Fothen Wins Stage 5 of Swiss Tour
Markus Fothen (Gerolsteiner) has won Stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse. The German soloed home after companion Frank Schleck (CSC) crashed with five km left. Fothen took the hilly, 190-km ride from Domat-Ems to Caslano in 4:47:31. Sergei Ivanov (Astana) finished second at 0:50, and Markus Zberg (Gerolsteiner) took third at 0:57. Igor Anton (Euskaltel) remains the yellow jersey.
At 10 km, Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) launched the day's first attack. Fourteen riders joined the Frenchman, and the break forged a two-minute lead before splitting on the Category 1 Lukmanierpass. The riders who wound up in the clear were Pietro Caucchioli (Credit Agricole), Johann Tschopp (Bouygues Telecom), Jens Voigt (CSC), and Maxim Iglinsky (Astana). The peloton kept the escapees on a short leash and reeled in Iglinsky, the last member of the break, with 20 km remaining.
With 17 km left, Schleck attacked on the Category 2 Cademario, and Fothen joined him. With 10 km remaining, the pair led the field by 0:35.
Perhaps if the two had stayed together, Fothen would have won anyway. They might have agreed that the Gerolsteiner man would win, while the CSC man would take the yellow jersey. The need for dealmaking, however, went over the guardrail with Schleck, who took a turn too fast with five km left. The Luxembourger was uninjured apart from bruises, but he finished 44th at 2:52. His GC hopes were gone. Fothen rode home alone.
In the overall, Anton leads Kim Kirchen (High Road) by 0:06 and Oliver Zaugg (Gerolsteiner) by 0:18. Stage 6 could be a standing shaker. The 188-km ride from Ambri to Verbier will feature the hors categorie Nufenenpass in the first 30 km of the stage and the Category 1 ascent to the finish. Anton will be hard pressed to keep his yellow jersey. Will he do so? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!