Kazakhstan's Alexandre Vinokourov has won the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse with an impressive performance on the first major climb of the ten day cycling race.This content was published on June 22, 2001 - 17:16
The Deutsche Telekom rider broke away with just two kilometres to go in Friday's 144 kilometre stretch from Baar to Wildhaus, before crossing the finish line nine seconds ahead of Italy's Gilberto Simoni and France's Laurent Jalabert.
Italy's Gianluca Bortolami defended his overall race lead, but saw his margin over Vinokourov reduced to just 14 seconds after completing the climb to Wildhaus some two minutes and 20 seconds behind the Kazakh rider.
"It's a beautiful victory," beamed Vinokourov afterwards. "I gave it all I had in the final kilometres and it paid off. Now we'll have to see about tomorrow."
Switzerland's defending champion Oscar Camenzind finished in fourth place, a further three seconds behind. America's double Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong placed 11th with the same time.
Beat Zberg remains the best placed Swiss overall. The Rabobank rider is currently in sixth position, 32 seconds behind Bortolami. Alex Zülle is 39 seconds off the pace, while Camenzind has 50 seconds to make up.
On Saturday the cyclists face what will probably be the toughest day on the Tour, with a 220 kilometre ride which includes two top category climbs over the Gotthard pass.
swissinfo with agencies