Marc Soler attacks to win stage 3 and race lead as Dennis crashes

Spain's Marc Soler took control of the Tour de Romandie on Friday after taking the honours in the rain-soaked third stage and moving top of the overall standings

Marc Soler attacks to win stage 3 and race lead as Dennis crashes

Under a downpour on the shores of Lake Neuchatel, Movistar rider Soler finished 22 seconds ahead of the chasing pack after pulling away on the final climb at Cote de Granges, 10 kilometres from the finish of the 168.7km run at Estavayer.

Denmark's Magnus Cort Nielsen won the group sprint behind Soler, taking the time bonuses alongside third-placed Peter Sagan.

Soler is now 14 seconds ahead of Ineos pair Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte and Italian Sonny Colbrelli in the general classification.

Previous leader Rohan Dennis was the day's biggest loser after he fell on the wet road surface late in the race and finished 45th, giving up well over a minute on Soler.

Soler now holds a 14" advantage against INEOS Grenadiers' Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte, heading into the Queen stage towards Thyon 2000, the race starting two hours earlier than initially scheduled to avoid extreme weather conditions and set to be, together with Sunday's TT showdown in Fribourg, the biggest rival against the Movistar Team for the overall success.

Marc Soler said afterwards, "I'm so happy about this victory. I want to remember, first of all, our team doctor for so many years, Jesús Hoyos, who passed away during the stage. I want to dedicate this victory to him; sadly, we lost him in just few weeks due to a terminal illness, and it's really sad for our entire team. Such a hard stage, especially because of the rain and cold conditions. I was saving my move for the precise moment into that last climb - Woods was going strong, there were several attacks into the group, and I wanted to try but not too early. I waited for those final 500 meters to make a real gap and hopefully take the stage win. In the end, it was stage and jersey - it always makes you happy to get a leader's - and we will fight hard to retain it. INEOS is so strong, it's a short gap, even more so with their TT skills, but we will fight - we've got a strong team and will give our maximum, only the road will tell. Sometimes people doubt about what you can do, but we've always gone step-by-step, and things are turning out well. It gives us hope for the upcoming challenges, but before the Giro, it's all about this weekend."

Saturday's Queen Stage is a 161.3km mountain run from Sion to Thyon 2000 in the Swiss Alps, however with bad weather including snow forecast, rumours were the stage would need to start 2 hours in advance, yet to be confirmed.

VIDEO: 2021 Tour de Romandie Stage 3 Highlights

2021 Tour de Romandie Stage 3  Top 10

1 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 3:58:35
2 Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo 0:0:22
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
5 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
6 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
7 Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team DSM
8 Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
9 Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
10 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates

2021 Tour de Romandie GC after Stage 4

1 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 12:38:40
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:0:14
3 Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
4 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
5 Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates 0:0:16
6 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:0:20
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:0:21
8 Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team DSM
9 Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
10 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates 0:0:24

Tag: tourderomandie
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