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Ullrich holds onto yellow jersey in Tour de Suisse

German cyclist Jan Ullrich wins the leader's yellow jersey Keystone

Germany's Jan Ullrich has held on to the leader's yellow jersey after the sixth stage of the Tour de Suisse, which started and ended in the resort of Ulrichen, in canton Valais.

The testing 103-kilometre stage included gruelling climbs over three of Switzerland’s most famous passes, the Nufenen, Gotthard and Furka.

Italy’s Eddy Mazzoleni won the stage in a sprint finish, ahead of his compatriots Dario Frigo and Wladimir Belli. The trio shared a time of three hours five minutes and 47 seconds.

The best placed Swiss was Sven Montgomery, who finished sixth, 25 seconds behind. Switzerland’s Oscar Camenzind is lying third overall.

It was not a vintage performance from the 1997 Tour de France winner, Ullrich. He saw his overall lead cut from more than a minute to just 13 seconds. But the German indicated on Saturday, when he donned the yellow jersey for the first time this year, that he was saving himself for the French race, which gets underway in just two weeks.

“There are still tough stages left and I don’t want to attempt too much ahead of the Tour de France,” Ullrich told reporters.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR