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Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) had even more reason to smile after the stage, having taken the race leader's jersey.
Australian focuses on final Tour de France training
Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) has pulled out of the Tour de Suisse in order to train at altitude ahead of July’s Tour de France. Rogers had completed the first three stages and the team took overall race lead with Tony Martin on Monday.
Rogers has already had a successful but demanding 2010, winning both the Amgen Tour of California in late May as well as the Ruta del Sol in February. With over 40 race days in his legs already this season, the Australian preferred to work on more specific training at altitude, rather than continue racing in Switzerland.
"Michael expressed interest at the beginning of the year to be at altitude in the lead up to the Tour de France," said Team Manager Rolf Aldag, "so we are supporting him in this plan.
"Ideally he would continue at the Tour de Suisse where we have the Yellow Jersey and some exciting racing ahead, but after a tough race at the Tour of California and with the ultimate goal being his form at the Tour, this is the best option for him."
Rogers is likely to spearhead HTC-Columbia’s GC bid at the Tour de France where the team will be looking to also win stages and the green jersey with Mark Cavendish. Last week the team announced their long-list for the Tour but the final nine will not be picked until the Tour de Suisse has concluded on Sunday.
Last November Rogers told Cyclingnews that, “"I'd like to be where I was in 2005, when I was competitive in stage races. It's going to be hard, but I'll be looking to a do good general classification ride."