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June 18, 2014 — Sacha Modolo stayed clear of a pile-up in the sprint to the finish line to win stage 5 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 saw his hopes dashed after crashing 300 meters from the finish.
“The man to beat was Peter Sagan,” Modolo, who burst clear of the Slovak in the final corner of the 184km ride from Ossingen to Buren an der Aare, told Swiss television. “It’s the biggest victory of my career,” added the Italian, who has raced sparingly since a fall during April’s Paris-Roubaix.
Martin, 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. 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.
Wiggins 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 race.
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.
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