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Swiss joy in Verbier

Alexandre Moos celebrates his stage victory in Verbier

(Keystone)

Switzerland's cycling fans had plenty to celebrate on Monday with the country's top riders impressing on stage six of the Tour de Suisse.

After finishing second to Italian star Francesco Casagrande at the end of Sunday's gruelling fifth stage, Switzerland's Alexandre Moos grabbed some swift revenge during Monday's 177-kilometre race from Interlaken to Verbier, sprinting ahead of Casagrande in the final climb to snatch the stage victory.

"I couldn't have wished for more than winning a stage of the Tour de Suisse in the sunshine in front of my own fans," said Moos, who comes from the southern Valais region where the stage concluded.

The Verbier victory also brought more good news for Moos's Swiss team, Phonak, who are now almost eight minutes ahead of Casagrande's Fassa Bortolo in the team standings.

Zülle stays in front

Fellow Swiss Alex Zülle meanwhile boosted his hopes of winning the overall Tour title - crossing the finish line 39 seconds behind Moos to retain the leader's golden jersey.

Zülle has now extended his lead over second-placed Swiss Laurent Dufaux in the general standings to 11 seconds, with just three stages of this year's Tour remaining.

On Tuesday the riders leave the mountains behind them to embark on a relatively flat seventh stage from Martigny to the Lake Geneva town of Vevey.

With the Tour's longest stage, a 235-kilometre slog from Vevey to Lyss, still to come on Wednesday, followed by a potentially decisive time trial on Thursday, Zülle will not be relaxing yet, however.

Switzerland's Steve Zampieri may be forgiven a glass of champagne or two, though, after clinching this year's king of the mountain prize during Monday's final ascent.

swissinfo with agencies


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