Gil grabs win and yellow jersey
By Shane Stokes in La Punt, with additional reporting from Anthony Tan
Spanish climber Koldo Gil Perez followed up on results such as a stage win in last year's Tour of Italy and the overall classification of the Euskal Bizikleta earlier this season when he took a very impressive victory on today's sixth stage of the Tour de Suisse.
Tour de France contender Jan Ullrich put the hammer down on the final climb of the Albulapass, showing promising improvements in his form, but it was Saunier Duval rider Gil who was best on the hors categorie ascent, flying clear of the group and passing lone leader Simon Gerrans (AG2R Prévoyance). The 28 year-old Spaniard held his advantage on the slightly tricky, technical descent down to the finish in La Punt, crossing the line 36 seconds clear of Jörg Jaksche (Team Würth) and a further four ahead of Ullrich.
As he himself predicted yesterday, overnight race leader Angel Vicioso had a tough time on the hors categorie climbs and trailed in 2 minutes and 9 seconds down in ninth place. The result saw Gil consequently vault to the top of the general classification with three stages remaining. He is now 34 seconds clear of Jaksche, with Ullrich 54 seconds back.
Gil joked in the press conference that he would need five minutes to hold off Ullrich in the concluding 30 kilometre time trial, then gave a more serious assessment of 90 seconds. As tomorrow's first category climb of Lukmanierpass is a full 89.8 kilometres from the line, he said that Saturday's penultimate stage to Ambri is where he will try to increase his buffer.
Click here for the full results, report and photos from stage 6.