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Live coverage

Tour de Suisse 2010: Stage 9

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage from the Tour de Suisse. It's the final stage today, a 26.9km individual test around Liestal.

The profile for today's stage is pretty straight forward. The riders will climb gradually for the first 11.4 km before descending down towards the finish. There's around 200 meters of climbing in total. There's also a little rise just before the finish line.

Let's look at the top ten just to get an indication of how close things are:

1 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 34:27:47
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne 0:00:29
3 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:36
4 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:38
5 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:42
6 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:00:54
7 Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack 0:00:55
8 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Liquigas-Doimo 0:01:01
9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:01:17
10 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:01:38

Armstrong is probably the best time trialist in the top ten. He'll need to bring back 2 seconds per km if he's to overhaul Gesink. It's possible, Gesink it's great against the clock but Armstrong isn't the same rider he was a few years back. In truth he's not put in a comparable time trial since his comeback.

Just off topic for a second, but Cyclingnews and Procycling are putting on an event in London tomorrow night. Expert panelists, pro riders, prize draw and Tour de France discussion. What more could you want? We still have a few spaces left and all the details are here.

Back to the action and we have our first finishers for today.

Our man Shane Stokes spoke to Mr Armstrong and asked if he thought he could win today:

I would say yes, but my time trials have disappointed me in the last two years,” he told Eurosport. “But we'll see how it goes Sunday. I will do my best and I think the fact that there is only one race against the clock in the next Tour is a real chance. But I must be happy. I am almost 39 years, I am professional cyclist for 17 years and I'm still ahead, despite the nonsense I read in newspapers or on internet every day.”

What do you think? Can Armstrong take the overall win? Is he even Gesink's biggest threat today? let me know at

twitter.com/dnlbenson

Jason McCartney has just finished and set the best new time for today.

Fabian Cancellara, the favourite for the stage today will go off in around 30 minutes from now.

But keep an eye out for men like Vande Velde, the Shlecks, Tony Martin - riders who will use this as a test for their Tour de France form. We've not seen much from Vande Velde (Garmin-Transitions) so far in this race. He's of course coming back from a broken collar bone sustained in the Giro last month.

Bruseghin comes over the line and he's in fourth. That's a bit of a surprise, I thought today would have suited him, he's pretty handy against the clock.

Apologies, my ability to differentiate between time zones is appalling. Cancellara, the big favourite has just rolled down the start ramp. What time will the World Champion post today?

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) has started the time trial. Does this guy ever get a break from racing? He'll probably make the Tour de France line-up too.

Former Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro will start in a few minutes, as will Dave Zabriskie - another rider to watch ahead of this year's Tour de France.

Intermediate times are a little flaky at the moment but Thor Hushovd has set the best new time at the finish, Brett Lancaster 31 seconds down and McCartney a further three seconds down.

Jose Gutierrez starts in a few minutes as well. Former Spanish TT champion, what can he do today?

CyclingOpinion @dnlbenson with Armstrong's recent TT form, I expect Gesink to win the overall and do a good TT, maybe even challenge Armstrong's time.

Robbie Hunter crosses the line, 21 seconds down on Hushovd.

Marcus Burghardt, winner of two stages in the race so far, comes home in seventh spot. He'll drop down the leaderboard as more riders come in but the German has surely done enough to warrant a place in BMC's Tour de France line up.

Alessandro Ballan, yes he is riding here, comes home in first place, besting Hushovd by two seconds.

That's a good ride from Ballan who of course hasn't raced much since the Lampre investigation was launched. His team pulled him just before Roubaix but welcomed him back after no charges were leveled at the Italian.

Cancellara will be roughly ten minutes away from the finish.

Sandy Casar about to start his time trial. The Frenchman was on the attack yesterday. So was Tom Danielson and he'll start a few minutes after Casar.

Zabriskie is looking strong here. He's certainly giving it everything in us US national champs kit.

He looked a bit unsure of himself around that last corner though.

Mollena now out on the course too. He did a huge amount of work for Gesink yesterday.

Cancellara comes home and puts up the best time. 1.03 ahead of Ballan and into first place.

Road are wet here so Zabriskie has to be careful as Barredo starts his time trial.

George Hincapie is on the road as well now.

Zabriskie gets out the saddle. Can he challenge the time of Cancellara?

1k to go for Zabriskie.

Very wide around that corner but he's still going fast. 500 meters to go.

He could do it.

No. Second for Zabriskie. Those final 500 meters seemed to drag on forever.

The American finished 12 seconds down on Cancellara.

As Jeremy Roy go ahead of Hushovd and into fourth.

Maxime Monfort now on the road too. What does the belgian TT champ have left in the tank after yesterday's exploits?

Jens Voigt comes home, three minutes down on Cancellara. As Devolder sets off on his time trial.

Gustav Larrson is about to start. He won the final TT in the Giro this year so he'll have confidence and form. Here he goes.

A good ride from Poels, who now sits in third place, behind Cancellara and Zabriskie.

Kreuziger next down the ramp, Martin and Leipheimer next.

Chavanel comes home in twelfth place.

MI_Bike_Fan

Martin now in the start house. adjusts his gloves, grips the bars an GO!

Monfort about to come up to the first time check and he's in 6th spot. Zabriskie was in fact the fastest rider at the top of the climb.

Now Leipheimer starts.

Now it's Kloden. Andreas is still a good time trialist and could potentially challenge Cancellara. So far only two riders have finished within a minute of him.

Andy Schleck is about to start. He'll be looking for a top twenty ride today.

He had a good time trial in the Tour of Suisse last year and will be hoping for something similar.

Kreuziger, wearing 21 is now motoring along - no pun intended - he needs to pull something out of the bag before the Tour, purely to give himself some confidence.

Hincapie comes over the line in 7th.

Larsson  can only manage 6th best at the first time check as Kreuziger gets out of the saddle on the steeper section of the climb. Quite a few fans have braved the weather to be out there on the hill. Good on them.

Armstrong in the start house now.

3, 2, 1, Go.

He didnt seem happy with his gearing then but he's finally down in his aero position.

Remember Armstrong needs to pull back 2 seconds per kilometer if he's to wrestle the overall from Gesink.

Rodriguez, Kim Kirchen's roommate, is about to start.

Monfort coming to the finish now. Not a bad time at all considering how much work he did yesterday. Third on the line.

Kloden now coming up to the first time check. Not a fantastic ride form the German, who has the ninth best time.

Here comes Frank Schleck down the start ramp.

Tony Martin looks very efficient on the bike as Morabito now starts.

Uran now about to start, so that means everyone but Gesink is on the road or has finished.

Armstrong weaving from either side of the road as he tries to find the best line. He's on the steeper section of the climb now as the yellow jersey starts the time trial.

No yellow skin suit for Gesink. he's even kept his orange helmet and overshoes. Nice.

Fuglsang is in the top ten at the time check, Armstrong now out of the saddle on the climb.

Larsson coming into the finish now. he wont beat Cancellara and has to settle for third.

We wont have any time checks on Gesink until he reaches the top of the climb.

Gesink, mouth stretched, as he tries to get every bit of oxygen into his body as possible, jumps out of the saddle on the climb.

Not really the time Kreuziger wanted, 1th but here comes Tony Martin and this could be good.

Gesink doesn know he's allowed to sit down, right?

Martin has beaten Cancellara by 17 seconds. That's a big result for the German.

Armstrong over the climb now and powering it on the descent.

Leipheimer crosses the line in fifth.

Frank Schleck is 7th at the top the climb. Gesink looking smooth as he takes a sharp left hander.

Kloden coming to the finish and takes 4th.

Armstrong looked a bit sluggish at the start but he seems to be going well now. Gesink is now on the harder part of the climb.

Uran well down at the top of the climb.

Gesink coming to the top of the climb now. He's giving it everything.

Gesink 1.09 down on Zabriskie at the top of the climb

Armstrong isn't holding back here. He's giving it everything too.

Gesink is holding yellow though. Uran was well down on him.

Not far for the Texan now.

Here he comes to the finish.

Not a bad time at all.

100 meters to go.

11th best time for Armstrong.

All eyes on Gesink now.

Armstrong has put himself in a very strong position overall. He could even be leading the GC now. Frank Schleck is still out on the road though. Can he challenge?

Rodriguez comes in, well down though. Here comes Frank Schleck.

13th for Frank on the line.

Uran is near the finish now as Gesink continues to get in and out of the saddle as he tries to find more power.

Morabito is coming to the line now. He could still do some damage in the overall. 21st place for him in the time trial.

Gesink has jsut 1000 meters left. The roads are very very here so he has to be careful. Uran has just 400 meters to go now.

I think Gesink is going to lose this one here. it's going to be very, very close.

He's sprinting around each corner but it might not be enough.

he's lost too much time, surely.

2.18 down on Tony Martin for Gesink. Frank Schleck has done it. He's won the Tour de Suisse.

Armstrong should be second overall then, by around 12 seconds. Gesink  totally cracked in the second part of the time trial and finishes in 5th, 27 seconds down in GC.

Confirmation then:

1 Schleck (SAX)
2 Armstrong (RSH) +0:12
3 Fuglsang (SX) +0:17
4 Morabito (BMC) +0:23
5 Gesink (RAB) +0:27
6 Martin (THR) +0:27
7 Uran (GCE) +0:33
8 Kloden (RSH) +0:48
9 Rodriguez (KAT) +1:09
10 Leipheimer (RSH) +1:14
 

Well congrats to MI_Bike_Fan who tweeted in earlier with this:

Thanks for joining us today for a dramatic end to the Tour de Suisse.

1 Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia 0:32:21
2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:17
3 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Transitions 0:00:29
4 Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:48
5 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack
6 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team Radioshack 0:00:52
7 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank
8 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia 0:00:57
9 Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:01:02
10 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step 0:01:07

Final Overall
1 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 35:02:00
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack 0:00:12
3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:17
4 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:23
5 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:27
6 Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia
7 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne 0:00:33
8 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team Radioshack 0:00:48
9 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:09
10 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack 0:01:14

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