BUREN AN DER AARE, Switzerland: Sacha Modolo stayed clear of a pile-up in the sprint to the finish line to win stage five of the Tour of Switzerland yesterday with Germany’s Tony Martin once more retaining the overall lead.
Lampre rider Modolo fended off the challenge of stage three winner Peter Sagan and John Degenkolb down the stretch while Mark Cavendish saw his hopes dashed after crashing 300 metres from the finish.
Martin, who has worn the leader’s yellow jersey since winning the opening time-trial, crossed with the peloton to maintain his six second lead over Dutchman Tom Dumoulin.
Prior to yesterday’s stage Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France champion, withdrew from the race following his crash a day earlier that left him with grazes and swelling to his right leg.
Wiggins had also been suffering from a mild chest infection and his disappointing display in Switzerland could well end his chances of riding in next month’s Tour de France.
The sixth stage will see riders tackle four climbs, including the ascent of the category one Grand Chaumont, on a 184km trip.