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Cancellara repeats, Kreuziger takes overall

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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) thrills the home town crowd

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) thrills the home town crowd (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) rode superbly

Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) rode superbly (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Crédit Agricole

Crédit Agricole (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Team CSC's bikes are ready for the final stage.

Team CSC's bikes are ready for the final stage. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Alessandro Vanotti (Liquigas)

Alessandro Vanotti (Liquigas) (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) signs in before the final stage.

Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) signs in before the final stage. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) interviewed on stage.

Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) interviewed on stage. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The riders line up for the final stage.

The riders line up for the final stage. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Anthony Geslin and Jérôme Pineau (Bouygues Telecom) before the race start (l-r).

Anthony Geslin and Jérôme Pineau (Bouygues Telecom) before the race start (l-r). (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The escape with Francisco Pérez (Caisse d'Epargne), René Weissinger (Team Volksbank), Maarten Tjallingii (Silence-Lotto) and Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Cofidis).

The escape with Francisco Pérez (Caisse d'Epargne), René Weissinger (Team Volksbank), Maarten Tjallingii (Silence-Lotto) and Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Cofidis). (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Darren Lill (BMC Racing Team)

Darren Lill (BMC Racing Team) (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Lampre leads the charge.

Lampre leads the charge. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Johann Tschopp (Bouygues Telecom) Fränk Schleck (Team CSC) ride along (r-l).

Johann Tschopp (Bouygues Telecom) Fränk Schleck (Team CSC) ride along (r-l). (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Cancellara beats Gilbert by reaching the Belgian in the final metres.

Cancellara beats Gilbert by reaching the Belgian in the final metres. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Another stunning victory by Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC).

Another stunning victory by Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC). (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Cancellara wins in his hometown.

Cancellara wins in his hometown. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Spartacus shows his muscles once again.

Spartacus shows his muscles once again. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Gilbert came close but had to surrender in the end.

Gilbert came close but had to surrender in the end. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) rode superbly but still only managed runner-up.

Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) rode superbly but still only managed runner-up. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Gilbert hits the line

Gilbert hits the line (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Caisse d'Epargne) ended up in third

Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Caisse d'Epargne) ended up in third (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) on the podium following his stage win.

Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) on the podium following his stage win. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) steps up to the podium.

Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) steps up to the podium. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Swiss Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) speaks following his stage win.

Swiss Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) speaks following his stage win. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Family Cancellara look on.

Family Cancellara look on. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Cancellara's wife came to see the winner.

Cancellara's wife came to see the winner. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) waves to the crowd.

Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) waves to the crowd. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Kisses for Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC).

Kisses for Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC). (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) salutes the crowd follow his win in Bern.

Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) salutes the crowd follow his win in Bern. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Third overall Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi)

Third overall Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Spain's Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) happy with his third overall.

Spain's Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) happy with his third overall. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) following the Tour de Suisse.

Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) following the Tour de Suisse. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) on the podium for third overall.

Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) on the podium for third overall. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Germany's Andreas Klöden (Astana) took second overall.

Germany's Andreas Klöden (Astana) took second overall. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) takes the stage.

Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) takes the stage. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Yellow time: Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) takes the final overall leader's jersey.

Yellow time: Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) takes the final overall leader's jersey. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The podium: Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) flanked by Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Andreas Klöden (Astana) (l & r).

The podium: Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) flanked by Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Andreas Klöden (Astana) (l & r). (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Czech Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) tops the podium with Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Andreas Klöden (Astana) (l & r).

Czech Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) tops the podium with Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Andreas Klöden (Astana) (l & r). (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Kisses for the overall race winner.

Kisses for the overall race winner. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Maxim Iglinsky (Astana)

Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Mountains winner Maxim Iglinsky (Astana)

Mountains winner Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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René Weissinger (Team Volksbank)

René Weissinger (Team Volksbank) (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Sprints winner René Weissinger (Team Volksbank)

Sprints winner René Weissinger (Team Volksbank) (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) also won the points jersey.

Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) also won the points jersey. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas)

Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Damiano Cunego (Lampre) presented with the ProTour leader's jersey.

Damiano Cunego (Lampre) presented with the ProTour leader's jersey. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Damiano Cunego (Lampre) on the podium as ProTour leader.

Damiano Cunego (Lampre) on the podium as ProTour leader. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Team Astana

Team Astana (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC)

Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Swiss Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) in the post-race press conference.

Swiss Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) in the post-race press conference. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) answers a few questions.

Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) answers a few questions. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Autograph time: Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) signs a yellow jersey.

Autograph time: Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) signs a yellow jersey. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Czech Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) following the Tour de Suisse.

Czech Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) following the Tour de Suisse. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) responds to the press' questions.

Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) responds to the press' questions. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

Déjà vu. If his stage winning attack two days ago was reminiscent of his victory in Milan Sanremo, Fabian Cancellara's flourish today in his hometown of Bern was forged in the same manner as his Tour de France stage win in Compiègne last July.

The big CSC rider blasted out of the peloton inside the final kilometre, closing up to Belgian rider Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) and edging by with less than 100 metres to go. He hit the line a bike length clear, earning a massive roar from the crowd and following up his final-stage time trial success here one year ago.

"The victory is great for me because I live just five kilometres from here, and because my my wife Stefanie and daughter Juliana were here at the finish," he said afterwards. "It was quite difficult to catch Philippe Gilbert but I got a huge push from the shouts of the public.

"I attacked in the last kilometre. The moment was probably chosen by chance, it is never possible that you decide to attack exactly here or there. I was helped by the fact that some of the sprinters had already left the race. When I was at the front of the peloton, I looked on the right side and the left side to see if any of the fast men were around. I realised it was a good moment then and I went."

Cancellara finished just ahead of Gilbert and four seconds ahead of Daniel Moreno (Caisse d'Epargne). Matteo Tosatto (Quick Step) had also tried to catch Gilbert and he held on for fourth, finishing just ahead of Markus Zberg (Gerolsteiner) and the rest of the main field. Race leader Roman Kreuziger (Liqugas) placed 26th and thus preserved his overnight 49" lead over Andreas Klöden (Astana), landing his biggest win thus far.

"It seems to me that this victory is the real debut of my pro career," he said. "Nobody, not even me, would have thought that I would win this race. I came here to prepare for the Tour de France. I suffered in the first days due to the rain and the cold, but afterwards I realised that I was in great shape. In fact, maybe my good form came too early.

"In the Tour of Romandie [where he was second – ed.] I was on the wheels of the same people, riders such as Andreas Klöden. I missed the extra bit there, I was not able to pass them. But now here in the Tour de Suisse I succeeded and, especially in yesterday's time trial, I had a super feeling. Today's last stage was also good, ending to be an easy job for me and the team."

The 22 year-old was asked what the success meant to him. "For now, it is too early to say," he mentioned. "It will take a few days to realise what I have achieved in this Tour de Suisse. Until now the biggest win I had was the 2004 junior world title in Verona, but that has now been topped by this victory."

Peculiarly, he said the toughest moment was not the effort he had to make on Saturday's stage. "It was not the time trial, but the start of the Tour de Suisse which was very difficult for me. It was tough with the bad weather.

"I came here aiming to prepare for the Tour de France. Nobody, not even me, believed it was possible for me to win . I realised that my form was very good, though, and so it became clear that I could do something. Now I will take the start of the Tour de France with the goal of learning, and also seeing if I can finish the three weeks."

Kreuziger had been worried that Andreas Klöden would try to take the jersey from him, but the stage was relatively straightforward. Francisco Perez Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne), Maarten Tjallingii (Silence Lotto), Herve Duclos-Lassalle (Cofidis), Darren Lill (BMC) and Rene Weissinger (Volksbank) got clear and worked well together, but their progress was limited by the main bunch. It looked like a big sprint was on the cards, but both Gilbert and Cancellara were determined that this would not be the case.

The latter's team-mate Bobby Julich was impressed with the manner of the stage victory. "There is not much to do with Fabian when he is motivated," he said, when asked if the team had to do much to set things up for the win. "He took yesterday's time trial easy. With today's sort of finish, everybody is going to be on the limit. Today he was a kilometre and a half or two kilometres faster than everyone else... he went with five or six hundred metres to go and while Gilbert was already away, he caught him in time. He [Cancellara] is just incredible, he is a legend."

His team-mate Stuart O'Grady echoed that sentiment. "It is his home town, if you give that guy a sniff of the victory, he is going to take it. He is an absolute animal."

Both he and Gilbert looked exhausted after the line, Cancellara slumping to the ground. When asked why he did so, he gave an idea of the effort it took to take the victory. "I had lactic acid up to my hair, I had cramps everywhere," he said.

How it unfolded

The race got off to a nervous start, with numerous individual riders and groups trying to get away – all unsuccessfully, on a beautiful warm, sunny day.

At 30 kilometres, a group of five was able to form and establish a lead: Francisco Perez Sanchez (GCE), Maarten Tjallingii (SIL), Herve Duclos-Lassalle (COF), Darren Lill (BMC) and Rene Weissinger (VBG). None of them was a threat to anyone in the top ten, so the peloton was content to let them go, and they quickly built up a lead.

Their lead held at three minutes for a long time, then jumped to four minutes, but that was too much for the peloton, led by Liguigas. They brought it down to two minutes and let it stay there.

There were two intermediate sprints near the end of the stage, and Weissinger made sure to win the first one, thus assuring himself of the overall sprinter's jersey.

With 18 km to go, the lead had shrunk to 56 seconds as they crossed the finish line for the first time and set off on a short lap.

At eight kilometres to go, it was over and the leaders were gobbled up by the peloton. A few riders tried to get away, but the sprinters' teams went after them. But with about 1.5 km to go, Philippe Gilbert of FdJ decided not to wait for the sprinters and took off. Only one rider could follow him, and unfortunately for him, it was Fabian Cancellara. The Swiss rider ruthlessly bore down and with about 150 metres to go, zipped by the Belgian to take his second stage win of the Tour.

The overall win went to Roman Kreuziger, the sprints jersey to Weissinger, the points jeresy to Cancellara, and the Mmouintains jersey to Maxim Iglinsky.

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