Gregory Rast won the sixth stage of the Tour of Switzerland on Thursday as Mathias Frank retained the leader’s yellow jersey.
Veteran Swiss Rast powered clear of Mathew Hayman, Alexander Kolobnev and Bert Grabsch over the final kilometer after the quartet had stayed out in front for much of the 186.1km ride from Leuggern to Meilen.
“This is such a big win for me,” a delighted Rast said. “This stage is close to my home and I know these roads very well. I’ve tried [for] 10 years to win a stage here and today I finally made it. I’m really, really happy.”
“It was hard out there today. There was no real sprinter in our group, just strong guys with motivation to win,” the RadioShack-Leopard rider added.
With Rast riding hard and out of sight, Australia’s Hayman pipped Kolobnev to second with Grabsch, who had earlier made several failed attempts to escape the leading group, rounding out the top four.
The four riders were never challenged after breaking clear of the peloton 30km into the stage with the pack eventually crossing line almost 11 minutes off the pace.
In the overall standings, Frank, of Switzerland, remains 23 seconds ahead of Czech Roman Kreuziger, with last year’s champion Rui Da Costa of Portugal in third at 35 seconds.
Yesterday’s seventh stage, a 206km route from Meilen to La Punt, featured four categorized climbs, including the HC Albula Pass just before the finish, a climb that peaks at 2,315m.