Frank Schleck wins stage three of 2010 Tour of Suisse

News & Results

06/14/2010| 0 comments
by AP, with additional commentary by
Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Frank Schleck wins stage three of 2010 Tour of Suisse

Frank Schleck wins stage 3 of 2010 Tour de Suisse; Tony Martin takes overall lead.

Frank Schleck of Luxembourg won the third stage of the Tour of Switzerland Monday, while Lance Armstrong finished in a closely trailing pack.

Schleck triumphed after breaking away within the last 2 kilometers of the 197-kilometer (122.4-mile) trek from Sierre to Schwarzenburg, which featured a Category 1 climb, the Mosses Pass.

Germany's Tony Martin of Team HTC-Columbia took the overall race lead from Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara.

Schleck, Cancellara's Saxo Bank teammate, beat his arms in the air after holding off a final surge by Colombian Rigoberto Uran in second. Both clocked 5 hours, 2 minutes, 21 seconds.

Dutch rider Bauke Mollema was third, 3 seconds back, as was Martin - who began the stage one second behind Cancellara. The Swiss rider finished 7 seconds back of Schleck, as did Armstrong.

Schleck made his move in the last 200 meters of a climb before a relatively flat last kilometer.

"That felt like the longest kilometer of my life," said Schleck, who has come to the Swiss race in a mood of "serenity" in the run-up to the Tour de France.

"It makes me happy to win a stage here," he said.

Overall, Martin leads Cancellara by 1 second, and Sweden's Thomas Lovkvist is third, nine seconds back. Armstrong climbed to 21st, from 33rd, and is 30 seconds behind the German.

Three competitors - Jussi Veikkanen of Finland, Alexandre Pliuschin of Moldova and Ermanno Capelli of Italy - broke out of the pack at the 22-kilometer (13.7-mile) mark and chiseled out a 15-minute lead before they were all overtaken with 22 kilometers to go.

The race is Armstrong's last before he embarks on his bid for an eighth Tour de France victory when the sport's main event starts July 3.

Riders face two small climbs Tuesday in the fourth stage, a 192-kilometer (119.3-mile) ride across the rolling hills of north Switzerland, from Schwarzenburg to Wettingen.

The nine-day race ends Sunday.

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