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BMC’s Marcus Burghardt claimed his first major win of the season when he dominated the rain-hit fifth stage of the Tour of Switzerland Wednesday.
Fellow German Tony Martin, of HTC-Columbia, finished with the main peloton 46 seconds behind Burghardt to keep a hold of the race leader’s yellow jersey a day ahead of the race’s key mountain stage.
Former Ghent-Wevelgem winner Burghardt jumped into a breakaway that formed after 10km and with none of the five break members posing a threat to the race lead they were allowed a day of freedom in the rain.
With a little over 10km of the 172.5km stage remaining and the peloton getting steadily closer, Italian Angelo Furlan of Lampre and Spaniard Javier Aramendia of Euskaltel dropped off the back.
That allowed Burghardt, Martijn Maaskant of Garmin-Transitions and Daniel Oss of Liquigas to drive for the finish line unhindered and it wasBurghardt who prevailed at the finish line after attacking at the 1K kite.
Burghardt, whose early season has been compromised by an injury sustained at the Tour of California, said he had hand-picked the stage for a win.
“I had a look at the profile of the stage and I thought it would be perfect for a breakaway,” said the 26-year-old.
“I’m really happy. I fractured my elbow on stage 6 of the Tour of California and four days before the start of the Tour of Switzerland I wasn’t even sure I’d participate.”
Behind the leaders, Gerben Lowik was involved in an accident as the peloton rode through a village 40km from the finish. The Dutchman slid off the road and crashed into four children and an adult.
Lowik and the five spectators were taken to hospital although none of them are suffering from serious injury, according to organizers.
Thursday’s sixth stage is a 213 km ride from Meiringen and La Punt in the east of Switzerland and features the ascension of two hors categorie climbs — the Sustenpass and Albulapass — and one cat. one climb, the Oberalppass.
- 1. Marcus Burghardt (Ger), BMC 4:21:23
- 2. Martijn Maaskant (Ned), Garmin-Transitions, at 0:00:02
- 3. Daniel Oss (Ita), Liquigas-Doimo, at 0:00:04
- 4. Robbie McEwen (Aus), Katusha, at 0:00:47
- 5. Diego Ulissi (Ita), Lampre-Farnese Vini, at 0:00:47
- 1. Tony Martin (Ger), HTC-Columbia 18:57:47
- 2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Saxo Bank, at 0:00:01
- 3. Thomas Löfkvist (Swe), Sky Professional Cycling, at 0:00:09
- 4. Rigoberto Uran (Col), Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:00:10
- 5. Dries Devenyns (Bel), Quick Step, at 0:00:11