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Fabian Cancellara celebrates after taking the final TT and the overall Tour de Suisse.
Spartacus returns to form ahead of Tour de France
Saxo Bank's Fabian Cancellara became the first Swiss rider since Alex Zülle to win the Tour de Suisse overall when he powered away to the final stage win on Sunday. He easily bettered his four-second deficit to Tadej Valjavec (AG2R) to seal the victory.
Cancellara's dominating performance in the 39km time trial signalled the return to form of the former world champion in the discipline, who suffered from illness and injury over the first half of the season.
Clad in his red skinsuit as Swiss time trial champion, Cancellara sped through the streets of Bern, crushing the hopes of Valjavec, who ended the day 3'45" in arrears.
"It was a fantastic feeling to win on home ground today. I must admit that I had goose bumps on the course and I could clearly feel the support from the audience. When I started Tour de Suisse I had not dreamed of the possibility of the overall victory. But with the team's help and form that finally has arrived we managed anyway.
"It has been a fantastic week for me and for the team. I would like to thank the team, the audience and the sponsors for their support and we could not wish for a better prelude to the Tour de France," said Cancellara.
The nearest finisher was Tony Martin (Columbia-Highroad), who moved into second overall with his effort today, but was still 1'27" slower than the Swiss champion.
Martin is one of Germany's most promising young riders. He will head to the Tour de France to race for the best young rider's classification.