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Barring a sensation on Wednesday's final stage, Jens Voigt is guaranteed victory in the Deutschland Tour after taking his third win of the race in today's 38.2km time trial in Bad Sickingen. The CSC rider finished a huge 1-03 ahead of runner-up Laszlo Bodrogi, but, more importantly, came home 1-14 faster than defending champion and second-placed Levi Leipheimer, who finished fifth on the day.
Although perhaps not regarded as a specialist over this kind of distance, Voigt's victory was his 12th in a time trial and underlines his current purple patch of form which saw him win a key mountain stage on Monday. The 34 year old was fastest at all of the intermediate checks on the flat course bordering the Rhine.
"I can't say I've won it yet, there's still one stage left to go, but my chances are more than good," said Voigt after the stage, before quickly adding: "However, I'm not counting my chickens before they are hatched.
"This was my first and last chance to win overall and everything played out in my favour. I was feeling super-motivated, and after hitting the red early on I kept a steady pace for the last 30 kilometres. I have a comfortable lead now and the team is strong and motivated. As long as I don't crash, it's looking pretty good."
Stage 7, Bad Sickingen time trial
1 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 38.2km in 45.03 (50.88kph)
2 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Crdit Agricole 1.03
3 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner 1.04
4 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 1.05
5 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 1.14
6 Andrei Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana 1.20
7 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel 1.21
8 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel 1.33
9 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner 1.38
10 Jason McCartney (USA) Discovery Channel 1.49
1 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 28.24.32
2 Leipheimer 1.38
3 Kashechkin 2.23
4 Gusev 2.33
5 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Lampre 2.57
6 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre 3.42
7 I¤igo Cuesta (Spa) CSC 4.08
8 Devolder 4.09
9 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) T-Mobile 4.36
10 Pablo Lastras (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 4.38
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