Voigt blazes to victory

Voigt blazes to victory
By Eurosport

08/08/2006 at 16:52Updated

Team CSC's Jens Voigt delivered a scintillating performance in the Tour of Germany time-trial on Tuesday, finishing over a minute ahead of the rest of the field. The result virtually secures him victory in the overall classification, with just one stage r

Defending a mere 24 second lead over pre-Tour favourite Levi Leipheimer, Voigt set off at a blistering pace, establishing a 19 second lead over the American as early as the first checkpoint.

Fired by the prospect of the biggest win of his career after hanging onto the coat-tails of Leipheimer in the two Alpine stages, the 34 year-old Voigt increased his lead as the race progressed.

With his back twisting, head bobbing, and legs pushing a heavy gear, Voigt's riding style could not have been in greater contrast to his Gerolsteiner rival, who never left his saddle.

But by halfway, it was clear Voigt was on his way to victory. The German extended his lead to 25 seconds over the field at the second time check and never looked back. He eventually crossed the finish line in 45'03" to screams of delight from his home crowd.

An excellent ride from Andrey Kashechkin moved him above Evgeni Petrov and Vladimir Gusev into third overall, and a spot on the podium on Wednesday evening beckons for the unheralded Kazakh.

His compatriot Alexandre Vinokourov finished an impressive fourth, after making up time during the final few kilometres, and can look forward to the Vuelta a Espana at the end of the month with optimism.

"Of course I was super-motivated. It was my first and last chance to win this Tour. Leipheimer was already at a disadvantage on this flat course due to his lesser body weight. All the factors were on my side. I'm generally a quick starter – it's important for my motivation and it makes an impact on my rivals" said the beaming Berliner.

The last stage takes the peloton from Bad Krozingen northwards for 172 kilometres until the finish in Karlsruhe. As is the case in the Tour de France, an unwritten-rule exists forbidding attacks on the yellow jersey.