Karpets wins Tour de Suisse

Vladimir Karpets was all smiles on the winner's podium in Bern Tour de Suisse

Russia's Vladimir Karpets has won the Tour de Suisse, the final warm-up for cycling's most prestigious event, the Tour de France.

This content was published on June 24, 2007 - 19:14

Karpets tied up the race in Bern on Sunday evening by finishing sixth in the final stage's 34-kilometre time trial, which was won by Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara.

The Russian, who was sitting third overall heading into the final stage, triumphed with a total time of 30 hours, 7 minutes and 23 seconds, and enjoyed a 1:04 winning margin.

Luxembourg's Kim Kirchen finished the Swiss tour in second place, while Stijn Devolder of Belgium was third.

Russia's Vladimir Efimkin, who led the overall standings heading into the final stage, was more than three minutes behind the leaders on Sunday and missed a place on the podium.

Cancellara, the world time trial champion and winner of the Swiss tour's prologue, won the stage in 41 minutes, 46 seconds.

"This victory comes in the most beautiful city in the world, in my birth city," said Cancellara, who was forced to make alterations to his bike before his run because it failed to meet the standards of the International Cycling Union.

Germany's Andreas Kloeden finished the time trial in second place with his time of 42:06, while compatriot Stefan Schumacher was third in 42:19.

Karpets sealed the overall victory when he crossed sixth in 42:52. He also won the Volta of Catalunya last month.

The Caisse d'Epargne rider is the second Russian to win the Swiss tour, after Pavel Tonkov in 1995.

Last year's winner was 1997 Tour de France champion Jan Ullrich, who has since retired after being implicated in the Spanish doping scandal Operation Puerto.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Final results of the Tour de Suisse 2006:
1. Vladimir Karpets (Rus / Caisse d'Epargne ) 30'07'23"
2. Kim Kirchen (Lux / T-Mobile ) +1'04"
3. Stijn Devolder (Bel / Discovery Channel ) +1'30"
4. Matteo Carrara (Ita / ) +1'30"
5. Damiano Cunego (Ita / Lampre ) +1'41"

9th stage time trial in Bern
1. Fabian Cancellara (Sui / Team CSC ) 41'46"
2. Andreas Klöden (Ger / Astana ) +20"
3. Stefan Schumacher (Ger / Gerolsteiner ) +33"
4. Stijn Devolder (Bel / Discovery Channel ) +1'04"
5. Vladimir Gusev (Rus / Discovery Channel ) +1'05"
6. Vladimir Karpets (Rus / Caisse d'Epargne ) +1'06"

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Tour de Suisse 2007

The race started in Olten on June 16 and ended in Bern on June 24. Total distance: 1,252km.

It had nine stages and included six mountain passes: Flüela, Lukmanier, Nufenen, Furka, Grimsel and Susten.

Three stages ended with mountain-top finishes: Malbun (stage 4), Crans-Montana (stage 6), Grimsel (stage 7).

The Swiss number one is Fabian Cancellara, time trial world champion.

The Tour de Suisse is part of the ProTour, the International Cycling Union's race series. The Tour de Romandie is also on the ProTour circuit.

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