Suisse 3: Robbie McEwen outsprints the sprinters

Igor Anton retains lead

Australian Robbie McEwen (Silence-Lotto) sprinted to victory under the rain in Monday's 155km third stage of the Tour of Switzerland.

Spaniard Igor Anton, riding for Euskaltel, retained the overall lead.

McEwen pipped Spanish sprinter Oscar Freire, winner of Saturday's first stage, at the line with Germany's Gerald Ciolek crossing in third. It was the 35-year-old Australian's second success of the season after the third stage of the Tour of Romandie, also on Swiss soil.

"Leif Hoste and Greg Van Avermaet did well for me on the sprint," said McEwen. "It's exactly the tactic that we discussed this morning. It's one of the first times that I've sprinted with the two of them and it worked well.

"The result was perfect today and I'm happy to have received support of the highest quality from my team," he added. "It's true that my season has not been as good as usual at this stage but I fell at the beginning of the season and I had six weeks to make up. After I won a stage of the Tour of Romandie I fell again and that ruined my chances."

This win, he said, "was good for confidence ahead of the Tour de France."

France's Herve Duclos-Lassalle (Cofidis) took the lead early in a stage without any major difficulty and was quickly joined by Germany's Rene Weissinger followed by US rider Jeffry Louder.

The trio built up a lead of eight minutes by the 55km mark in a peloton lead by Euskaltel riders. The sprinters took the initiative 50km from the line catching the break-away group 10km from Gossau.

For a complete report with photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.

© BikeRadar & AFP 2008 

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