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Cavendish takes another at Swiss Tour

Mark Cavendish earned his second stage win at the Tour of Switzerland on Thursday, the 178 kilometer sixth stage from Oberriet to Bad Zurzach. The 24-year-old Columbia-Highroad rider – winner of four stages in last year's Tour de France – won in a sprint finish ahead of Spain's three-time world road race champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank). Cavendish had already won Monday's stage from Davos to Lumino. "It may have appeared easy but it wasn't that evident to me," said Cavendish. "We had to cope with a second category climb eaarly in the stage and then a strong headwind."

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By Agence France Presse

Tour de Suisse - Stage 6: Cav' makes it two.

Tour de Suisse – Stage 6: Cav’ makes it two.

Photo: Graham Watson

Mark Cavendish earned his second stage win at the Tour of Switzerland on Thursday, the 178 kilometer sixth stage from Oberriet to Bad Zurzach.

The 24-year-old Columbia-Highroad rider – winner of four stages in last year’s Tour de France – won in a sprint finish ahead of Spain’s three-time world road race champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank).

Cavendish had already won Monday’s stage from Davos to Lumino.

“It may have appeared easy but it wasn’t that evident to me,” said Cavendish. “We had to cope with a second category climb eaarly in the stage and then a strong headwind.”

Since only two teams (Columbia and Saxo Bank) have thus far contested the finishes, the climaxes to the stages have become nervy affairs.

“I owe a lot to my teammate George Hincapie who saved me today,” Cavendish said. “I am here to prepare for the Tour de France. There is no better exercise than to climb the mountains in order to achieve full competitive fitness. Therefore I will stay and fight it out to the end of the race.”

Tour de Suisse - Stage 6: It's spring. It's Switzerland. Try to top that.

Tour de Suisse – Stage 6: It’s spring. It’s Switzerland. Try to top that.

Photo: Graham Watson

The last-moment charge towards the finish was launched by Thor Hushovd of the Cervélo team but the Norwegian was overhauled by his rivals. Third on the day was Italian Francesco Gavazzi of Lampre.

Slovenia’s Tadej Valjavec (AG2R) retained the overall lead in what is the last major cycling event before the Tour de France starts on July 4.

Swiss favorite and twice world time-trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Saxo-Bank), second overall, reduced the margin behind Valjavec to just nine seconds, setting him up for the Sunday’s final day time trial in the Swiss capital, Berne.

On Friday the racers embark on a 204km ride from Bad Zurzach to Vallorbe.

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Results

  • 1. Mark Cavendish (GB), Columbia-Highroad, 178km in 4h18:26 (41.326 kph), h,
  • 2. Oscar Freire (ESP), Rabobank, s.t.
  • 3. Francesco Gavazzi (ITA), Lampre, s.t.
  • 4. Thor Hushovd (NOR), Cervelo TestTeam, s.t.
  • 5. Jurgen Roelandts (BEL), Silence-Lotto, s.t.
  • 6. Matti Breschel (DEN), Saxo Bank, s.t.
  • 7. Koldo Fernandez (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
  • 8. Gerald Ciolek (GER), Milram, s.t.
  • 9. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
  • 10. Wouter Weylandt (BEL), Quick Step, s.t.
  • 11. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA), Cofidis, s.t.
  • 12. Chris Sutton (AUS), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
  • 13. Davide Vigano (ITA), FUJ, s.t.
  • 14. Sebastian Siedler (GER), Vorarlberg – Corratec, s.t.
  • 15. Maxim Iglinskiy (KAZ), Astana, s.t.
  • 16. Andreas Klöden (GER), Astana, s.t.
  • 17. Steve Chainel (FRA), BBox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
  • 18. Said Haddou (FRA), BBox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
  • 19. Yauheni Hutarovich (BLR), Francaise des Jeux, s.t.
  • 20. Herve Duclos-Lassalle (FRA), Cofidis, s.t.

Overall

  • 1. Tadej Valjavec (Slo), Ag2r La Mondiale, 23:10:27
  • 2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Saxo Bank, at 0:09
  • 3. Olivier Zaugg (Swi), Liquigas, at 0:14
  • 4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze), Liquigas, at 0:42
  • 5. Andreas Klöden (Ger), Astana, at 0:45
  • 6. Tony Martin (Ger), Columbia-Highroad, at 0:54
  • 7. Maxime Monfort (Bel), Columbia-Highroad, at 0:55
  • 8. Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe), Saxo Bank, at 0:56
  • 9 .Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Katusha, at 1:01
  • 10. Rein Taaramae (Est), Cofidis, at 1:02
  • 11. Damiano Cunego (Ita), Lampre, at 1:02
  • 12. Michael Albasini (Swi), Columbia-Highroad, at 1:05
  • 13. Andy Schleck (Lux), Saxo Bank, at 1:07
  • 14. Frank Schleck (Lux), Saxo Bank, at 1:08
  • 15. Kim Kirchen (Lux), Columbia-Highroad, at 1:24
  • 16. Robert Kiserlovsky (Cro), Fuji-Servetto, at 1:39
  • 17. George Hincapie (USA), Columbia-Highroad, at 1:52
  • 18. Chris Anker Sörensen (Den), Saxo Bank, at 1:56
  • 19. Peter Velits (Svk), Milram, at 2:02
  • 20. Thomas Rohregger (Aut), Milram, at 2:04