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McEwen wins stage at Swiss Tour; Ullrich holds lead

After three stage wins and an early departure from last month’s Giro d’Italia, Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) resumed his winning ways on Tuesday, taking the fourth stage of the Tour of Switzerland. The Australian national champion easily beat Daniele Colli (Liquigas) at the head of a mass sprint finish in the town of Bad Zurzach. “A stage win here in the Tour de Suisse with this field is pretty worthy,” said the Australian winner, pointing out that many of the UCI Pro Tour’s top sprinters chose the Swiss stage race over the overlapping Dauphiné Libéré. Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) held on to

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By Nate Vinton, VeloNews staff writer

Photo: AFP

After three stage wins and an early departure from last month’s Giro d’Italia, Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) resumed his winning ways on Tuesday, taking the fourth stage of the Tour of Switzerland.

The Australian national champion easily beat Daniele Colli (Liquigas) at the head of a mass sprint finish in the town of Bad Zurzach.

“A stage win here in the Tour de Suisse with this field is pretty worthy,” said the Australian winner, pointing out that many of the UCI Pro Tour’s top sprinters chose the Swiss stage race over the overlapping Dauphiné Libéré.

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) held on to the race leader’s yellow jersey, finishing near the front of a tight peloton.

Raindrops began falling on the peloton toward the end of the stage, and the awards ceremonies were held in a gloomy downpour.

The race concluded with two trips around a 19-kilometer circuit through and around the small town of Bad Zurzach, forcing riders to tackle the same Cat. 3 climb three times in a row before funneling into the wet, narrow roads leading to the finish.

“The technical finish was something that suited me,” said McEwen, who suffered from illness in March and April but says he’s back in top shape now. “There were a few corners, and a little bit uphill. I got a little bit caught before the first corner and had to brake slightly, but I was able to wriggle my way out of that situation.”

McEwen said that following the Giro he spent time relaxing with his family while nursing a sore throat and fever.

Asked about the incident that occurred last month’s Giro d’Italia, where authorities seized a pressurized oxygen chamber in his team’s hotel, McEwen said there was no new news and that the team’s doctor had asked for the equipment to be returned.

Ullrich is hoping to keep this color combination going through July, as well

Ullrich is hoping to keep this color combination going through July, as well

Photo: AFP

At 208 kilometers, Tuesday’s stage was the longest of the nine-day long Tour of Switzerland – the 69th edition of the race. It began in Vaduz, the capital of the independent principality of Lichtenstein, and covered 208 kilometers, skirting the suburbs of Zürich on the way.

An early break by three riders – Bart Dockx (Davitamon-Lotto); Allan Johansen (CSC) and Lorenzo Bernucci (Fassa Bortolo) – created a gap of nearly eight minutes on the peloton at one point. But Dockx and Johansen dropped back with five kilometers to go.

Bernucci held on for only one kilometer longer than that, but he, too, gave up the dream as the peloton covered the last stretch of the closing circuit through the strawberry fields around Bad Zurzach.

Once the escapees were reeled in, the sprinters began jockeying for position. With two kilometers remaining, QuickStep’s Tom Boonen and Francaise des Jeux’s Baden Cooke seemed set to fight it out for the win. The ever-tenacious McEwen, however, wouldn’t settle for that and battled his way into a prime spot – right on Boonen’s wheel – as the course wound through the final, twisting turns of the last kilometer.

At almost the worst possible moment – coming through the final corner 300 meters from the finish – McEwen found himself in the wrong spot, losing a couple of bike lengths and having to charge hard to get through traffic and jump back onto his closest competitors’ wheels.

It’s all the little street fighter needed. McEwen caught his breath, timed his move and charged again, this time leavig the rest of the field scrambling for second place.

On Wednesday the race takes a mostly flat course from Bad Zurzach south to Altdorf, before Thursday’s move into the high mountains, including a trip over the notorious Oberalp Pass.

Photo Gallery

Results

Results – Stage 4
1. Robbie Mcewen (Aus), Davitamon-Lotto

2. Daniele Colli (I), Liquigas-Bianchi

3. Aurelien Clerc (Swi), Phonak

4. Tom Boonen (B), Quickstep

5. Sebastien Hinault (F), Credit Agricole

6. Baden Cooke (Aus), Francaise des Jeux

7. Rene Haselbacher (A), Gerolsteiner

8. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner

9. David Loosli (Swi), Lampre

10. Roger Hammond (GB), Discovery Channel

11. Kris Horner (USA), Saunier Duval

12. Matteo Tosatto (I), Fassa Bortolo

13. Geoffroy Lequatre (F), Credit Agricole

14. Dario Frigo (I), Fassa Bortolo

15. Bradley Mcgee (Aus), Francaise des Jeux

16. Marcus Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner

17. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Davitamon-Lotto

18. Peter Wrolich (A), Gerolsteiner

19. Jan Ullrich (G), T-Mobile

20. Laurent Brochard (F), Bouygues Telecom

21. Walter Beneteau (F), Bouygues Telecom

22. Mathew Hayman (Aus), Rabobank

23. Jens Voigt (G), CSC

24. Staf Scheirlinckx (B), Cofidis

25. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Illes Balears

26. Georg Totschnig (A), Gerolsteiner

27. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC

28. Max Van Heeswijk (Nl), Discovery Channel

29. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), CSC

30. Karsten Kroon (Nl), Rabobank

31. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

32. Mirko Celestino (I), Domina Vacanze

33. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Credit Agricole

34. Alexandre Moos (Swi), Phonak

35. Michael Rogers (Aus), Quickstep

36. Salvatore Commesso (I), Lampre

37. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak

38. Beat Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner

39. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Fassa Bortolo

40. Ludovic Auger (F), Francaise des Jeux

41. Franck Renier (F), Bouygues Telecom

42. Iban Mayo (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

43. Fabian Jeker (Swi), Saunier Duval

44. Kjell Carlstrim (FIN), Liquigas-Bianchi

45. Sven Montgomery (Swi), Gerolsteiner

46. Joseba Albizu (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

47. Michael Barry (CAN), Discovery Channel

48. Joerg Ludewig (G), Domina Vacanze

49. Patrick Sinkewitz (G), Quickstep

50. Koldo Gil Perez (Sp), Liberty Seguros

51. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Illes Balears

52. David De La Fuente La ((ES), Saunier Duval

53. Yannick Talabardon (F), Credit Agricole

54. Martin Elmiger (Swi), Phonak

55. Daniel Schnider (Swi), Phonak

56. Gerrit Glomser (A), Lampre

57. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank

58. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Liberty Seguros

59. Cedric Herve (F), Credit Agricole

60. Peter Farazijn (B), Cofidis

61. Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Sp), Illes Balears

62. Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank

63. Cadel Evans (Aus), Davitamon-Lotto

64. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis

65. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval

66. Stephan Schreck (G), T-Mobile

67. Michael Albasini (Swi), Liquigas-Bianchi

68. Giuseppe Guerini (I), T-Mobile

69. Daniele Nardello (I), T-Mobile

70. Maarten Den Bakker (Nl), Rabobank

71. Jonath Gonzalez Rios (Sp), Illes Balears

72. Javier Ramirez (Sp), Liberty Seguros

73. Vincenzo Nibali (I), Fassa Bortolo

74. Bernhard Eisel (A), Francaise des Jeux

75. Charles Wegelius (GB), Liquigas-Bianchi

76. Juan Carlo Dominguez (Sp), Saunier Duval

77. Matthieu Sprick (F), Bouygues Telecom

78. Linus Gerdemann (G), CSC

79. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi), Saunier Duval

80. Xabi Vila Errandonea (Sp), Lampre

81. Kim Kirchen (Lux), Fassa Bortolo

82. David Etxebarria (Sp), Liberty Seguros

83. Michael Blaudzun (Dk), CSC

84. Steffen Wesemann (G), T-Mobile

85. Christophe Le Mevel (F), Credit Agricole

86. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank

87. Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe), Fassa Bortolo

88. Francesco Bellotti (I), Credit Agricole

89. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus), Rabobank

90. Egoi Martinez De Est (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

91. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

92. Andrea Peron (I), CSC

93. Iker Flores (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

94. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis

95. Bobby Julich (USA), CSC

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

97. Cedric Vasseur (F), Cofidis

98. Franco Pellizotti (I), Liquigas-Bianchi

99. Jose Luis Arrieta (Sp), Illes Balears

100. Oscar Freire Gomez (Sp), Rabobank

101. Jussi Veikkanen (FIN), Francaise des Jeux

102. Ronny Scholz (G), Gerolsteiner

103. Angel Gomez (Sp), Saunier Duval

104. Saul Raisin (USA), Credit Agricole

105. Marco Marzano (I), Lampre

106. Lorenzo Bernucci (I), Fassa Bortolo

107. Joseba Beloki (Sp), Liberty Seguros

108. Marco Pinotti (I), Saunier Duval

109. Allan Johansen (Dk), CSC

110. Giampaolo Caruso (I), Liberty Seguros

111. Anton Luengo (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

112. Sascha Urweider (Swi), Phonak

113. Thomas Voeckler (F), Bouygues Telecom

114. Jesus Hernandez (Sp), Liberty Seguros

115. Leif Hoste (B), Discovery Channel

116. Rolf Aldag (G), T-Mobile

117. Carlos Barredo (Sp), Liberty Seguros

118. Andrej Hauptman (SLO), Fassa Bortolo

119. Tobias Steinhauser (G), T-Mobile, 0:29

120. Joan Horrach (Sp), Illes Balears

121. Arnaud Gerard (F), Francaise des Jeux, 0:31

122. Niki Aebersold (Swi), Phonak, 0:34

123. Guido Trenti (USA), Quickstep, 0:39

124. Cristian Moreni (I), Quickstep, 0:49

125. Wim Vansevenant (B), Davitamon-Lotto, 0:56

126. Nico Mattan (B), Davitamon-Lotto

127. Gregory Rast (Swi), Phonak, 1:13

128. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre

129. Bart Dockx (B), Davitamon-Lotto, 2:45

130. Angelo Furlan (I), Domina Vacanze

131. Serguei Ivanov (Rus), T-Mobile

132. Luciano Pagliarini (BRA), Liquigas-Bianchi

133. Frederic Mainguenaud (F), Bouygues Telecom

134. Matej Mugerli (SLO), Liquigas-Bianchi

135. Nicolas Inaudi (F), Cofidis

136. Gert Steegmans (B), Davitamon-Lotto

137. Alessandro Bertolini (I), Domina Vacanze

138. Unai Yus Kerejeta (Sp), Bouygues Telecom

139. Marco Zanotti (I), Liquigas-Bianchi

140. Frederic Guesdon (F), Francaise des Jeux

141. David Lopez Garcia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

142. Marco Fertonani (I), Domina Vacanze

143. Freddy Bichot (F), Francaise des Jeux

144. Christophe Kern (F), Bouygues Telecom

145. Nick Gates (Aus), Davitamon-Lotto

146. Arnaud Coyot (F), Cofidis

147. Leonardo Bertagnolli (I), Cofidis, 6:43

148. Marius Sabaliauskas (Lit), Lampre

149. Paolo Valoti (I), Domina Vacanze

150. Servais Knaven (Nl), Quickstep, 9:37

151. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quickstep

152. Jason Mc Cartney (USA), Discovery Channel

Did Not Finish
Benoit Joachim (Lx) Discovery Channel
Antonio Mas (Sp), Illes Balears
David Chica (Sp), Illes Balears

Did Not StartSerhiy Honchar (Ukr)