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Elmiger crowned new Swiss cycling champion

Martin Elmiger raises his hands in triumph as he picks up the red and white jersey

(Keystone)

Martin Elmiger has won the Swiss cycling championship with a comfortable lead of 80 seconds over his nearest rivals, Pierre Bourquenoud and Daniel Schnider.

Sunday's victory for the 22-year-old Elmiger, who hails from canton Zug, was the first major success of his cycling career.

Elmiger fought off tough competition during the final stage of the championship in Bellinzona to steal ahead of the pack and win the coveted red and white jersey.

One of Elmiger's most high-profile fellow competitors was Beat Zberg, who produced the best Swiss performance during last week's international Tour de Suisse cycling race where he finished fourth in the overall rankings.

Zberg was unable to improve on a fourth place ranking in the domestic championship, and ended the race 85 seconds behind the leader.

"Today, I knew I was going to be strong," Elmiger said at the end of the championship, "especially since I was up against the likes of Zberg, which meant I wasn't even the favourite."

The Swiss Cycling Championship consists of 12 stages over a mixed terrain, during which the competitors notch up over 195km.

swissinfo with agencies


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