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Roche climbs to 13th after tough mountain stage

Posted 16 June 2012

By Cillian Kelly,

Nicolas Roche performed solidly in the mountains of the Tour de Suisse today placing 11th on the penultimate stage where his controlled efforts on the tough finishing climb were rewarded with a move up to 13th place in GC.

The stage was won by Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) who was the last survivor of a four-man breakaway which formed after just 15 kilometres. The Swiss rider dropped his escape companions before the final climb and soloed home to take the stage victory.

But the race for the overall classification was taking place behind amongst a group of 25 riders who arrived together at the foot of the final climb of the Arosa. The group contained all of the main favourites, including Roche (AG2R-La Mondiale) and race leader Rui Costa (Movistar).

The race came to life with four kilometres to go as Costa was dropped off the back of the group and almost immediately Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) attacked bringing Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Levi Leipheimer (OmegaPharma-QuickStep) with him.

In the wake of Schleck's attack, Roche remained calm and rode within himself. He limited his losses to the Schleck group and came in just 50 second behind them as he led home a small group containing the Movistar pair of Costa and Alejandro Valverde.

Roche now moves up to 13th place overall, 1'52" behind Costa, who despite losing some time, has held on to his yellow jersey and maintains a 14 seconds lead over Frank Schleck.

The Tour de Suisse concludes tomorrow with a 215.8km stage which contains two hors category climbs before concluding with a second category climb to the finish in Sorenberg.

Results

Tour de Suisse

Stage 8 - Bischofszell to Arosa 148.2km

1. Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) 3:45:39
2. Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 1'15"
3. Levi Leipheimer (OmegaPharma-QuickStep) s.t.
4. Frank Schleck (Radioshack-Nissan) s.t.
5. Robert Gesink (Rabobank) at 1'36"
6. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) s.t.
7. Tom Danielson (Garmin-Barracuda) s.t.
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank) at 1'39"
9. Roman Kreuziger (Astana) at 1'58"
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Radioshack-Nissan) s.t.

11. Nicolas Roche (AG2R-La Mondiale) at 2'05"

General classification after stage 8:

1  Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Movistar) 29:58:39
2. Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan)   at 14"
3. Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma - QuickStep) at 21"
4. Robert Gesink (Rabobank) at 25"
5. Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 40"
6. Roman Kreuziger (Astana) at 42"
7. TomDanielson (Garmin-Barracuda) at 43"
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank) at 1'01"
9. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Movistar) at 1'04"
10. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) at 1'13"

13. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 1 minute, 52 seconds

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