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Roche and Deignan avoid dramatic crash

Posted 15 June 2010

Nicolas Roche and Philip Deignan escaped injury at the finish to stage four of the Tour de Suisse after a high speed crash involving Mark Cavendish and Heinrich Haussler handed victory to Alessandro Pettachi.

Both Irish riders were far enough back in the peloton to avoid hitting the deck or trundling into the succession of riders who catapulted themselves across the road.

The dramatic crash took place after Cavendish (HTC Columbia) accelerated around Gerald Ciolek (Milram) and collided with Haussler inside the closing 50 metres.

It appeared that Cavendish’s right pedal became entangled in Haussler’s front wheel taking both of them out while Ciloek and Tom Boonen (Quick Step) were left with no option but to spill into them.

Petacchi (Lampre Farnese-Vini) rounded the carnage to take the stage but his win was far from satisfying as he surveyed the damage behind with Cavendish coming off the worst for wear.

The sprint finish was inevitable after the peloton pulled back lone breakaway rider Brice Feillu (Vascansoleil) on the final lap of the 28.5 finishing circuit in Wettingen.

Feillu had been out front since the tenth kilometre and was caught just before the second ascent of the third category climb of the Regensberg with 24 kilometres remaining.

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) clipped off the front over the summit but never gained more than a handful of seconds advantage before being pulled back inside the closing ten kilometres.

The presence of street furniture and the technical approach to the finish disrupted the lead out trains leaving Greg Van Avermaet (Omega-Pharma Lotto) to try his luck three kilometres out.

Cavendish relied on his lead out man Mark Renshaw to keep him in contention and was perfectly positioned heading into the narrow finishing straight with Boonen poised on his wheel.

Ciolek was coming through the middle with 250 metres to go when Cavendish accelerated to round the German on the left before colliding with Haussler who had been charging for the line on the other side of the Milram rider.

Roche was a safe distance away from the main crash and the domino effect behind it to have anything to worry about while Deignan finished the stage 153rd 8:38 further back having been held up behind a crash as the peloton filtered through the finish for the final lap with a consequential mechanical adding to his woes. 

Roche was awarded the same time as Petacchi given the rules governing a crash inside the final three kilometres and has maintained his position in 11th overall just 18 seconds behind Tony Martin (HTC Columbia) while Deignan's accumulated time loss of 22:26 leaves him 133rd in the GC.


Stage 4: Schwarzenburg – Wettingen, 192.9 kilometres

1.  Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) 4 hours, 57 minutes, 33 seconds
2.  Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank)
3.  Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil)
4.  Jose Jaquin Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne)
5.  Robbie McEwen (Katusha)
6.  Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky)
7.  Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre-Farnese Vini)
8.  Bauke Mollema (Rabobank)
9.  Andreas Kloden (RadioShack)
10.  Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) – all same time

59. Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) same time
153. Philip Deignan (Cervelo Test Team) 8 minutes, 38 seconds

General classification after stage 4:

1.  Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) 14 hours, 35 minutes, 37 seconds
2.  Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) at 0:00:01
3.  Thomas Lövkvist (Team Sky) at 0:00:08
4.  Rigoberto Uran (Caisse d'Epargne) at 0:00:09
5.  Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) at 0:00:10
6.  Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) at 0:00:12
7.  Jacob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) at 0:00:13
8.  Steve Morabito (BMC Racing Team)
9.  Jonathan Castroviejo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 0:00:14
10. Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) at 0:00:16

11. Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) at 18 seconds
133. Philip Deignan (Cervelo Test Team) at 22 minutes, 26 seconds

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