Horner shines, Ullrich falters, Rogers takes yellow
A beautiful piece of tactical riding by Chris Horner (Saunier Duval) has given him the victory in the sixth stage of the Tour de Suisse, 159 km between Bürglen UR and Arosa. On a tough stage containing two big mountain passes, Horner attacked the yellow jersey peloton with 28 km to go on the final climb to Arosa, taking Vincenzo Nibali (Fassa Bortolo) and Jonathan Gonzalez Rios (Illes Balears) with him. Nibali went solo with 24 km to go, and looked to be riding well enough for the win, until Horner came back to him at 19 km to go, then dropped him 11 km later to ride away for a big win, and a likely spot on Saunier Duval's Tour de France team.
"It was just tactical, pure tactics," Horner explained to Cyclingnews post-stage. "Today was simple: I was three minutes down on GC and the leaders, if you take the top 10 on GC, the leaders had no-one [left] on the climb to pull me back - so it's logical to think: 'Okay, we're not going to use energy to chase Chris Horner.'"
Nibali hung on for second at 1'12 while Michael Rogers (Quick.Step) took third, just a few seconds behind, and moved into the yellow jersey. Jan Ullrich did not have one of his better days in the mountains, and lost 34 seconds to the Rogers group in the final 3 kilometres. That cost him the yellow jersey, which his team has defended since the second stage, but might give them some relief, as Giuseppe Guerini had to do most of the tempo work on the final climb by himself today.
"Although wearing it is a special honour and I would have liked to defend it," Ullrich said. "Now there's less pressure on our shoulders - and that's not the worst thing in the face of the upcoming tough stages."