Germany's Marcus Burghardt Rides to Stage 5 Win in 2010 Tour de Suisse for Team BMC Racing
Marcus Burghardt of Germany launched an attack in the final kilometer to win the fifth stage of the 2010 Tour of Switzerland earlier today. Germany's Tony Martin retained the overall race lead, with Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara staying one second behind.
Marcus Burghardt of Germany launched an attack in the final kilometer to win the fifth stage of the 2010 Tour of Switzerland earlier today.
Burghardt pulled clear in the final stretch of the rain-soaked, 172.5-kilometer (107-mile) stage from Wettingen to Frutigen to drop his two remaining breakaway companions, Daniel Oss and Martijn Maaskant.
Burghardt was part of a group of five riders that jumped from the pack at the 10-kilometer mark.
"This morning I took a look at the stage profile and I knew I had to be in a breakaway," said the 26-year-old Burghardt.
Tony Martin of Germany retained the race leader's jersey, with Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara staying one second behind.
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong also finished in the main pack to lie 21st overall, 30 seconds back.
Armstrong, who is gearing up for the Tour de France by competing in Switzerland, was worried the bad weather could disrupt his preparations. The American rider is taking part in his last event before next month's three-week Tour and said it would help if he could race in better conditions.
"In the run-up to the Tour (de France), certainly for the condition, for losing a bit of weight, it's better if it's sunny," Armstrong told AP. "But I haven't met the person who can control the weather."
The 26-year-old Burghardt, who won a stage in the Tour de France two years ago, celebrated his first victory of the season. He was a late entry in Switzerland after breaking a bone in his elbow at the Tour of California earlier this season.
"Finally we took the right decision by coming here," Burghardt said. "I'm 100 percent motivated."
Burghardt, a former Gand-Wevelgem winner, broke away with Oss, Maaskant, Angelo Furlan and Javier Aramendia.
They had a maximum lead of five minutes before the pack attempted to reel them in but failed to close the gap in slippery roads.
Furlan and Aramandia were caught about 10 kilometers from the line, before Burghardt took advantage of a slightly uphill finish to surprise Maaskant and Oss, who finished second and third respectively.
Robbie McEwen of Australia won the peloton sprint, 47 seconds back.
Gerben Lowik of the Netherlands crashed about 40 kilometers from the finish and hit a woman and her four children, who were watching the race on the side of the road. Lowik had to withdraw while the family suffered minor injuries and was evacuated to a nearby hospital, organizers said.
The start of the stage was delayed by two minutes after riders held a mini-strike to protest against British sprinter Mark Cavendish's attitude.
Organizers and riders blamed Cavendish for the mass crash that marred Tuesday's stage finish, which saw the HTC-Columbia rider suddenly change his line. Cavendish was handed a 30-second penalty for his move.
Heinrich Haussler, Arnaud Coyot and Lloyd Mondory withdrew from the race following the spectacular crash, but Cavendish escaped any serious injury and started Wednesday's stage.
Thursday's sixth and queen stage is a 213.3-kilometer ride from Meiringen to La Punt that includes three big climbs in the Alps, with the last ascent only 13 kilometers from the finish.
"Tomorrow is a real test," Armstrong said. "And hopefully this weather will move out. Days like tomorrow, especially before the Tour, it's just so much better for everybody's preparation when it's a hot day, when it's sunny and you can really test yourself.
"If it's like today, it's going to be a really long slog for all of us."