Borut Bozic timed his late burst to perfection to win a disjointed fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse into Tobel-Tagerschen.
All the main sprint trains had been present at the front of the peloton as the flat 204.2km trek from Huttwil neared its conclusion, but each one became separated in the scrappy finish that ensued, and as the race passed under the one-kilometre-to-go banner it was every man for himself.
Tom Boonen (Quick-Step) and Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil) both tried late solo attacks, but it was Bozic (Vacansoleil) who emerged in the dying seconds to edge ahead of Oscar Freire (Rabobank) at the line.
Peter Sagan (Liquigas) also made it onto the podium for the third day in succession, while Damiano Cunego (Lampre) maintained his 54-second advantage over Mauricio Soler (Movistar) at the top of the overall standings.
The remainder of the stage had passed predictably enough with four riders moving clear early on, and their lead had stretched to 10 minutes during the opening 30km of action.
Team Sky linked up with Liquigas to ensure that gap didn’t grow any wider, and with BMC and HTC-Highroad also lending a hand, the quartet were reeled back in with just over 14km to go.
With the peloton back together the pace rose dramatically, but that speed coupled with a few technical corners on the outskirts of destination town, ensured several star sprinters would be thwarted.
With Boonen pegged back inside the final 500m, Marcato kicked on and had looked destined for the stage win until he blew with less than 100m remaining. As he slowed Freire was forced around him, and that played into the hands of Bozic who surged straight forward to take his victory by less than a wheel-length.