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By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP
Russia’s Sergeui Ivanov, of the Fassa Bortolo team, won a sprint finish to take Sunday’s 174km sixth stage of the Tour of Switzerland, which started and finished in Mendrisio, Switzerland. Ivanov came from behind to cross the line in 4:00:27, just ahead of Kazakhstan’s Alexandre Vinokourov (Telekom), France’s Laurent Jalabert (CSC-World Online) and Switzerland’s Alexandre Moos (KIA-Swiss) in the sprint to the line. Ivanov’s Italian teammate Wladimir Belli, who finished in 11th position at five seconds behind the leaders, retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey with a one-second advantage on Tour of Italy winner Gilberto Simoni (Lampre-Daikin), with American Lance Armstrong (U.S. Postal Service) in third overall at 25 seconds.
An early break was made 24km into the stage by four riders including Niki Aebersold (Coast), Daniel Atienza (Cofidis), and Italians Davide Rebellin (Liquigas-Pata) and Paolo Bettini (Mapei-Quick Step).
The foursome built up an impressive lead of up to 4:15, but Aebersold and Bettini were caught in the second climb of the final round while Atienza and Rebellin kept the suspense alive by not giving in until 10km from the line after a 140km breakaway.
Two-time Tour de France champion Armstrong benefited from good work from his US Postal team, while Jalabert also benefited from the efforts of his CSC-World Online team who set a cracking pace in the second part of the race.
Italy’s Massimo Donati made a break and was followed by Jalabert. Then it was Vinokourov’s turn; he took his chance, but was caught. It was then the turn of Moos, who emerged from a group of 20 riders bringing Vinokourov and Jalabert along with him.
The trio looked set for a top three finish but Ivanov came from behind and swept past the opposition in the sprint.
The Fassa Bortolo team dominated the weekend racing with Russian Dmitri Konyshev taking Saturday’s stage, and teammate Belli holding the race lead.
Tour of Switzerland, Stage 6. June 24
1. Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Fassa Bortolo 4:00:27
2. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) s.t
3. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) s.t.
4. Alexandre Moos (Swi) s.t.
5. Saulius Ruskis (Lit) at 0:05
6. Gian Matteo Fagnini (Ita) s.t.
7. Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) s.t.
8. Beat Zberg (Swi) s.t.
9. Laurent Dufaux (Swi) s.t.
10. Massimo Donati (Ita) s.t.
11. Wladimir Belli (Ita) s.t.
12. Daniel Schnider (Swi) s.t.
13. Lance Armstrong (USA) s.t.
14. Georg Totschnig (Aut) s.t.
15. Manuel Beltran (Spa) s.t.
1. Wladimir Belli (Ita), Fassa Bortolo, 22:04:11
2. Gilberto Simoni (Ita) at 0:01
3. Lance Armstrong (USA), at 0:25
4. Manuel Beltran (Spa), at 0:30
5. Beat Zberg (Swi), at 0:31
6. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), at 0:39
7. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), 1:09
8. Laurent Jalabert (Fra), 1:19
9. Daniel Schnider (Swi), 1:42
10. Georg Totschnig (Aut), 1:52
11. Inigo Cuesta (Spa), 2:48
12. Oscar Camenzind (Swi), 3:53
13. Marcellino Garcia (Spa), 4:00
15. Gerrit Glomser (Aut), 4:53.