Sagan wins second Swiss stage
Sat, 18 Jun 18:57:00 2011
Peter Sagan of Slovakia showed his versatility by claiming a bunch-sprint stage victory in the Tour of Switzerland, just days after winning a tough mountain leg.
The Liquigas rider was fastest in a 28-rider uphill dash for the finish at the end of the 167.3-km stage eight in Schaffhausen, outpacing Australian Matt Goss and Britain's Ben Swift.
Italy's Damiano Cunego kept the race lead with one day to go while Dutchman Bauke Mollema slid from second overall to fifth.
After outduelling Cunego in a downhill sprint on Monday's Alpine stage, the 21-year-old Sagan said taking a second win in radically different circumstances was partly due to the reduced size of the front group.
"It's not the same to beat about 30 riders as it is a full bunch," Sagan told reporters, "and I needed a lot of support to do it.
"My team mate Daniel Oss [of Italy] buried himself in the last few kilometres to ensure I was in the best position possible. At the same time I had to be feeling strong myself in order to go for a win at the end of such a fast stage."
Sagan's second victory means he will win the points competition. Tour de France contender Andy Schleck of Luxembourg is equally unassailable as King of the Mountains.
Sunday's 32.1-km time trial in Schaffhausen will decide the race winner. Cunego has a lead of one minute 36 seconds over second-placed Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk, with holder Frank Schleck of Luxembourg at one minute 41 seconds.
However American Levi Leipheimer, fourth at one minute 59 seconds and a previous winner of time trials in the Tour de Frances and Tour of Spain, is the favourite.