Skip to main content

That's not Baden!

Image 1 of 38

Bernhard Eisel (Francaise des Jeux)

Bernhard Eisel (Francaise des Jeux) (Image credit: AFP)
Image 2 of 38

Gregory Rast (Phonak)

Gregory Rast (Phonak) (Image credit: AFP)
Image 3 of 38

Last year's winner Jan Ullrich

Last year's winner Jan Ullrich (Image credit: AFP)
Image 4 of 38

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) looking a little apprehensive at the team presentation

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) looking a little apprehensive at the team presentation (Image credit: AFP Photo)
Image 5 of 38

Last year's winner Jan Ullrich rides in the leader's jersey during stage 1

Last year's winner Jan Ullrich rides in the leader's jersey during stage 1 (Image credit: AFP Photo)
Image 6 of 38

The peloton is greeted by a blast from a horn player

The peloton is greeted by a blast from a horn player (Image credit: AFP Photo)
Image 7 of 38

Gregory Rast (Phonak) is cheered on by local supporters

Gregory Rast (Phonak) is cheered on by local supporters (Image credit: AFP Photo)
Image 8 of 38

Gregory Rast (Phonak) flies along

Gregory Rast (Phonak) flies along (Image credit: AFP Photo)
Image 9 of 38

Gregory Rast (Phonak) during his long, solo effort

Gregory Rast (Phonak) during his long, solo effort (Image credit: AFP Photo)
Image 10 of 38

Bernhard Eisel (Francaise des Jeux) beats Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) to win stage 1

Bernhard Eisel (Francaise des Jeux) beats Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) to win stage 1 (Image credit: AFP Photo)
Image 11 of 38

Bernhard Eisel (Francaise des Jeux) is pretty happy about winning stage 1

Bernhard Eisel (Francaise des Jeux) is pretty happy about winning stage 1 (Image credit: AFP Photo)
Image 12 of 38

This Swiss guy is not racing

This Swiss guy is not racing (Image credit: Herbert Krabel)
Image 13 of 38

Lots of support motorcycles are ready to go

Lots of support motorcycles are ready to go (Image credit: Herbert Krabel)
Image 14 of 38

The Swiss police is here in force too

The Swiss police is here in force too (Image credit: Herbert Krabel)
Image 15 of 38

Jens Voigt (CSC) discusses race strategy with a fan

Jens Voigt (CSC) discusses race strategy with a fan (Image credit: Herbert Krabel)
Image 16 of 38

Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) runs into former sponsor Herbert Krabel

Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) runs into former sponsor Herbert Krabel (Image credit: Herbert Krabel)
Image 17 of 38

Chris Horner (Saunier Duval) and Saul Raisin (Credit Agricole) chat before the start.

Chris Horner (Saunier Duval) and Saul Raisin (Credit Agricole) chat before the start. (Image credit: Herbert Krabel)
Image 18 of 38

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) is surrounded by paparazzi

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) is surrounded by paparazzi (Image credit: Herbert Krabel)
Image 19 of 38

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) patiently signs one of many autographs

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) patiently signs one of many autographs (Image credit: Herbert Krabel)
Image 20 of 38

The field getting on its way

The field getting on its way (Image credit: Herbert Krabel)
Image 21 of 38

The race is on!

The race is on! (Image credit: Herbert Krabel)
Image 22 of 38

Saul Raisin of Credit Agricole with Herbert Krabel

Saul Raisin of Credit Agricole with Herbert Krabel (Image credit: Herbert Krabel)
Image 23 of 38

Andrea Peron (CSC) sips a bit of coffee before the start of stage 1

Andrea Peron (CSC) sips a bit of coffee before the start of stage 1 (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 24 of 38

Hey, I get the girls! Bernhard Eisel on the podium after stage 1

Hey, I get the girls! Bernhard Eisel on the podium after stage 1 (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 25 of 38

Bernhard Eisel (Francaise de Jeux) was the leader after stage 1

Bernhard Eisel (Francaise de Jeux) was the leader after stage 1 (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 26 of 38

Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto) may be contemplating his collarbone and how to keep it safe

Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto) may be contemplating his collarbone and how to keep it safe (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 27 of 38

Daddy, what does this one do? Jan Boven's little ones give his bike the once over

Daddy, what does this one do? Jan Boven's little ones give his bike the once over (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 28 of 38

Jens Voight (CSC) thinks about the job at hand before the start of stage 1

Jens Voight (CSC) thinks about the job at hand before the start of stage 1 (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 29 of 38

You're kidding, right? Patxi Vila (Lampre) doesn't look that amused

You're kidding, right? Patxi Vila (Lampre) doesn't look that amused (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 30 of 38

Bernhard Eisel (Francaise de Jeux) looks pretty happy after stage 1

Bernhard Eisel (Francaise de Jeux) looks pretty happy after stage 1 (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 31 of 38

The peoloton during stage 1 with Jan Ullrich in the background

The peoloton during stage 1 with Jan Ullrich in the background (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 32 of 38

Andrea Peron (CSC) finished his coffee and at work during stage 1

Andrea Peron (CSC) finished his coffee and at work during stage 1 (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 33 of 38

Jan Boven (Rabobank) and Servais Knaven (Quickstep) during stage 1

Jan Boven (Rabobank) and Servais Knaven (Quickstep) during stage 1 (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 34 of 38

Bernhard Eisel and Giampaolo Caruso ride tempo during the first stage

Bernhard Eisel and Giampaolo Caruso ride tempo during the first stage (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 35 of 38

Swiss rider Fabian Jeker (Saunier-Duval) looks comfortable in the pack during stage 1

Swiss rider Fabian Jeker (Saunier-Duval) looks comfortable in the pack during stage 1 (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 36 of 38

The peloton makes it's way from Schaffhausen to Weinfelden for stage 1

The peloton makes it's way from Schaffhausen to Weinfelden for stage 1 (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 37 of 38

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) rides comfortably in the pack

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) rides comfortably in the pack (Image credit: Christine Grein)
Image 38 of 38

Ullrich and Jeker both in yellow and riding safely in the pack

Ullrich and Jeker both in yellow and riding safely in the pack (Image credit: Christine Grein)

Austrian Bernard Eisel (La Francaise des Jeux) surprised a few when his guarding position behind teammate and top sprinter Baden Cooke turned into a winning move. The tricky move towards the end also earned Eisel the yellow leader's jersey that during the first stage was worn by last year's winner Jan Ullrich.

How it unfolded

Two climbs of the lowest category were all that stood between today's stage and a flat stage, but it looked as though it was set up for the big sprinters like Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto), Baden Cooke (Francaise des Jeux), Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and Tom Boonen (QuickStep). The attacks started early in the 170 kilometre stage, and the peloton saw attempts from Joan Horrach (Illes Balears), Michael Albasini and Kjell Carlström (Liquigas - Bianchi) and Walter Beneteau (Bouygues Telecom) before a rider was finally let away. It was the Swiss champion Gregory Rast from the local Phonak boys who pulled a PR stunt, showing off a piece of equipment behind his saddle. Could it be hearing aid related? Since his attack certainly wasn't a fluke, but looked planned days ahead, he was let go, and his gap started to grow. Saunier Duval who missed out in last year's competition, took some responsibility for the ace of the peloton, but didn't panic behind Rast.

25 year-old Gregory Rast, sporting the Swiss championships as his only victory so far, pedaled along at a brisk speed, and had built up a four minute gap over the first climb of Hoochstroos. Michael Albasini (Liquigas-Bianchi) was the second rider over the little climb, and Illes Baleares rider Toni Colom was third. With 77 kilometres to go, Rast reached a maximum 4'48 before the peloton started to pull him back, and by doing so, they passed the feed zone so fast that they had to hold on to their musettes for dear life.

Worth noting at this point was that none of the strong sprinting teams took any responsibility for the stage, except for Davitamon-Lotto, who let one rider blend in with riders from Bouygues, Illes Baleares and Domina Vacanze at the front. Gregory Rast had a safe gap over the first intermediate sprint with 56 kilometres to go, and Daniele Colli and Michael Albasini from Liquigas-Bianchi made an effort to take second and third ahead of the peloton.

Rast managed to keep the peloton away over the second climb of Weerswilen, and avoided running out of power while being caught uphill. Shortly afterwards, Rast was eventually caught, and the peloton looked confused to say the least: 29 km to go, and nothing to do. The sprinters' teams remained low key, and they seemed to ask for attacks, and attacks they got. Phonak's Niki Aebersold rode off and was joined by Alejandro Valverde (Illes Baleares). Behind them, Christian Moreni (QuickStep) was the only rider representing the fast finishers, instead Phonak and Illes Baleares were allowed to keep their riders at the front and in the break.

Rabobank's big guy Thorwald Veneberg countered when Valverde and Aebersold sat up, and shortly after, Veneberg slowed down. QuickStep's Paolo Bettini was seen screaming at the chief commissaire, mixing complaints about the motorcycles with hot blooded Italian phrases. Eventually the peloton calmed down, and Discovery Channel's Benoît Joachim took off on a solo attempt that didn't last too long.

Francaise des Jeux started to build what looked like a decent leadout, mostly because of the wind that made a few suffer and hampered most in their attempts to move closer to the front. Despite having a handful of strong riders at the front, Davitamon-Lotto's Robbie McEwen shook his head, and didn't re-appear at the front again. Coming into windy Weinfelden, Francaise des Jeux took over from the Davitamon-Lotto boys, and split the peloton up in two bits. The Francaise des Jeux boys were Bernhard Eisel, Baden Cooke, and Brad McGee, and they took Tom Boonen and Paolo Bettini (QuickStep) and Peter "Paco" Wrolich (Gerolsteiner) with them to the finish. Bettini hadn't waster any energy during his trip back to the cars at a point where other riders struggled, and made a jump for the line with 350m to go. His strength failed towards the end, and Baden Cooke managed to close the gap in time for Eisel to sprint to victory in front of Tom Boonen and Peter Wrolich.

Latest on Cyclingnews