By Bjorn Haake in Vogtsburg
In a dramatic finale Markus Fothen of Gerolsteiner took out the stage win with a late attack, but came up short in his quest to overall victory. General classification leader Björn Schröder had to dig deep to reach the finish line two seconds behind in third place. That gave him a four-second bonus – the same margin with which he won the overall classification. Luca Paolini (Acqua e Sapone) managed another second place, after having been relegated to that position in stage 3.
Fothen trailed by 12 seconds going into the stage. His late surged secured him the day's win along with a 10-second time bonus. The move almost worked, as Schröder was dropped. But the Milram rider fought hard to squeeze into third place, receiving the final time bonus of four seconds.
Fothen was upbeat after the stage, despite coming up short of taking out the general classification. "I tried on the Texaspass [the main climb], but I couldn't get away. So my last chance was a little rise two kilometres from the line. It was enough to get a small gap, but nothing more. One rider was better than me, I have to accept that."
For Milram it was the second stage race victory of the season, after Christian Knees' victory in the Bayern Rundfahrt. "That was an unbelievable fight up to the last metre today," said Milram's Directeur Sportif, Jochen Hahn. "The guys went totally to their limit, sometimes even over it. A big compliment on Björn, who thanks to his strong performance rewarded us with this enormous success." Schröder himself was impressed. "The team worked really hard. We have a really good group of guys."
Continue to the full report, results and photos.