By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP
Telekom’s Alexandre Vinokourov won the 144km fourth stage of the Tour of Switzerland from Baar to Wildhaus on Friday, moving into second place overall and closing to within 14 seconds of race leader Gianluca Bortolami (Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola). The winner of the Tour of Germany, Vinokourov soloed in nine seconds ahead of Giro d’Italia winner Gilberto Simoni (Lampre-Daikin) and France’s Laurent Jalabert (CSC-World Online).
The 144km stage finished with a 13km, second-category climb into Wildhaus, and that’s where things blew apart. After a 115km breakaway by Christian Heule (Post Swiss) and Robbie McEwen (Domo-Farm Frites) was finally reeled in, Lance Armstrong’s Postal Service teammates drove the pace onto the climb. The result: The race exploded, with only about 20 riders able to hang in the lead group.
Among those who were dropped was Bortolami, who would finish the day 2:17 behind Vinokourov, and barely cling to the yellow jersey.
In the closing kilometers, there were several solo attacks, including two by Vinokourov. The Kazakh’s second effort proved to be the winning move, and he soloed in clear of Simoni and Jalabert.
Armstrong would finish 12 seconds back, in a group that contained Oskar Camenzind (Lampre-Daikin), Davide Rebellin (Liquigas-Pata), Stefano Garzelli (Mapei-Quick Step) and Alex Zulle (Coast) among others. Armstrong now lies fifth overall, 26 seconds back of Bortolami, while teammate Tyler Hamilton is seventh, 0:35 behind.
Tour of Switzerland, Stage 4. June 22.
1. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), Telekom, 144 km in 3:39:15 (39.407 kph)
2. Gilberto Simoni (I), Lampre-Daikin, at 0:09.
3. Laurent Jalabert (F), CSC-World Online, s.t.
4. Oskar Camenzind (Swi), Lampre-Daikin, at 0:12.
5. Davide Rebellin (I), Liquigas-Pata
6. Stefano Garzelli (I), Mapei-Quick Step
7. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Lampre-Daikin
8. Wladimir Belli (I), Fassa Bortolo
9. Inigo Cuesta (Sp)
10. Manuel Beltran (Sp), Mapei-Quick Step
11. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal Service
12. Alex Zulle (Swi), Coast
13. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis
14. Beat Zberg (Swi), Rabobank
15. Peter Luttenberger (A), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
1. Gianluca Bortolami (I), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola, 12:04:56.
2. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), Telekom, at 0:14.
3. Peter Wrolich (Aut), Gerolsteiner, at 0:15.
4. Laurent Jalabert (F), CSC-World Online, at 0:24.
5. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:26.
6. Beat Zberg (Swi), Rabobank, at 0:32.
7. Tyler Hamilton (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:35.
8. Daniel Schnider (Swi), La Française des Jeux, at 0:36.
9. Inigo Cuesta (Sp), at 0:37.
10. Stefano Garzelli (I), Mapei-Quick Step, at 0:38.
11. Alex Zulle (Swi), Coast, at 0:39.
12. Wladimir Belli (I), Fassa Bortolo, at 0:42.
13. Gilberto Simoni (I), Lampre-Daikin, at 0:45.
14. Georg Totschnig (A), Gerolsteiner, at 0:46.
15. Peter Luttenberger (A), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola, at 0:49.