Mixed fortunes for Swiss cycling in Tour of Germany
Saturday was a day of mixed fortunes for Swiss cycling in the fifth and sixth stages of the Tour of Germany cycle race.
The Austrian, Matthias Buxhofer, who races for the Swiss Phonak team, won the fifth stage in two hours, 11 minutes and 39 seconds. The Swiss cyclist Markus Zberg followed him over the finish line in third place with Germany's Erik Zabel coming in second.
Buxhofer managed to take a two second lead on the reigning world champion, Erik Zabel, four kilometres before the finish line.
After this decisive move Buxhofer went on to win the 92 kilometre race from Mannheim to Heppenheim, leaving Zabel licking his wounds in second place.
But the morning's Swiss victory was short-lived with poor performances in the afternoon's sixth stage.
The 27.2 kilometre race against the clock was won by Alexandre Vinokournov in 32.43 minutes with Buxhofer and Zberg failing to make it into the top ten.
At the end of the sixth stage Vinokournov leads the field closely followed by Spain's Aitor Garmedia Arbilla.
Buxhofer is in 14th place with Zberg scrapping his way into the top 20 in 19th place.
The seventh stage kicks off on Sunday and will take the cyclists on a 160.9 kilometre course through the Black Forest from Offenbourg to Freudenstadt.
The 1,241 kilometre German tour will finish on Monday in Stuttgart.
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