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Roche solid heading to mountains

Posted 16 June 2010

Nicolas Roche continues to lies just 18 seconds off the race lead in the Tour de Suisse having come home in the main bunch behind breakaway winner Marcus Burghardt in today’s stage to Frutigen.

Roche (AG2R) finished with all of the race favourites while Philip Deignan (Cervelo Test Team) lost 11:12 having found himself on the wrong side of a split in the peloton.

The 172.5 kilometre stage from Wettingen took place in dreadful conditions with all of the GC favourites content to allow a five man breakway decide the honours ahead of tomorrow’s punishing day in the high mountains.

The breakaway of Burghardt, Daniel Oss (Liquigas), Angelo Furlan (Lampre-Farnese Vini), Javier Aramendia (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Transitions) went clear after ten kilometes and quickly opened an advantage of 5:30.

The peloton had little appetite for a hard days racing in the wet conditions that prevailed and the advantage only shrunk to 1:47 as the quintet reached the foothills of the third category climb of the Aeschi just 14 kilometres from the finish.

Burghardt, Oss and Maaskant distanced Furlan and then Aramendia within a kilometre with Furlan being swept up by the main chase group as the leading trio crested the summit with a lead of 1:12 with Aramendia sandwiched between them at 34 seconds.

Caisse d’Epargne riders Pablo Lastras and Jose Joaquin Rojas made light of the dangerous descent to break free from the chase group and to bridge to Aramendia only to succumb inside the final three kilometres as the HTC Columbia team rode to protect race leader Tony Martin.

Burghardt seized his opportunity as the lead group caught sight of the one kilometre to go kite with Oss and Maaskant unable to respond to his strong attack into the final kilometre.

The German had plenty of time to celebrate his win at the finish where Maaskant held Oss off for third. Roche finished 47 seconds back in the main bunch in 48th  place while Deignan came home 114th in a group which crossed the line 11:12 down.

Tomorrow’s queen stage from Meiringen to La Punt will be a much tougher order for both riders with the 213.3 kilometre route including the first category climb of the Oberal Pass and the hors category climbs of the Sutten Pass and Albula Pass.

Results:

Stage 5: Wettingen-Frutigen, 172. 5 kilometres

1.  Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing) 4 hours, 21 minutes, 23 seconds
2.  Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Transitions) at  0:00:02
3.  Daniel Oss (Liquigas-Doimo) at 0:00:04
4.  Robbie McEwen (Katusha) at 0:00:47
5.  Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Farnese Vini)
6.  Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil)
7.  Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Quick Step)
8.  Johannes Fröhlinger (Milram)
9.  Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Caisse d'Epargne)
10. Simon Gerrans (Team Sky) all same time

48. Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) at 47 seconds
144. Philip Deignan (Cervelo Test Team) at 11 minutes, 12 seconds

General classification after stage 5:

1.  Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) 18 hours, 57 minutes, 47 seconds
2.  Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) at 0:00:01
3.  Thomas Löfkvist (Team Sky) 0:00:09
4.  Rigoberto Uran (Caisse d'Epargne) 0:00:10
5.  Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) at 0:00:11
6.  Steve Morabito (BMC Racing)
7.  Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) at 0:00:13
8.  Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) at 0:00:14
9.  Nicolas Jonathan Castroviejo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 0:00:15
10.  Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) at 0:00:17

11. Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) at 18 seconds
128. Philip Deignan (Cervelo Test Team) at 32 minutes, 51 seconds

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