McEwen Wins Second Straight Stage of Swiss Tour
Robbie McEwen (Silence) has won his second consecutive stage of the Tour de Suisse. McEwen bested Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and Gerald Ciolek (High Road) in a bunch sprint to take Stage 4, a flat-to-rolling, 171-km run from Gossau to Domat-Ems, in 4:04:10. Igor Anton (Euskaltel) remains the yellow jersey.
The racing began early. At five km, Matej Jurco (Milram), Jerome Pineau (Bouygues Telecom), and Jonathan Garcia (BMC) escaped. The peloton did not pursue immediately, and the trio led by 8:00 at 25 km and 10:00 at 40 km. The peloton accelerated and pegged the lead at between eight and nine minutes.
Gradually, the leaders' advantage dissipated. At 140 km, 2:00 separated the bunch from the break. With six km left, the peloton absorbed the break.
High Road took over at the front, but Quick Step, Silence, and Milram joined the American squad at the head of the peloton. Silence and High Road led the field into the last km.
McEwen started the sprint early. Freire and Ciolek gained on the Australian, but they could not close the gap. The podium order was the same as yesterday's, with McEwen taking first, Freire second, and Ciolek third.
In the overall, Anton leads Kim Kirchen (High Road) by 0:06 and Damiano Cunego (Lampre) by 0:12. Stage 4 will probably not change this state of affairs, but it will not be decided by a bunch sprint. The 190-km ride from Domat-Ems to Caslano will feature the Category 1 Lukmanierpass at 69 km, the Category 3 Monte Ceneri at 147 km, and the Category 2 Cademario climb. The stage seems tailor-made for a group of no-hope escapers. Who will they be? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!