Tour de Suisse: Peter Sagan descends fearlessly to take opening time trial
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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tour de Suisse: Peter Sagan descends fearlessly to take opening time trial

by Ben Atkins at 11:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour de Suisse
Slovakian road champion beats local favourite Fabian Cancellara in short hilly test

peter saganPeter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) denied the Swiss crowds a home victory as he took the opening 7.3km stage one time trial of the Tour de Suisse, in the city of Lugano. The Slovakian road champion was only third at the three kilometre checkpoint, near the top of the mid-stage climb, but descended quicker than most to push Swiss four-time World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) off the top.

Sagan’s winning time of 9’43” was four seconds faster than that of Cancellara, whose performance had finally pushed Sagan’s Liquigas-Cannondale teammate, neo-pro Moreno Moser out of first place, having been posted in the first hour of the stage.

“I'm certainly not a time triallist,” said Sagan. “But over short distances, similar to a prologue, I can maximise my power.

On an identical course as tackled in the 2011 race, the Slovakian road champion was 15 seconds faster than he had been the previous year, which meant he could finish ahead of Cancellara, who was six seconds slower.

“It was a technical course and I studied it carefully in the morning,” he explained. “You needed to push and sprint, I enjoyed it and felt comfortable. I'm really happy right now, with everything going well. It's a great morale boost, just what I need to continue my path towards the Tour de France.

“Now I will concentrate on the next stages,” he added. “Those in the mountains to work hard and improve in strength; the others to help the team achieve more success.”

A less than conventional opening time trial

At just 7.3km in length, the Lausanne course qualified to be called prologue, rather than stage one; a climb in the mid part however, which topped out at 411 metres high after 3.2km, meant that this was anything but a typical prologue stage.

Spidertech p/b C10‘s Will Routley was the first rider to start, in what was the Canadian team’s biggest ever race, and stopped the clock in 11’30”. He was immediately overtaken by Team Type 1-Sanofi’s Daniele Colli however, who lowered the best time to 11’01”. Saxo Bank’s Chris Anker Sørensen soon became the first rider to go below eleven minutes though, slashing another 28 seconds off Colli’s time to set 10’33”.

Sørensen’s time was repeatedly beaten by the riders that followed however - including Thomas Löfkvist (Team Sky), former Swiss champion Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1-Sanofi) and Maxime Monfort (RadioShack-Nissan) - then Swiss favourite Martin Elmiger (AG2R La Mondiale) went below ten minutes for the first time, with 9’54”. He himself was only on the top for a few minutes however, as Moser - who’d crossed the 3km check in 5’11” - went four seconds faster at the finish, with 9’50”.

Tom-Jelte Slagter (Rabobank) went into provisional third place, with 10’03”, but the ten minute mark was proving a barrier to all but Moser and Elmiger for now.

Keen to prove a point after his much discussed withdrawal from the previous month’s Giro d’Italia, Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) almost hit a traffic island on the descent to the finish as he raced into the finish, and stopped the clock in a respectable 10’19”.

Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) meanwhile, who had enjoyed a more successful Giro, went into provisional third with 10’01”, but still couldn’t quite join the leading two under ten minutes. Soon afterwards Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan), who’d missed the Giro through injury, went best of all the overall contenders so far with 10’05” to go into fifth.

Finally, Astana’s Frederik Kessiakoff became the third rider to break the ten minute barrier, slotting into provisional third with 9’58”.

Cancellara is on the road but he’s not the first one up the hill

Big favourite Cancellara was only twelfth at the top of the climb, nine seconds down on Moser. The former World champion almost hit the same traffic island as teammate Schleck had done in his haste to get down the descent though, and, as he sprinted across the line, he finally knocked Moser off the top with 9’47”.

Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) had been second after three kilometres, just three seconds down on Moser, and six up on Cancellara, while Sagan was just a few hundredths of a second behind the Orica-GreenEdge rider. Albasini was no match for Cancellara’s descending though, and crossed the line in provisional fifth in ten minutes dead.

While never looking like taking the lead, Roman Kreuziger (Astana) - who had had a disappointing Giro, despite winning one of its hardest stages - crossed the line in 10’02”; going into provisional seventh, and the best of the top overall contenders so far.

Sagan was displaying the same fearless descending that he had shown on the way down the Grosse Scheidegg in the previous year’s race and, although he was two seconds slower than Cancellara on the way down, the fact that he had been six seconds quicker than the local man on the way up made the difference. The rider that won five of the eight stages of the recent Tour of California brought his sprint into play in the final metres, and reached the line in 9’43” to deny the home favourite his victory.

The final rider to start was 2011 race winner Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), who only recently recovered from a fractured fibula, and he crossed the line in 57th place, with 10’24”.


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Tour de Suisse (WorldTour) prologue results: Morzine TT, 7.3 km:

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.
Country Result Name Team Time
svk SVK 1 Peter Sagan (Liquigas - Cannondale) 00:09:43
sui SUI 2 Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack - Nissan) 00:00:04
ita ITA 3 Moreno Moser (Liquigas - Cannondale) 00:00:07
sui SUI 4 Martin Elmiger (Ag2R - La Mondiale) 00:00:11
swe SWE 5 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana Pro Team) 00:00:15
sui SUI 6 Michael Albasini (Orica - GreenEDGE) 00:00:17
ita ITA 7 Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) 00:00:18
cze CZE 8 Roman Kreuziger (Astana Pro Team) 00:00:19
ned NED 9 Tom Jelte Slagter (Rabobank Cycling Team) 00:00:20
den DEN 10 Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack - Nissan) 00:00:22
swe SWE 11 Thomas Löfkvist (Sky Procycling) s.t.
bel BEL 12 Maxime Monfort (RadioShack - Nissan) 00:00:23
ned NED 13 Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank Cycling Team) s.t.
ita ITA 14 Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team) s.t.
aus AUS 15 Cameron Meyer (Orica - GreenEDGE) s.t.
gbr GBR 16 Steven Cummings (BMC Racing Team) 00:00:24
usa USA 17 Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team) s.t.
ned NED 18 Wout Poels (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team) 00:00:25
svk SVK 19 Peter Velits (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) s.t.
esp ESP 20 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Euskaltel - Euskadi) s.t.
ger GER 21 Andréas Klöden (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
ned NED 22 Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) 00:00:27
esp ESP 23 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Movistar Team) 00:00:31
sui SUI 24 Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
irl IRL 25 Nicolas Roche (Ag2R - La Mondiale) s.t.
ned NED 26 Robert Gesink (Rabobank Cycling Team) s.t.
fra FRA 27 Thibaut Pinot (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:00:32
esp ESP 28 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Movistar Team) 00:00:33
usa USA 29 Thomas Danielson (Garmin - Barracuda) s.t.
fra FRA 30 Julien El Fares (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
est EST 31 Tanel Kangert (Astana Pro Team) s.t.
ita ITA 32 Daniel Oss (Liquigas - Cannondale) 00:00:34
fra FRA 33 John Gadret (Ag2R - La Mondiale) s.t.
bel BEL 34 Bart De Clercq (Lotto - Belisol Team) 00:00:35
aut AUT 35 Georg Preidler (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
sui SUI 36 Mathias Frank (BMC Racing Team) s.t.
cro CRO 37 Robert Kiserlovski (Astana Pro Team) 00:00:36
kaz KAZ 38 Dmitriy Muravyev (Astana Pro Team) s.t.
den DEN 39 Christopher Juul-jensen (Team Saxo Bank) s.t.
ned NED 40 Bauke Mollema (Rabobank Cycling Team) s.t.
ita ITA 41 Damiano Cunego (Lampre - ISD) s.t.
esp ESP 42 Jesús Lopez Herrada (Movistar Team) s.t.
ned NED 43 Sebastian Langeveld (Orica - GreenEDGE) s.t.
lux LUX 44 Frank Schleck (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
por POR 45 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Movistar Team) s.t.
ger GER 46 Linus Gerdemann (RadioShack - Nissan) 00:00:38
esp ESP 47 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Sky Procycling) s.t.
ita ITA 48 Marzio Bruseghin (Movistar Team) s.t.
bel BEL 49 Gaetan Bille (Lotto - Belisol Team) s.t.
nor NOR 50 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Sky Procycling) 00:00:39
sui SUI 51 Martin Kohler (BMC Racing Team) s.t.
can CAN 52 Michael Barry (Sky Procycling) s.t.
ned NED 53 Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank Cycling Team) 00:00:40
ita ITA 54 Stefano Agostini (Liquigas - Cannondale) s.t.
ltu LTU 55 Ignatas Konovalovas (Movistar Team) 00:00:41
cze CZE 56 Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) s.t.
usa USA 57 Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) s.t.
rus RUS 58 Vladimir Gusev (Katusha Team) s.t.
esp ESP 59 Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel - Euskadi) s.t.
bel BEL 60 Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team) 00:00:42
aus AUS 61 Stuart O' Grady (Orica - GreenEDGE) s.t.
rus RUS 62 Vladimir Karpets (Movistar Team) s.t.
por POR 63 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Team Saxo Bank) s.t.
fra FRA 64 Remi Cusin (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
ita ITA 65 Francesco Gavazzi (Astana Pro Team) 00:00:43
fra FRA 66 Jérémy Roy (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) s.t.
bel BEL 67 Nick Nuyens (Team Saxo Bank) 00:00:44
ita ITA 68 Tiziano Dall'antonia (Liquigas - Cannondale) s.t.
esp ESP 69 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Movistar Team) s.t.
esp ESP 70 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Euskaltel - Euskadi) s.t.
den DEN 71 Troels Ronning Vinther (Team Saxo Bank) 00:00:45
esp ESP 72 Javier Mejias Leal (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
esp ESP 73 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Lotto - Belisol Team) s.t.
fra FRA 74 Julien Berard (Ag2R - La Mondiale) 00:00:46
ger GER 75 Grischa Niermann (Rabobank Cycling Team) 00:00:47
usa USA 76 Alex Howes (Garmin - Barracuda) 00:00:48
ned NED 77 Karsten Kroon (Team Saxo Bank) s.t.
bel BEL 78 Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) 00:00:49
ita ITA 79 Matteo Montaguti (Ag2R - La Mondiale) s.t.
aus AUS 80 Heinrich Haussler (Garmin - Barracuda) s.t.
lux LUX 81 Laurent Didier (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
kaz KAZ 82 Assan Bazayev (Astana Pro Team) 00:00:50
esp ESP 83 Rafael Valls Ferri (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team) s.t.
ita ITA 84 Salvatore Puccio (Sky Procycling) s.t.
aus AUS 85 Baden Cooke (Orica - GreenEDGE) s.t.
den DEN 86 Chris Anker Sorensen (Team Saxo Bank) s.t.
ukr UKR 87 Volodymyr Gustov (Team Saxo Bank) 00:00:51
den DEN 88 Michael Morkov (Team Saxo Bank) s.t.
fra FRA 89 Lloyd Mondory (Ag2R - La Mondiale) s.t.
den DEN 90 Brian Vandborg (Spidertech Powered By C10) 00:00:52
den DEN 91 Matti Breschel (Rabobank Cycling Team) s.t.
ned NED 92 Thomas Dekker (Garmin - Barracuda) 00:00:53
esp ESP 93 Igor Anton Hernandez (Euskaltel - Euskadi) s.t.
slo SLO 94 Simon Spilak (Katusha Team) s.t.
ita ITA 95 Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha Team) 00:00:54
bel BEL 96 Johan Vansummeren (Garmin - Barracuda) s.t.
gbr GBR 97 Luke Rowe (Sky Procycling) 00:00:55
usa USA 98 Edward King (Liquigas - Cannondale) s.t.
ita ITA 99 Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre - ISD) s.t.
esp ESP 100 Pablo Urtasun Perez (Euskaltel - Euskadi) s.t.
esp ESP 101 Oscar Gomez Freire (Katusha Team) s.t.
ger GER 102 Danilo Hondo (Lampre - ISD) 00:00:56
sui SUI 103 Raimond Künzli (Spidertech Powered By C10) s.t.
ger GER 104 Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing Team) s.t.
uzb UZB 105 Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team) s.t.
fra FRA 106 Romain Sicard (Euskaltel - Euskadi) 00:00:57
usa USA 107 Timothy Duggan (Liquigas - Cannondale) s.t.
rus RUS 108 Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha Team) s.t.
rus RUS 109 Vladimir Isaychev (Katusha Team) s.t.
esp ESP 110 Joan Horrach Rippoll (Katusha Team) 00:00:58
ger GER 111 Fabian Wegmann (Garmin - Barracuda) s.t.
fra FRA 112 Sébastien Minard (Ag2R - La Mondiale) s.t.
usa USA 113 Thomas Peterson (Garmin - Barracuda) 00:00:59
bel BEL 114 Maarten Wynants (Rabobank Cycling Team) 00:01:00
fra FRA 115 David Boucher (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:01:03
bel BEL 116 Sander Cordeel (Lotto - Belisol Team) s.t.
ita ITA 117 Elia Viviani (Liquigas - Cannondale) s.t.
usa USA 118 Tyler Farrar (Garmin - Barracuda) 00:01:04
fra FRA 119 William Bonnet (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) s.t.
fra FRA 120 Anthony Geslin (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) s.t.
ita ITA 121 Alessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:01:05
den DEN 122 Martin Mortensen (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team) 00:01:06
bel BEL 123 Olivier Kaisen (Lotto - Belisol Team) s.t.
sui SUI 124 Gregory Rast (RadioShack - Nissan) 00:01:07
rus RUS 125 Alexander Efimkin (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
aus AUS 126 Mathew Hayman (Sky Procycling) s.t.
bel BEL 127 Frederique Robert (Lotto - Belisol Team) s.t.
rus RUS 128 Nikita Novikov (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team) 00:01:08
fra FRA 129 Cédric Pineau (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) s.t.
bel BEL 130 Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) s.t.
bel BEL 131 Klaas Lodewyck (BMC Racing Team) s.t.
ned NED 132 Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team) 00:01:09
esp ESP 133 Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskaltel - Euskadi) 00:01:10
usa USA 134 Lucas Euser (Spidertech Powered By C10) s.t.
gbr GBR 135 Ben Swift (Sky Procycling) 00:01:11
ita ITA 136 Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) 00:01:12
ita ITA 137 Morris Possoni (Lampre - ISD) s.t.
ita ITA 138 Manuele Mori (Lampre - ISD) 00:01:13
esp ESP 139 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Euskaltel - Euskadi) s.t.
bel BEL 140 Jonas Van Genechten (Lotto - Belisol Team) s.t.
ita ITA 141 Luca Paolini (Katusha Team) 00:01:14
ltu LTU 142 Aidis Kruopis (Orica - GreenEDGE) s.t.
fra FRA 143 Steve Chainel (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) s.t.
ita ITA 144 Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana Pro Team) 00:01:15
ita ITA 145 Davide Vigano (Lampre - ISD) s.t.
can CAN 146 Guillaume Boivin (Spidertech Powered By C10) 00:01:17
can CAN 147 David Boily (Spidertech Powered By C10) s.t.
ita ITA 148 Daniele Colli (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:01:18
can CAN 149 Ryan Anderson (Spidertech Powered By C10) 00:01:19
aus AUS 150 Allan Davis (Orica - GreenEDGE) 00:01:20
bel BEL 151 Gert Steegmans (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) s.t.
slo SLO 152 Grega Bole (Lampre - ISD) s.t.
gbr GBR 153 Adam Blythe (BMC Racing Team) 00:01:22
aus AUS 154 Matthew Wilson (Orica - GreenEDGE) 00:01:26
iri IRI 155 Mehdi Sohrabi (Lotto - Belisol Team) 00:01:27
ita ITA 156 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Lampre - ISD) 00:01:29
fra FRA 157 Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2R - La Mondiale) 00:01:31
blr BLR 158 Yauheni Hutarovich (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:01:32
usa USA 159 Caleb Fairly (Spidertech Powered By C10) 00:01:40
can CAN 160 Will Routley (Spidertech Powered By C10) 00:01:50

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