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Gonzalez attacks, wins Tour of Switzerland

It was an aggressive Aitor Gonzalez (Euskaltel – Euskadi) who took the overall title of the 69th edition of the Tour de Suisse. Showing the same willingness to attack – and to gamble – he displayed Saturday, Gonzalez won the ninth and final stage on Sunday by 45 seconds, more than the 36 seconds he needed to surpass Michael Rogers (QuickStep) in the general classification. “In the first climb I wasn’t sure of my legs, but I was confident after that,” said Gonzalez. “I crossed the line and I thought it was great to have won the stage, but that I could only hope to win the whole tour.” Second

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By Nate Vinton, VeloNews staff writer

Gonzalez takes the overall because of an attack on the final climb of the final day

Gonzalez takes the overall because of an attack on the final climb of the final day

Photo: AFP

It was an aggressive Aitor Gonzalez (Euskaltel – Euskadi) who took the overall title of the 69th edition of the Tour de Suisse. Showing the same willingness to attack – and to gamble – he displayed Saturday, Gonzalez won the ninth and final stage on Sunday by 45 seconds, more than the 36 seconds he needed to surpass Michael Rogers (QuickStep) in the general classification.

“In the first climb I wasn’t sure of my legs, but I was confident after that,” said Gonzalez. “I crossed the line and I thought it was great to have won the stage, but that I could only hope to win the whole tour.”

Second place in the 841-kilometer race goes to Rogers (at 0:22) and third to T-Mobile’s Jan Ullrich (at 1:36). Rogers made a solid effort to catch Gonzalez at the end, but it was too little too late.

Photo: AFP

“I’m happy with my Tour de Suisse,” said Ullrich in a brief statement before disappearing into his team’s bus. “It was a beautiful race, and it was good preparation for the Tour de France, which was what I intended.”

Ullrich admits that he didn’t attack the way he will have to in the upcoming Tour de France, but is confident that he has time to prepare now and be peaking at the right moment. The German exhausted himself to win the Tour of Switzerland last year by just one second.

No rider has won the race in back-to-back years since American Andy Hampsten did it in 1986 and 1987.

Gonzalez escaped the peloton on the brutal final climb and caught the breakaway group that had been leading by a minute at the bottom of that climb. When Rogers finally broke away to go after him, Ullrich chose not to follow.

Gonzalez was ultimately able to pack another minute onto his lead over the others before cresting the Furka pass and starting the 24-kilometer descent into the small town of Ulrichen. When Rogers came over that peak a minute behind, he pedaled as hard as he could to catch up with the Spaniard, but to no avail.

The day before, Rogers had mentioned how impressed he was with Gonzalez, who on Saturday’s climbing stage had jumped from seventh to fourth in the general classification on the second-to-last stage, going from 1:38 behind Rogers to just 36 seconds.FULL RESULTS

Rogers had said the day before that “everyone is tired,” but Sunday’s course was far more difficult than the eight preceding courses. Riders made a 100km circuit around the 3100-meter high Pizzo Rotundo. They climbed three separate hors categorie climbs: the Nufenen Pass, the cobblestone climb up the Gotthard Pass and the 2,431-meter Furka Pass.

Sunday’s edition of the country’s largest German-language daily, Blick, ran a large picture of Rogers slumped in exhaustion on his bike with a humorous play on words… “Torture de Suisse.”

The day before the race, after huffing up a steep climb to Verbier, Ullrich said that he was happy not to be facing a mountaintop finish. “It will probably be easy on the first two mountains, and then we’ll see what happens,” he said. By the end of the first two mountains, Ullrich was tight on Roger’s wheel. The two riders led the peloton, who in turn were just over a minute behind a group of three in front: Koldo Gil (Liberty Seguros), Beat Zberg (Gerolsteiner) and Daniel Atienza (Cofidis).

Rogers took the yellow jersey away from Ullrich on the mountainous sixth stage of the race and held on to it for the next three days. But Rogers only had a twenty second lead on Ullrich that whole time, so ultimately he may have been doing Ullrich a favor in drawing away at least some of the media attention that is focused on the German.

“We have 200 interview requests open now,” said a spokesman for the T-Mobile team. With the exception of some very brief conversations at the finish line, Ullrich has been inaccessible for the week.

Over the course of the next week he will train near his home in Switzerland. On Wednesday he will be part of the T-Mobile Tour de France team presentation in Bonn, Germany.

Results – Stage 9
1. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 100.4 km in 3:03:52 (32.763kph)
2. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, 0:46
3. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis, 0:48
4. Michael Rogers (Aus), Quickstep
5. Chris Horner (USA), Saunier Duval
6. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval
7. Beat Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 1:42
8. Alexandre Moos (Swi), Phonak
9. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak
10. Koldo Gil Perez (Sp), Liberty Seguros
FULLRESULTSFinal Overall
1. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi,1354.60 km in 33:08:51 (40.862 kph)
2. Michael Rogers (Aus), Quickstep, 0:22
3. Jan Ullrich (G), T-Mobile, 1:36
4. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, 1:41
5. Chris Horner (USA), Saunier Duval, 2:02
6. Koldo Gil Perez (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 2:49
7. Beat Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 3:47
8. Bradley Mc Gee (Aus), Francaise des Jeux, 4:13
9. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak, 4:28
10. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 6:01
FULLRESULTS


Check back soon for complete results, photos from AFP and a stage report from VeloNews’s Nate Vinton.

Photo Gallery

Results

Results – Stage 9
1. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 100.4 km in 3:03:52 (32.763kph)

2. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, 0:46

3. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis, 0:48

4. Michael Rogers (Aus), Quickstep

5. Chris Horner (USA), Saunier Duval

6. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval

7. Beat Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 1:42

8. Alexandre Moos (Swi), Phonak

9. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak

10. Koldo Gil Perez (Sp), Liberty Seguros

11. Jan Ullrich (G), T-Mobile

12. Giuseppe Guerini (I), T-Mobile, 1:50

13. Georg Totschnig (A), Gerolsteiner, 4:08

14. Cadel Evans (Aus), Davitamon-Lotto, 4:17

15. Xabi Vila Errandonea (Sp), Lampre

16. Bradley Mc Gee (Aus), Francaise des Jeux

17. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, 6:24

18. Laurent Brochard (F), Bouygues Telecom, 6:28

19. Franco Pellizotti (I), Liquigas-Bianchi

20. Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Sp), Illes Balears

21. Sven Montgomery (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 6:29

22. Francesco Bellotti (I), Credit Agricole, 6:31

23. Daniel Schnider (Swi), Phonak, 7:27

24. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Liberty Seguros

25. Michael Barry (CAN), Discovery Channel

26. Jesus Hernandez (Sp), Liberty Seguros

27. Joerg Ludewig (G), Domina Vacanze

28. Egoi Martinez De Est (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 10:26

29. Iban Mayo Diez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

30. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), CSC, 10:35

31. David Loosli (Swi), Lampre

32. Gerrit Glomser (A), Lampre

33. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis

34. Saul Raisin (USA), Credit Agricole, 13:30

35. Fabian Jeker (Swi), Saunier Duval

36. Dario Frigo (I), Fassa Bortolo

37. Joseba Albizu (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

38. Kim Kirchen (Lux), Fassa Bortolo

39. Jason Mc Cartney (USA), Discovery Channel, 17:37

40. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 19:44

41. Cristian Moreni (I), Quickstep, 19:47

42. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi), Saunier Duval, 20:14

43. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank, 20:28

44. Karsten Kroon (Nl), Rabobank

45. Staf Scheirlinckx (B), Cofidis

46. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Illes Balears

47. Joan Horrach (Sp), Illes Balears

48. Yannick Talabardon (F), Credit Agricole

49. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank

50. Kjell Carlstrim (FIN), Liquigas-Bianchi

51. Gregory Rast (Swi), Phonak

52. Martin Elmiger (Swi), Phonak

53. Ronny Scholz (G), Gerolsteiner

54. Linus Gerdemann (G), CSC

55. Peter Wrolich (A), Gerolsteiner

56. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Credit Agricole

57. Bobby Julich (USA), CSC

58. Unai Yus Kerejeta (Sp), Bouygues Telecom

59. Patrick Sinkewitz (G), Quickstep

60. Jurge Van Den Broeck (B), Discovery Channel

61. Jonath Gonzalez Rios (Sp), Illes Balears

62. Michael Albasini (Swi), Liquigas-Bianchi

63. Salvatore Commesso (I), Lampre

64. Freddy Bichot (F), Francaise des Jeux

65. Niki Aebersold (Swi), Phonak

66. Rolf Aldag (G), T-Mobile

67. Daniele Nardello (I), T-Mobile

68. Cedric Vasseur (F), Cofidis

69. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre

70. Daniele Colli (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 24:03:00

71. Aurelien Clerc (Swi), Phonak

72. Matthieu Sprick (F), Bouygues Telecom

73. Maarten Den Bakker (Nl), Rabobank

74. Walter Beneteau (F), Bouygues Telecom

75. Wim Vansevenant (B), Davitamon-Lotto

76. Roger Hammond (GB), Discovery Channel

77. Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe), Fassa Bortolo

78. Nick Gates (Aus), Davitamon-Lotto

79. Marco Marzano (I), Lampre

80. Arnaud Coyot (F), Cofidis

81. Sebastien Hinault (F), Credit Agricole

82. Paolo Valoti (I), Domina Vacanze

83. Sascha Urweider (Swi), Phonak

84. Thomas Voeckler (F), Bouygues Telecom

85. Serguei Ivanov (Rus), T-Mobile

86. Rene Haselbacher (A), Gerolsteiner, 25:12:00

87. Luciano Pagliarini (BRA), Liquigas-Bianchi

88. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Fassa Bortolo

89. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner

90. Arnaud Gerard (F), Francaise des Jeux

91. David Lopez Garcia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 27:33:00

92. Bart Dockx (B), Davitamon-Lotto
Did Not Finish

Gert Steegmans (B), Davitamon-Lotto

Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank

Mathew Hayman (Aus), Rabobank

Allan Johansen (Dk), CSC

Vincenzo Nibali (I), Fassa Bortolo

David De La Fuente (Sp), Saunier Duval

Angel Gomez (Sp), Saunier Duval

Marco Pinotti (I), Saunier Duval

Joseba Beloki (Sp), Liberty Seguros

Carlos Barredo (Sp), Liberty Seguros

Giampaolo Caruso (I), Liberty Seguros

David Etxebarria (Sp), Liberty Seguros

Javier Ramirez (Sp), Liberty Seguros

Geoffroy Lequatre (F), Credit Agricole

Peter Farazijn (B), Cofidis

Max Van Heeswijk (Nl), Discovery Channel

Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quickstep

Servais Knaven (Nl), Quickstep

Marcus Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner

Frederic Mainguenaud (F), Bouygues Telecom

Franck Renier (F), Bouygues Telecom

Ludovic Auger (F), Francaise des Jeux

Frederic Guesdon (F), Francaise des Jeux

Jussi Veikkanen (FIN), Francaise des Jeux

Alessandro Bertolini (I), Domina Vacanze

Angelo Furlan (I), Domina Vacanze

Iker Flores (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

Stephan Schreck (G), T-Mobile

Steffen Wesemann (G), T-Mobile

Andrea Peron (I), CSC

Marco Zanotti (I), Liquigas-Bianchi

Tom Boonen (B), Quickstep

Guido Trenti (USA), Quickstep

Baden Cooke (Aus), Francaise des Jeux

Final Overall
1. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi,1354.60 km in 33:08:51 (40.862 kph)

2. Michael Rogers (Aus), Quickstep, 0:22

3. Jan Ullrich (G), T-Mobile, 1:36

4. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, 1:41

5. Chris Horner (USA), Saunier Duval, 2:02

6. Koldo Gil Perez (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 2:49

7. Beat Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 3:47

8. Bradley Mc Gee (Aus), Francaise des Jeux, 4:13

9. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak, 4:28

10. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 6:01

11. Alexandre Moos (Swi), Phonak, 6:17

12. Georg Totschnig (A), Gerolsteiner, 6:23

13. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis, 6:24

14. Giuseppe Guerini (I), T-Mobile, 6:41

15. Cadel Evans (Aus), Davitamon-Lotto, 7:11

16. Francesco Bellotti (I), Credit Agricole, 11:26

17. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, 11:32

18. Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Sp), Illes Balears, 16:11

19. Michael Barry (CAN), Discovery Channel, 16:20

20. Laurent Brochard (F), Bouygues Telecom, 16:55

21. Daniel Schnider (Swi), Phonak, 18:14

22. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Liberty Seguros, 18:19

23. Jesus Hernandez (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 18:22

24. Franco Pellizotti (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 19:20

25. Sven Montgomery (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 19:40

26. Joerg Ludewig (G), Domina Vacanze, 19:54

27. Fabian Jeker (Swi), Saunier Duval, 21:22

28. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), CSC, 24:38:00

29. Xabi Vila Errandonea (Sp), Lampre, 25:38:00

30. Patrick Sinkewitz (G), Quickstep, 28:10:00

31. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Illes Balears, 28:40:00

32. Bobby Julich (USA), CSC, 29:15:00

33. Kim Kirchen (Lux), Fassa Bortolo, 30:10:00

34. Jonath Gonzalez Rios (Sp), Illes Balears, 30:33:00

35. Iban Mayo Diez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 30:48:00

36. Yannick Talabardon (F), Credit Agricole, 31:41:00

37. Saul Raisin (USA), Credit Agricole, 31:57:00

38. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank, 33:05:00

39. David Loosli (Swi), Lampre, 34:16:00

40. Daniele Nardello (I), T-Mobile, 34:32:00

41. Martin Elmiger (Swi), Phonak, 34:37:00

42. Cedric Vasseur (F), Cofidis, 37:28:00

43. Walter Beneteau (F), Bouygues Telecom, 37:33:00

44. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, 37:59:00

45. Jurge Van Den Broeck (B), Discovery Channel, 38:07:00

46. Kjell Carlstrim (FIN), Liquigas-Bianchi, 39:30:00

47. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 41:29:00

48. Gerrit Glomser (A), Lampre, 41:30:00

49. Dario Frigo (I), Fassa Bortolo, 41:49:00

50. Matthieu Sprick (F), Bouygues Telecom, 42:08:00

51. Linus Gerdemann (G), CSC, 47:22:00

52. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner, 47:41:00

53. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank, 48:43:00

54. Niki Aebersold (Swi), Phonak, 49:29:00

55. Egoi Martinez De Est (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 49:38:00

56. Ronny Scholz (G), Gerolsteiner, 50:32:00

57. Marco Marzano (I), Lampre, 52:15:00

58. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre, 53:22:00

59. Joan Horrach (Sp), Illes Balears, 55:41:00

60. Peter Wrolich (A), Gerolsteiner, 55:43:00

61. Salvatore Commesso (I), Lampre, 57:49:00

62. Joseba Albizu (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 58:47:00

63. Cristian Moreni (I), Quickstep, 1:00:24

64. Daniele Colli (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:03:14

65. Unai Yus Kerejeta (Sp), Bouygues Telecom, 1:03:57

66. Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe), Fassa Bortolo, 1:04:56

67. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Credit Agricole, 1:05:03

68. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi), Saunier Duval, 1:05:37

69. Arnaud Coyot (F), Cofidis, 1:06:28

70. Thomas Voeckler (F), Bouygues Telecom, 1:07:35

71. Rolf Aldag (G), T-Mobile, 1:07:37

72. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Fassa Bortolo, 1:08:10

73. Aurelien Clerc (Swi), Phonak, 1:09:56

74. Maarten Den Bakker (Nl), Rabobank, 1:10:07

75. Rene Haselbacher (A), Gerolsteiner, 1:10:33

76. Wim Vansevenant (B), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:10:56

77. Sascha Urweider (Swi), Phonak, 1:11:47

78. Bart Dockx (B), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:12:17

79. Gregory Rast (Swi), Phonak, 1:12:52

80. Roger Hammond (GB), Discovery Channel, 1:14:03

81. Staf Scheirlinckx (B), Cofidis, 1:14:13

82. Sebastien Hinault (F), Credit Agricole, 1:14:51

83. Serguei Ivanov (Rus), T-Mobile, 1:15:42

84. Michael Albasini (Swi), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:16:32

85. Freddy Bichot (F), Francaise des Jeux, 1:21:07

86. Karsten Kroon (Nl), Rabobank, 1:21:32

87. Jason Mc Cartney (USA), Discovery Channel, 1:25:55

88. Luciano Pagliarini (BRA), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:28:53

89. Paolo Valoti (I), Domina Vacanze, 1:29:10

90. Arnaud Gerard (F), Francaise des Jeux, 1:29:19

91. Nick Gates (Aus), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:31:14

92. David Lopez Garcia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:54:14