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Tour de Suisse Stage 6: Kruijswijk wins for Rabobank, Soler hospitalised with suspected fractured skull

Everyone's thoughts are with Colombian Movistar rider and fan said to be caught up in incident...

Steven Kruijswijk of Rabobank put in a fine attack from a little over 2km to win Stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse today. Levi Leipheimer of RadioShack was second with Damiano Cunego finishing second and retaining the race lead. The stage was overshadowed by Colombian rider Juan Mauricio Soler being airlifted to hospital with a suspected fractured skull following a crash 13km into the stage, with a spectator also said to be involved in the incident. The race was temporarily neutralised while the Movistar rider was treated, racing resuming with 111km left to ride. 

The thoughts of everyone within cycling will be with the 28-year-old Soler, winner of Sunday's Stage 2, as well as the fan caught up in the incident, also reportedly taken to hospital. Tour organisers have said that an update will be provided at a press conference by medical personnel following the end of today's stage.

Last month, the Movistar rider's team mate Xavi Tondo was killed in a freak accident when he became caught between his car and garage door while setting of for a training ride. That tragedy occurred just a fortnight after Leopard Trek's Wouter Weylandt had been killed after crashing on a descent during Stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia.

Today’s 158km stage featured two Category 3 climbs before crossing the border into Liechtenstein for a summit finish  at Triesenberg-Maldun following an Hors-Categorie ascent.

Some 10km after the neutralisation of the stage head been lifted, another crash caused a split in the peloton, the 60 or so riders who had been caught behind the incident having to chase to get back on to the leading group, which contained overall leader Cunego.

Once the race was back together, a trio or riders managed to break away, Quickstep's Sylvain Chavanel - who had also got into a break yesterday - Angel Madrazo  of Movistar and Euskaltel-Euskadi's Insausti Izagirre, who was the loast of the three to be swept up as what was now and small and select leading group of a dozen or so riders including the big hitters in the general classification headed up the final climb.

With around 3km left to ride, Garmin-Cervelo's Tom Danielson was ruled out of contention after losing his chain, and shortly afterwards Damiano Cunego rode off the front of the lead group in response to an attack from Rabobank's Laurens Ten Dam, but the Italian was quickly chased down.

Next to chance his arm was Ten Dam's Rabobank team mate Kruijswijk, and this time the attack had much more promise, the 24-year-old Dutchman quickly establishing a convincing lead over his pursuers as the one-time Tour d'Alsace Prologue winner rode towards his first major win on the road.

It was a disappointing day for Leopard Trek, however, with defending champion Frank Schleck getting distanced by Cunego on the final climb despite the fact that it had been his team that had worked tirelessly at the front of the bunch for most of the day to keep the breakaway in check.

Tour de Suisse Stage 6 Result 
1  KRUIJSWIJK Steven       RABOBANK       04:12:03
2  LEIPHEIMER Levi         RADIOSHACK        +0:09
3  CUNEGO Damiano          LAMPRE - ISD      +0:18
4  MOLLEMA Bauke           RABOBANK          +0:21
5  CARUSO Giampaolo        KATUSHA           +0:21
6  SCHLECK Frank           LEOPARD TREK      +0:30
7  FRANK Mathias           BMC RACING        +0:30
8  TEN DAM Laurens         RABOBANK          +1:19
9  FUGLSANG Jakob          LEOPARD TREK      +1:27
10 DANIELSON Thomas        GARMIN-CERVELO    +1:42

Tour de Suisse Overall Standings after Stage 6 
1  CUNEGO Damiano          LAMPRE - ISD   21:26:28
2  MOLLEMA Bauke           RABOBANK          +1:23
3  KRUIJSWIJK Steven       RABOBANK          +1:36
4  SCHLECK Frank           LEOPARD TREK      +1:41
5  LEIPHEIMER Levi         RADIOSHACK        +1:59
6  TEN DAM Laurens         RABOBANK          +2:24
7  FUGLSANG Jakob          LEOPARD TREK      +2:45
8  FRANK Mathias           BMC RACING        +3:00
9  CARUSO Giampaolo        KATUSHA           +3:11
10 VAN GARDEREN Tejay      HTC-HIGHROAD      +3:22

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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