Levi Leipheimer Powers to 2011 Tour de Suisse Victory for Team RadioShack

News & Results

06/19/2011| 0 comments
by AP and Roadcycling.com
Levi Leipheimer time trials. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Levi Leipheimer time trials. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Levi Leipheimer Powers to 2011 Tour de Suisse Victory for Team RadioShack

Levi Leipheimer of the United States won the Tour of Switzerland on Sunday, overtaking Damiano Cunego of Italy in the final time trial.

Levi Leipheimer of the United States won the Tour of Switzerland on Sunday, overtaking Damiano Cunego of Italy in the final time trial.

Leipheimer, a 37-year-old RadioShack rider, finished in 31 hours, 45 minutes, 2 seconds. Cunego had worn the yellow jersey since Monday and finished four seconds behind.

Steven Kruijswijk of the Netherlands was third, 62 seconds behind the leader. U.S. rider Tejay Van Garderen was 10th overall despite equipment problems during the last stage.

Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara won the ninth and final stage, a 20-mile circuit around the northern city of Schaffhausen. Cancellara also won the Tour de Suisse prologue on the first day.

"What a race. I really didn't know how close it was with Cunego," a joyful Levi Leipheimer told Roadcycling.com after being celebrated on the podium. "All I heard was my director yelling at me in the last corner ‘Sprint! Sprint!' and I could hear in his voice that it really was a question of seconds."

"This edition of the Tour de Suisse has really been tough. Very mountainous, very hard. You could see there was no field sprint at all this week," Leipheimer added and continued "I had some good days, but also bad days, but without Team Radioshack there was no way I could win today. I am very happy I did not disappoint. Now it's time to take some rest and start in the Tour de France 2011."

"Levi will be ready for that race in which he already stood on the podium," Team RadioShack sports director Dirk Demol told Roadcycling.com when asked to comment on Leipheimer's chances in the 2011 Tour de France. "I don't think there will be a chance that Levi will be too early with his form. He will be good in France. We had the luck too that Levi could save energy during this race."

Demol had praise for Cunego's Lampre team. "We have to be honest, Damiano Cunego and his teammates did control the race. I feel sad for him because he lost the race on the last day, with only some seconds, but that's sport. Levi had the chance to win this race by doing a hard effort. Today he did an enormous effort. He went very deep and it worked out fine for the team but earlier this week he could count on his teammates who kept him out of the wind. This is a victory for the whole team."

According to Leipheimer American cycling legend Andy Hampsten has praised Leipheimer's effort in the Tour de Suisse. "I am so happy to win here because it is a big race with a nice history and palmares. Yesterday I got an email from Andy Hampsten. He won this race twice as an American. I am proud to follow his footsteps."

This year's Tour de Suisse race was overshadowed by the crash of Juan Mauricio Soler on Thursday. His Movistar team said the Colombian's condition is improving, but he remains in an induced coma with a fractured skull and ankle.

The Tour of Switzerland leads to the 2011

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