Italian cyclist Stefano Garzelli grabbed an impressive stage victory on day seven of the Tour de Suisse, the Mapei rider breaking free of the pack after just over 30 kilometres to win Monday's stretch by more than four minutes.
Garzelli, who won the Tour de Suisse in 1998, sailed through the top category climb up the Nufenenpass, leading by almost six minutes at the highest point.
"It was a real opportunity for me," Garzelli said afterwards. "I had to get involved in one breakaway today and it was the right one. I came to the Tour de Suisse to win a stage and now I've done that."
Garzelli's Mapei team-mate Michele Bartoli grabbed second place in Naters, finishing the 157 kilometre ride from Locarno more than three minutes ahead of a chasing group led by Czech cyclist Tomas Konecny.
Monday's race had little bearing on the race's overall standings, with Italy's Wladimir Belli clinging on to the leader's golden jersey. The Fassa Bartolo rider remains just one second ahead of compatriot Gilberto Simoni, with American superstar Lance Armstrong a further 25 seconds behind.
Beat Zberg is still the best placed Swiss rider in fifth position, 31 seconds behind Belli, going into Tuesday's eighth stage.
The 25.1 kilometre time trial which involves a mountain finish in Crans Montana could well prove the decisive stage on this year's Tour.
swissinfo with agencies
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