Skip to main content
Live coverage

Tour de Suisse 2012: Stage 8


Stage 8 of the Tour de Suisse, 148.2 km from Bischofszell to Arosa.

60km remaining from 148km

The leading quartet slipped away inside the opening 15 kilometres of the stage and steadily chugged away from the peloton thereafter. The maximum extent of their advantage was 7:20 with 75km to race, but RadioShack-Nissan and Rabobank have begun to chip away at that lead on the long preamble to the summit finish at Arosa.

The final hors categorie haul to the finish is preceded by the second category climb of Castiel. Yellow jersey Rui Costa (Movistar) has a 50-second overall lead coming in to this final pair of mountain stages, but he will need to be vigilant in the finale this afternoon.

The overall situation in the wake of Fredrik Kessiakoff's surprise time trial victory yesterday is as follows:

40km remaining from 148km

Puncture for Rui Costa and the Portuguese rider is taking his time to replace his front wheel. The pace is still relatively sedate in the peloton, however.

36km remaining from 148km

With Robert Gesink just 55 seconds off the overall lead, it's no surprise to see his Rabobank squad setting the tempo on the front of the peloton. Matti Breschel is currently stringing things out on the front.

This time last year, Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) came agonisingly close to overall victory, but he's some way off the pace this time around. 27th overall at almost 3 minutes, Cunego drops back to the team car to gather bidons for his teammates.

Gregory Rast (RadioShack-Nissan) is also contributing richly to the pace-setting at the head of the peloton in the service of his teammate Frank Schleck.

32km remaining from 148km

Indeed, as the road begins to kick up towards Castiel, Albasini and Velits have forced their way clear of Dekker and Cusin.

29km remaining from 148km

There's been a discernible injection in pace in the main peloton as the climbing begins in earnest. It's been a slow-burning stage to date but things may yet catch fire ahead of the final climb.

Up front, it's now Velits who is setting the pace under clear, blue skies and the leading duo had settled into a brisk tempo on the climb.

Meanwhile, the Rabobank pace-setting is seeing riders shelled off the back of the peloton as the gradient begins to bite.

Marzio Bruseghin (Movistar) now takes over at the front in support of Rui Costa's yellow jersey. The veteran Italian is looking to make the pace a little more even.

King of the mountains Vladimir Isaichev (Katusha) is among the riders suffering at the back. The yellow jersey group is being thinned out considerably. Around 40 riders remain in contact.

27km remaining from 148km

Laurens Ten Dam sets the pace for Rabobank ahead of Robert Gesink. Levi Leipheimer, Nicholas Roche and Roman Kreuziger are also up towards the front of the yellow jersey group, which is continuing to decrease in number.

24km remaining from 148km

French talent Thibaut Pinot (FDJ-BigMat) is also still a part of this increasingly elite group, which is now just 2:25 behind the two leaders.

Rui Costa is continuing to hang on in penultimate position in the yellow jersey group as the gradient levels out slightly. The Portuguese rider should stay in touch over the top of this climb but it's a worrying sign ahead of the tough haul to the finish that follows.

Velits and Albasini tap out their rhythm out in front. Albasini has particular motivation this afternoon - with no stage wins for the home nation to date, the Swiss are in danger of drawing a blank in their home tour for the first time since 1999.

22km remaining from 148km

Ten Dam leads the 20-strong yellow jersey group over the top of the Castiel 2:52 down on the leading pair. Their advantage drifted back out again slightly over the final section of the climb.

18km remaining from 148km

15km remaining from 148km

Rui Costa is a little better placed as the road climbs once again, but the gradient really kicks up in the final 8 kilometres.

Gesink jumps away from the rest of the intermediate sprint at Peist to hoover up the remaining one-second time bonus.

Steven Kruijswijk is also up here in the yellow jersey group in support of Robert Gesink. Rabobank are looking to make a strong statement and make some material gains for Gesink this afternoon.

9km remaining from 148km

Linus Gerdemann (RadioShack-Nissan) takes a turn on the front of the yellow jersey group for Frank Schleck.

8km remaining from 148km

7km remaining from 148km

5km remaining from 148km

Gerdemann leads the chasers down a short descent ahead of the climb to Arosa's stiffest section, which kicks up to 15%.

As the gradient ratchets upwards, Jakob Fuglsang takes over the reins in a bid to thin out the yellow jersey group and set up Frank Schleck.

Frank Schleck sits in third place in the group as it passes under the 5km to go banner. For now, Rui Costa is managing to hold on.

Peter Velits is swallowed up by the chase group. Up ahead, Albasini has three minutes in hand on the steepest section of the climb.

4km remaining from 148km

Sensing the moment, Frank Schleck attacks hard from the front of the group of chasers. The reaction comes from Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Levi Leipheimer, and the trio have a handful of seconds on the Rabobank-led group.

Further back the road, Valverde sits up and waits for Rui Costa and tries to carry him back up to Schleck and company.

3km remaining from 148km

Albasini looks to have done enough to win the stage as he comes through the steepest section of the climb with a healthy part of his lead still intact. The question now is whether Rui Costa can hold his overall lead.

2km remaining from 148km

Into the final kilometre for Albasini, who will take stage victory at Arosa.

1km remaining from 148km

Michael Albasini wins the stage at Arosa, to the delight of the home fans.

Schleck leads the trio into the finishing straight 1:16 down on Albasini, but to his chagrin, Leipheimer and Nieve come around him for the time bonuses.

20 seconds later Gesink and Kruijswijk come across the line with Thibaut Pinot in tow.

Roman Kreuziger rolls in 1:57 down on Albasini, losing almost 40 seconds to Schleck.

Rui Costa comes in a little over two minutes down, led by Alejandro Valverde, which will just keep him in the yellow jersey.

Overall, Costa now leads by just 14 seconds from Frank Schleck.


Stage result:

General classification after stage 8:
1 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 29:58:39
2 Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:14
3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma - QuickStep 0:00:21
4 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:25
5 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:40
6 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana 0:00:42
7 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:43
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:01
9 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:04
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:01:13

Thanks for joining us for today's live coverage of the Tour de Suisse. We'll be back for tomorrow's final stage but in the meantime, stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full results, report, news and pictures from Switzerland.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Latest on Cyclingnews