, after working hard to bring back the 11-rider break that characterised most of the stage.
1 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Unibet.com 3.28.51 (43.811 km/h)
2 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Cofidis, le Credit Par Telephone 0.02
3 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana
4 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner
5 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) Team Volksbank
6 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
7 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
8 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Bouygues Telecom
9 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
10 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Française Des Jeux
1 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne 29.24.01
2 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 0.24
3 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne 0.30
4 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Unibet.com 0.31
5 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 0.33
6 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 0.57
7 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.02
8 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir 2.03
9 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) Team Volksbank 2.04
10 José Angel Marchante (Spa) Saunier Duval 2.06