June 18, 2004
Ullrich still strong in Switzerland
The 6th stage of the Tour de Suisse was Thursday, and Switzerland's Nicki Aebersold of Phonak stayed away with an early breakaway to take the win. The stage shook up the overall standings, but Jan Ullrich was largerly unaffected. Ullrich's now leading Fabian Jeker of Saunier-Duval by 6 seconds, and three riders, Gerolsteiner's Georg Totschnig, Fassa Bortolo's Dario Cioni, and José Maria Del Olmo of Milaneza-Maia by 25 seconds.
Oscar Camenzind, who came into the stage in 2nd, suffered on the nearly 15-mile climb to Susten, and fell to 7th overall. American Bobby Julich, 24 seconds back and in 6th before the stage, also lost a lot of time to drop to 15th overall, 2:48 back.
Friday's stage ends with a 13-kilometer climb that should be the last major test for Ullrich. Saturday's stage has some climbing, but a long flat-to-downhill section afterward that should prevent a serious breakaway, and Sunday's final stage is a 25-km time trial that's right up Ullrich's alley.