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Alberto Contador (Würth)
By Shane Stokes in Ambri, with additional reporting from Anthony Tan For one Spaniard joy, the other...
By Shane Stokes in Ambri, with additional reporting from Anthony Tan
For one Spaniard joy, the other disappointment. The beleaguered Würth team got another boost to morale today when 23 year old Alberto Contador won the penultimate stage of the Tour de Suisse into Ambri. The 23 year old jumped across to a splintering breakaway group 115 kilometres from the line and then pressed on alone on the 2106 metre first category climb of Gotthardpass. Although Cadel Evans (Davitamon Lotto) set off in pursuit with 13 kilometres remaining and was then reinforced in his chase some ten kilometres later by David Herrero Llorente (Euskaltel), Contador was strong enough to stay clear of the two and reach the finish 34 seconds clear.
Phonak rider Alexandre Moos led home a large chase group a further three seconds later. Race leader Koldo Gil Perez took fifth but the Saunier Duval rider was clearly disappointed not to have succeeded in his aim of taking time out of closest rivals Jörg Jaksche (Team Würth) and Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile). "It will be difficult to win now," he admitted at the post-race press conference. "I will give everything tomorrow in the time trial, though; I think there is still a small chance."
Jaksche and Ullrich will beg to differ. Both are strong time trialists, and over 30 kilometres they will be confident of erasing their deficits of 30 and 50 seconds respectively. Unless Gil pulls out a phenomenal ride, it looks like there will be a big German showdown on the undulating road between Kerzers and Bern tomorrow.
Click here for the full results, report and photos from stage 8.