The Tour Take | Romandie Stage 2

 Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi

Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi

 

The Steps

1st – Thomas De Gendt

2nd – Sonny Cobrelli @2:04

3rd – Samuel Dumoulin @ s.t.

 

The Parcours

A Cat 3 climb greeted the riders right out of the gates, and a Category 2 climb came midway through the 173.9km stage. Both were challenging climbs and there was barely a metre of flat between them, or after they went up the Col des Eroits on the run in to the finish.

The Jerseys

Primoz Roglic keeps the Yellow Jersey, with Rohan Dennis on the same time and Geraint Thomas 4 seconds back. Sonny Cobrelli takes the green Sprint Jersey, but the other jerseys didn’t change hands. Egan Bernal wears white, and Marco Minaard has the KOM Jersey .

 

 
 
 

The movers and shakers

Thomas De Gendt started the day 3:23 down on the yellow jersey, so didn’t take enough time to spend a day as leader tomorrow. As for the main contenders, nobody lost time compared to each other, but there’s a lot of eyes on the next two days.

The Break

As breaks went, this looked to be a good one; Victor Campenaerts, Andriy Grivko, Nathan Brown, Matteo Fabbio and Thomas De Gendt. Brown was the best placed on GC from that group, only 26 seconds back in 39th at the start of the day. Halfway up the opening climb, they got clear and built a seven-minute gap by the midpoint of the stage. Fabbio dropped back due to a mechanical, early on, and Grivko couldn’t keep up on the Col les Etroits, but the other three worked well until 30km to go.

The Winning Move

On an uncategorised incline with 25km to go, Thomas De Gendt went bang. Victor Campenaerts had emptied the tank and ran out of fuel 5km earlier, and Nathan Brown simply couldn’t keep up anymore. At that point De Gendt had 4 minutes advantage over the peloton, so the win was all but his. This was a pretty textbook De Gendt win. Get in the break, ride hard, drop everyone else, and then win. The peloton rolled in 2 minutes and 4 seconds after De Gendt, with Sonny Cobrelli taking an empty sprint win.

 

The Key Point

Did the peloton forget De Gendt was in the break? The choice to let the break get that much time and not chase full gas was… interesting. LottoNL-Jumbo held the Yellow Jersey via Primoz Roglic, and they didn’t get much help from the rest of the bunch until it was way too late.

 

The Aussies

4th - Michael Matthews s.t.

38th – Richie Porte s.t.

52nd – Damien Howsan s.t.

57th – Robert Power s.t.

65th – Rohan Dennis s.t.

 

Tonight

Next up, it’s a spicy individual time trial 9.9km, but all uphill from Ollon to Villars. Category 1, the climb averages 8%. Fairly consistent at that gradient, there’s no breaks, and this one should separate the men from the boys.

The Pick

The heart says Richie Porte, but we haven’t had a great look at his condition yet. The opening day prologue was a good sign for him, but it wasn’t long enough or hard enough for us to draw any conclusions. TT rider here Primoz Roglic might be in with a shout, but this climb looks reasonably hard and he’s not a pure climber. Geraint Thomas is in good nick, and so is Rohan Dennis, who’s aiming for his form to peak in 8 days time on the first day of the Giro – he’s probably the best pick, but I think Thomas will challenge him.

See you back at the social club, 

Josh.