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Tour de Suisse 2009: Stage 9

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Welcome to our coverage of stage nine, the final stage of the 2009 Tour de Suisse.

Valjavec leads by a slim four seconds over Cancellara. It will be a close fight between the two, with the upper hand likely going to Cancellara.

The riders face 38.5 kilometers out and back into the city of Bern today.

The course heads up and down in its two loops starting and ending in Bern.

It was a big day for Columbia yesterday.  The team took its 7th stage win in the Tour de Suisse and over in Italy Marco Pinotti won the national time trial championships.  It was his fourth time to win the championships, a record in the italian time trial championships.

Peter Velits (Milram) is on the course. He is a fast rider when it comes to these stages, he was under 23 world champion in 2007.

The first times are coming too us now. Marcus Burghardt (Columbia-Highroad) leads by five seconds over Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step). Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) is in third.

1 Marcus Burghardt (Columbia-Highroad) 47:42
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)
3 Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream)

German Marcus Burghardt (Columbia-Highroad) won a stage of the Tour de France last year over Carlos Barredo (Quick Step). We believe that was stage 18, the same stage where Cunego crashed.

Cunego gave Tony Martin (Columbia-Highroad) a hard fight yesterday but lost. Martin won the stage and continues to lead the mountains competition.

There are a lot of great reader e-mails and post on our forums!  Please keep them coming.

A lot of you want to know why Cancellara is favoured today.  He is a two-time world champion in the time trial and those four seconds that keep him from Valjavec will be gobbled up quickly if all goes according to plan.

Dutchman Thomas Dekker (Silence-Lotto) finishes. He takes over the lead ahead of Marcus Burghardt (Columbia-Highroad) and Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step).

German Tony Martin (Columbia-Highroad) starts his time trial. He is in the pink mountains jersey thanks to his ride this week and his win yesterday.

Cancellara will start any minute. The fans are really cheering him on here in Bern.

The last rider of the day is about to begin, Tadej Valjavec (AG2R La Mondiale). He lines up with a lot of pressure on the shoulders of his yellow jersey.

We get a look at Cunego.  He had his chance to win a stage yesterday and today he is just finishing off the stage race and testing himself.  He will race and trhy to win the Italian Championships next weekend in Imola.

Kirchen is on a slight uphill section. Frank Schleck may be the champion on the road, but Kirchen is the Luxembourg TT champion.

Cancellara is looking very strong. He tops Martin at an intermediate time check.

Martin was the fasest out on the course before Cancellara

Tadjavec is having a hard time. He should lose the overall lead today.

Andreas Klöden (Astana) is out on the course as well. He has a slight rocking to his upper back.

We just got a look at Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas). He is riding well, but will not come close to the speed that Cancellara is posting today.

Cancellara comes through the half way point, in the city centre of Bern.  The Swiss fans are really getting behind their rider today.  They let out a loud roar when he passed.

Martin is very impressive.  He won one of the hardest mountain stages yesterday and today he is challenging for a top three on the stage.

Martin pumps the cranks along the city's river.

Kim Kirchen (Columbia-Highroad) is having a hard time. He posted a time of 15th on one of the time checks.

Karpets, Klöden and then Cunego will be coming to the finish line soon.

Cancellara is the Swiss national time trial champion.  He races in the red national champ jersey.   Next weekend the championships will be held and if he continues like this he should have no problem to keep the jersey.

This 38.5km course rolls along, a lot of ups and downs. The max elevation is about 550m and the min never dips below 475m.

Michael Albasini (Columbia-Highroad) finishes in 49:22. He won one of Suisse's stages early on in the race.

Andreas Klöden (Astana) passes the time check, 30" back on Thomas Dekker (Silence-Lotto).

He will be one of the nine men with team Astana at the Tour de France.  The other confirmed riders include Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador.

Number 61, Fabian Cancellara, is flying along here. He will have time checks telling him that he is riding his way to the race overall win.

Valjavec is risking his podium spot in the final overall.  He is having a hard time on the Bern course. 

AG2R is not taking him to the Tour de France.  He focused on the Giro d'Italia this year.

Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) started the day third overall, 28 seconds behind Valjavec. He may keep his third overall, but it will be behind Cancellara and Martin, not Valjavec and Cancellara.

Cancellara is flying like a UFO. It is unbelievable the way he time trials.

He will cherish this win after a rough spring, which forced him out of Classics.

Kim Kirchen (Columbia-Highroad) finishes with 49:20.

Russia's Karpets is near the finish.

Vladimir Karpets (Katusha) finishes in 48:20. Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-NGC) was close to Karpets with 48.23. A great sign for Ballan's return to racing after a long break due to a virus.

Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) finishes with a time of 48:32. Not a bad time for the little Italian, 'Il Piccolo Principe'.

Cancellara passes Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas).

Kloden close the Bern time trial with a time of 48:08.

Tony Martin (Columbia-Highroad) close the time trial with a time of 47:26. A great time that should see him move to second overall in the final classification.

Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) remains with Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) on a climb near the finish.

He moves ahead of Cancellara, but the situation should reverse at the top.

They both come to the line.

Cancellara finishes in 46:01!  He wins the stage and the overall. 

He put his hands up in the air before the line to celebrate and Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) was able to pass.

Tadjavec is still on the course.

He finishes with a time of 49:48.  He closes the Tour de Suisse after nine days of racing.

Cancellara won the race overall today with his time trial.

Tony Martin (Columbia-Highroad) is second overall and Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) is third.

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