Angel Vicisio brought some desperately-needed good news to the team formerly known as Liberty Seguros when he won the hilly fourth stage of the Tour of Switzerland in La Chaux-de-Fonds yesterday.
The Würth rider escaped from the peloton with 6 kilometres to go, accompanied by Euskaltel-Euskadi's David Herrero. They hacked out a 16 second margin in the next kilometres and worked together to hold off the charging peloton, powered by the Lampre-Fondital and Rabobank trying to set things up for their sprinters.
With the peloton breathing down their necks as the finish line came in sight, the two duked it out in a one-on-one finale. Vicisio celebrated as he hit the line first while Herrero banged the handlebars in frustration.
Afterwards, Vicisio dedicated the victory to his former team manager Manolo Saiz, who has stood aside while he is being investigated by Spain's Operation Puerto. "I'm very happy to have won the stage and I dedicate it to Manolo Saiz," Vicioso said. Along with three others, including former Kelme team doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, Saiz was arrested on May 23 while allegedly in possession of €60,000 in cash.
"Everybody in our team is going through a difficult time but this win is a boost to our morale and shows we're determined to stay focused and do well."
Vicisio's victory moves him up to fifth place on general classification, 14 seconds behind race leader Nick Nuyens (Quick Step-Innergetic). Nuyens finished 11th on the stage after struggling a little on the steeper sections.
"It wasn't easy, especially on the final climb," he said. "But my team was there for me from the start, and so I could defend the yellow jersey."