The Tour Take - Romandie Prologue
1st Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) by a second
2nd. Tom Bohli (BMC)
3rd. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) - same time.
A 4km prologue in Fribourg. This wasn’t your average prologue, with barely any flat sections. The course started with a descent full of twists and turns and led straight into a finishing ramp up to the line in the last km and a half.
Michael Matthews will wear yellow for the GC lead tomorrow, and Tom Bohli takes the Young Riders’ Jersey
The movers and shakers
Richie Porte had a reasonable start - he finished 13 seconds down in 18th , but arrived at the checkpoint at the bottom of the climb 16 seconds back. I’d say the TT bike hurt him on the descent, as he was attacking those corners pretty gingerly. Good to see him in form though he ceded 12 seconds to Primoz Roglic who finished 3rd on the day. The TT’s are his favoured discipline – its about hopefully holding ground for him now. Geraint Thomas had a great ride to finish 6th, 5 seconds back, while Gorka and Jon Izaguerre finished in 10th and 21st respectively
The Surprise Packets
Tom Bohli for sure. With a ride early in the day, nobody would have expected much, but he beat teammate Rohan Dennis, who most would have expected to spend a bit of time in the leader’s hot set. It was Bohli who spent most of the day there though, as Dennis came through just less than a second slower than his teammate.
The Key Point
We lied before - that final ramp to the line wasn’t just a ramp. That was a climb, and it wouldn’t have been out of place at Amstel or Fleche last week. There were a couple of pitches at 14%, some cobbled patches, and you could see why there were guys on road bikes. To get anywhere near the top of the standings, you had to be a reasonable climber.
We got a big list of ‘em here at Romandie
1st – Michael Matthews
4th – Rohan Dennis
7th – Will Clarke
18th – Richie Porte
29th – Rob Power
34th – Damien Howson
41st – Lucas Hamilton
62nd – Brendan Canty
107th – Chris Hamilton
114th – Michael Storer
A 167km ride form Fribourg to Delemont, there’s three Cat 2 climbs and a Cat 3 climb. The final climb (which is tackled twice) is fairly steady without being punishing - 6.2km long at 6.4% with a max of 9%. From there, they descent back into Delemont. On the SSS difficulty meter, we’ll give the stage a 3.5/5.
Probably looking for your puncheur types if you were to have a wager – there aren’t many pure sprinters here, but the ones that were brave enough won’t make it to the finish. You wouldn’t be betting on the GC to kick off yet, and these climbs done at tempo might not get rid of the extra climby sprinters like Michael Matthews. Bling would be a good bet, as would Fernando Gaviria if he can make it to the finish. Watch for Sonny Cobrelli too.
See you back at the social club,