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Photo Gallery: A car-free Tour de Suisse with Gregg Bleakney
A local riding a Swiss National Bike Route trail near stage 6’s starting point in Tobel. Photo: Gregg Bleakney The Swiss National Bike Route is fully signed at every intersection. During stage 5, I had the good fortune of linking up for a spin with this local — in addition to proudly sporting the country’s most un-hip socks, he was also a former Bike Network volunteer trail manager. Photo: Gregg Bleakney Colombian race fans wait at the finish line of stage 6 for the arrival of their hero, Juan Mauricio Soler. Unfortunately, they soon learned that Soler would not complete to stage because of a terrible crash mid-stage — leaving him with a fractured skull and broken leg. Photo: Gregg Bleakney Swiss trains not only allows bicycles, each has a special bike parking zone for cyclists. These steeds are hanging in the Unesco World Heritage Train en route to Davos — the base of stage 7’s climb up 2383m Fluelapass. Photo: Gregg Bleakney Andy Schleck rides off the front of a successful escape group during a steep corkscrew section along the climb up 2383m Fluelapass. He nabbed the king of the mountains green jersey after his efforts during stage 7. Photo: Gregg Bleakney Tour de Suisse stage 9 – Fabian Cancellara just minutes before starting the ninth stage’s 32.1 km time trial around Schaffhausen to claim his second stage win after his opening time trial victory in Lugano. Photo: Gregg Bleakney Tour de Suisse stage 9 – Young Peter Sagan is quickly becoming a favorite among Europeans. Here, he waved off his coaches’ objections and allowed several fans behind the team’s security perimeter to sign autographs while he was warming up for the TT. Photo: Gregg Bleakney An exhausted Levi Leipheimer crosses the finish after stage 6’s 1,200-meter hilltop finish to the ski-resort town of Malbun. His second place finish on this stage bumped him up to GC fifth — 1:59 behind race leader Damiano Cunego. This day proved to be a critical one for Leipheimer, as he managed this sub-two-minute time gap until the race’s final TT in Schaffhausen. There, his spectacular TT landed him the overall GC victory by 4 seconds over Cunego. Photo: Gregg Bleakney Head down, up-and-coming American rider Tejay Van Garderen gasps for oxygen at the end of 6. He finished fourth in stage 5’s uphill sprint, won by Borut Bozic. He also finished second to Fabian Cancellara in the race’s prologue and has been tapped for the HTC Tour squad. Photo: Gregg Bleakney The 2,883-meter Fluelapass on stage 7 was spectacular. Photo: Gregg Bleakney Tour de Suisse stage 9 – Fabian Cancellara negotiating a 300-degree hairball turn, just 400 meters away from claiming his second TDS time trial victory. Photo: Gregg Bleakney Tejay Van Garderen and Tom Danielson just minutes away from starting stage 9’s TT. Photo: Gregg Bleakney Tour de Suisse stage 9 – Frank Schleck and Levi Leipheimer share a last-minute fist bump/handshake. Classy sportsmanship in the seconds before stage 9’s TT. Photo: Gregg Bleakney Defending champ Levi Leipheimer will wear the number one number plate. Photo: Gregg Bleakney Race leader Damiano Cunego in meditation just before stage 9’s TT start. His day would end in a heartbreak after losing the overall GC by just 4 seconds — the result of Leipheimer’s incredible TT effort. Photo: Gregg Bleakney Rabobank’s Steven Kruijswijk (finished third overall) prepares before the final TT. Photo: Gregg Bleakney
Stage 9. Another young gun to keep on the radar, Team RadioShack’s Nelson Oliveira (22, from Portugal), finished fourth, 25 seconds behind Cancellara. He said that he was using the day to tune up for his country’s national TT championship next month. Photo: Gregg Bleakney