Buren an der Aare - Sacha Modolo has stayed clear of a pile-up in the sprint to the finish line to win stage five of the Tour of Switzerland on Wednesday with Germany's Tony Martin once more retaining the overall lead.
Lampre rider Modolo fended off the challenge of stage three winner
Peter Sagan and John Degenkolb down the stretch while Mark Cavendish,
who won Tuesday's fourth stage, saw his hopes dashed after crashing 300
metres from the finish.
"I knew that today's finale was to my
liking, and I really wanted to compete for the win with Peter Sagan,"
said Modolo, who burst clear of the Slovak in the final corner of the
184km ride from Ossingen to Buren an der Aare.
"It's all the more satisfying for both me and the team that I have managed to win this stage.
"It's the biggest victory of my career," added the Italian, who has raced sparingly since a fall during April's Paris-Roubaix.
who has worn the leader's yellow jersey since winning the opening
time-trial, crossed with the peloton to maintain his six second lead
over Dutchman Tom Dumoulin.
A three-man breakaway consisting of
Frederik Veuchelen, Jaroslaw Marycz and Sander Armee led for much of the
day before the trio was reeled in by the pack with just over 10km
That prompted several teams to jostle for position as
they attempted to set up their sprinters for the bunch finish and there
was late drama as Cavendish was taken down by Matt Goss on the first of
two hairpin bends near the finish after the Australian had, in turn,
been clipped by Danny van Poppel.
Cavendish eventually got back on
his bike and pedalled over the line but he appeared none too pleased
with events, tweeting: "Taken down in a crash with 300m to go today.
Ironically, I'd eased up as I wasn't willing to risk crashing.
Prior to Wednesday's stage Bradley Wiggins, the 2012
Tour de France champion, withdrew from the race following his crash a
day earlier that left him with grazes and swelling to his right leg.
had also been suffering from a mild chest infection and his
disappointing display in Switzerland could well end his chances of
riding in next month's Tour de France.
Team Sky are set to
announce their nine-man line-up for the Tour, which starts July 5 in
Leeds, England and runs until July 27, following the conclusion of this
Thursday's sixth stage will see riders tackle four climbs,
including the ascent of the category one Grand Chaumont, on a 184km trip
from Buren an der Aare to French-speaking Delemont.
Leading results after the fifth stage of the Tour of Switzerland, a 183.6km ride from Ossingen to Buren an der Aare, on Wednesday:
1. Sacha Modolo (ITA/LAM) 4hr 08min 06sec, 2. Peter Sagan (SVK/CAN) same time, 3. John Degenkolb (GER/GIA) s.t., 4. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) s.t., 5. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) s.t., 6. Danny van Poppel (NED/TRE) 0:02, 7. Jonas Van Genechten (BEL/LTB) 0:04, 8. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/IAM) 0:04, 9. Nino Schurter (SUI/ORI) 0:05, 10. Jacopo Guarnieri (ITA/AST) 0:07.
1. Tony Martin (GER/OPQ) 18hr 27min 47sec, 2. Tom Dumoulin (NED/GIA) at 6sec, 3. Peter Sagan (SVK/CAN) 0:10, 4. Bauke Mollema (NED/BKN) 0:17, 5. Tom Slagter (NED/GRM) 0:23, 6. Davide Formolo (ITA/CAN) 0:27, 7. Jon Izagirre (ESP/MOV) 0:27, 8. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/TIN) 0:28, 9. Mathias Frank (SUI/IAM) 0:29, 10. Mattia Cattaneo (ITA/LAM) 0:29.