Kristoff claims his fifth victory of the season in Switzerland

After stage victory, Norwegian looks forward to Tour de France

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) used his powerful sprint to earn the victory in the 176km stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse from Buochs to Leuggern on Wednesday.

"I'm very happy with this victory," said Kristoff. "It's the fifth win of my 2013, I'm living a great season. I also know today it's the Independence Day in Russia: I'm happy I gave them another reason to celebrate."

The Norwegian rider defeated top challengers Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Arnaud Demare (FDJ).

The sprinters' teams kept a four-man break under control during the relatively flat stage, and after they were caught with 23km to go, Katush began to set up its train for what would be a slightly uphill finishing straight.

Kristoff said, "Once again I have to thank my teammates: they did a great job, and I was in the best position in order to win. This performance confirms that I'm a good way toward my top form."

"Obviously, my goal is to take part in the Tour de France at my best, but I still want to put in some other good performance here in Switzerland."

This year, Kristoff also won three stages of the Tour of Norway and a stage of the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde.

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