AROSA, Switzerland (VN) — Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) won stage 8 of the Tour de Suisse on Saturday.
Albasini and Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) had been off the front with more than four minutes in hand and just 27km remaining in the 148.2km stage from Bischofszell to Arosa. The two had left behind break-mates Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Barracuda) and Remi Cusin (Team type 1-Sanofi).
Then Albasini shed Velits and went it alone, crossing 1:15 ahead of a late three-man chase containing Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan), Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma) and Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
Nieve won the sprint for second, with Leipheimer third and Schleck fourth.
Race leader Rui Costa (Movistar) cracked on the final climb to Arosa, sliding off the back of the chase just as Schleck gave it the gas, dogged by Leipheimer and Nieve. Costa had been in difficulty before, yo-yoing on and off the group, as the chase ate into the breakaway’s advantage on the category-2 ascent to Castiel. But he went away for good as the Schleck trio drove away on the beyond-category climb to Arosa.
Costa hung onto his yellow jersey, but only just — Schleck vaulted into second overall at 14 seconds back, with Leipheimer third at 21 seconds.
Stay tuned for more from the Tour de Suisse.