Swiss rider Michael Albasini wins Tour of Romandie Stage One Mountain Finish
Team Sky's Chris Froome finishes in 5th place
As expected, the weather played, besides the hilly parkour, a main role in today’s first stage of the Tour de Romandie. Wet conditions and just 7 degrees on the start in Aigle, did let the peloton worry about today’s climbs up to more than 1000m altitude, where even more difficult conditions had to be expected. Five KOM’s and two sprints marked the 173 kilometers to Champery, with expected tail wind on the final climb of the day.
From the gun a break of six riders went up the road including; Marco Minnaard (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal), Matbey Mamykin (Katusha-Alpecin), Oliveiro Troia (UAE Team Emirates), and Mekseb Debesay (Dimension Data).
The size riders built up a mximum lead of eight minutes.
Once over the 2nd categorized climb of Vex, Oliveiro Troia and Marcus Burghardt had dropped out of the break.
The peloton got organized with Lotto Jumbo NL leading the chase. Team Sky notably do no work to help bring the break back.
By the slopes of the final clinb of the day with 28 kms to go breakaway of four riders had a reduced lead of around 3 minutes.
Team BMC Racing took up the chase for Richie Porte and set a tough pace on the lower slopes of the categorized one climb up to Chambery.
With around 7 kilometers to go the breakaway was swallowed up and Robert Gesink from Lotto-JumboNL and Roman Kreuziger from Orica-Scott went on the attack, which was short lived.
A group of eleven riders went clear including Tejay Van Garderen from BMC Racing and Ion Izzaguire from Bahrain-Merida.
The reminents of the Peloton included race leader Fabio Felline who looked reasonably comfortable at the front.
Michael Albasini was in perfect position in the final few hundred metres and powered through at the front of what was left of the Peloton.
Chris Froome crossed the line a credible fifth place, with Richie Porte in 24th in the remaining peloton.
Tomorrow's stage from Champéry to Bulle is 161 km , fairly flat with four category 3 climbs and should favour a bunch sprint or breakaway, probably a stage for the sprinters.
Tour de Romandie 2017 Stage One Results Top 10
1 Michael Albasini (Sui) Orica-Scott 04-33-10
2 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
3 Jesus Herrada (Esp) Movistar Team
4 Natnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension Data
5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
6 Pello Bilbao (Esp) Astana Pro Team
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
8 David De La Cruz (Esp) Quick-Step Floors
9 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team
10 Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, all at same time
Tour de Romandie 2017 General Classification after Stage One
1 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 04-39-07
2 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors, at 8 secs
3 Jesus Herrada (Esp) Movistar Team, at 8 secs
4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-Jumbo, at 9 secs
5 Ion Izagirre (Esp) Bahrain-Merida, at 12 secs
6 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors, at 12 secs
7 José Gonalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin, at 13 secs
8 Ruben Fernandez (Esp) Movistar Team, at 13 secs
9 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott, at 14 secs
10 Jonathan Castroviejo (Esp) Movistar Team, at 14 secs