Spain?s Koldo Gil is the new leader of the Tour of Switzerland after winning Thursday?s sixth stage from Fiesch to La Punt in the Alps.
The 28 year-old Saunier Duval rider attacked alone near the summit of the final Albulapass climb, passed early attackers Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) and Aussie Simon Gerrans (Ag2r) and finished 36 seconds ahead of Jorg Jaksche (Wurth) and 40 seconds ahead of Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile).
Rasmussen looked set for stage victory mid-way up the long climb after being part of the six-rider break that formed after two kilometres. He was clearly testing himself for the Tour de France but blew in spectacular fashion and struggled to finish the stage.
Gil now leads Jaksche by 34 seconds, with Ullrich third overall at 54 seconds. However both German riders are much stronger in time trials than Gil and should be able to pull back the time during Sunday?s final stage 30-km time trial in Bern.
Friday?s 233-km seventh stage from St Moritz to Ascona is the longest of the Tour of Switzerland. It includes the Julierpass and the Lukmanierpass but ends with a flat final 50kms.