photo credits @ Tour de Romandie
Stefan Küng (BMC Racing) claimed victory in today’s snowy stage of the Tour de Romandie, giving his homeland but over win in this year’s race.
Küng was part of the day’s initial four-rider breakaway group that succeeded in remaining clear of the peloton all day.
However, the group was eventually reduced to just Küng and Andriy Grivko (Astana), with the Swiss rider ultimately out-sprinting his rival during the final few hundred meters to seize the victory.
Küng and Grivko first escaped alongside Sander Armee (Lotto-Soudal) and Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), during the first two kilometers of today’s stage.
From there, the quartet went on to establish a maximum advantage of six minutes over the peloton, with Armee taking the KOM points at the top of the day’s three classified climbs to take the lead of the mountains classification.
Back in the peloton, riders seemed more focussed on keeping warm than reining in the escapees, as the riders were forced to deal with falling snow towards the top of each of the day’s climbs.
However, as the race entered the final circuit around the town of Bulle with 24 kilometers go, the peloton began to up the pace, with Bahrain-Merida and Quick-Step Floors in particular doing most of the work.
Entering the final 20 kilometers, the escapees were still holding onto an advantage of 2:30 over the peloton, with Armee being the first escapee to get dropped during the final 10 kilometers, while his former breakaway companions continued to maintain a sizable gap over the chase.
From there, it looked unlikely that the break would be caught, and with four kilometers the infighting began in the break, with Grivko launching an acceleration that was enough to dispatch Veuchelen.
The two remaining leaders seemed content to contest the stage in a sprint, with Küng proving to be the stronger of the two riders at the end of a tough stage, having too much power in reserve as Grivko was not even able to come alongside his Swiss rival in the finishing sprint.
Meanwhile, the bunch sprint for third place was won by Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) ahead of Alexander Edmondson (Orica-Scott), while Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) retained his overall lead.
Stage 2 Results
SUI 1 KÜNG, Stefan (BMC RACING) 3:33:15
UKR 2 GRIVKO, Andrey (ASTANA)
ITA 3 COLBRELLI, Sonny (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) + 20
AUS 4 EDMONDSON, Alexander (ORICA – SCOTT)
GBR 5 SWIFT, Ben (UAE Team Emirates)
ITA 6 FELLINE, Fabio (TREK – SEGAFREDO)
BEL 7 VAN DER SANDE, Tosh (LOTTO SOUDAL)
COL 8 PANTANO GOMEZ, Jarlinson (TREK – SEGAFREDO)
ITA 9 ULISSI, Diego (UAE Team Emirates)
ARG 10 RICHEZE, Maximiliano Ariel (QUICK – STEP FLOORS)
GER 11 SCHACHMANN, Maximilian (QUICK – STEP FLOORS)
NED 12 KELDERMAN, Wilco (SUNWEB)
GER 13 KÄMNA, Lennard (SUNWEB)
CAN 14 HOULE, Hugo (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
ITA 15 PASQUALON, Andrea (WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT)
ESP 16 BILBAO LOPEZ DE ARMENTIA, Pello (ASTANA)
NZL 17 SMITH, Dion (WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT)
ERI 18 BERHANE, Natnael (DIMENSION DATA)
FRA 19 MANZIN, Lorrenzo (FDJ)
SLO 20 ROGLIČ, Primož (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
RUS 21 KUZNETSOV, Viacheslav (KATUSHA ALPECIN)
FRA 22 LATOUR, Pierre Roger (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
GER 23 BUCHMANN, Emanuel (BORA – HANSGROHE)
ESP 24 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (BAHRAIN – MERIDA)
AUS 25 HAIG, Jack (ORICA – SCOTT)
FRA 26 DUMOULIN, Samuel (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
NOR 27 EIKING, Odd Christian (FDJ)
AUT 28 PREIDLER, Georg (SUNWEB)
POR 29 GONÇALVES, José (KATUSHA ALPECIN)
GER 30 SCHWARZMANN, Michael (BORA – HANSGROHE)
General Classification after Stage 2
ITA 1 FELLINE, Fabio (TREK – SEGAFREDO) 8:12:42
GER 2 SCHACHMANN, Maximilian (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 8
ESP 3 HERRADA LOPEZ, Jesus (MOVISTAR)
SLO 4 ROGLIČ, Primož (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 9
ESP 5 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) + 12
LUX 6 JUNGELS, Bob (QUICK – STEP FLOORS)
POR 7 GONÇALVES, José (KATUSHA ALPECIN) + 13
ESP 8 FERNANDEZ ANDUJAR, Ruben (MOVISTAR)
SUI 9 ALBASINI, Michael (ORICA – SCOTT) + 14
ESP 10 CASTROVIEJO, Jonathan (MOVISTAR)
ITA 11 ULISSI, Diego (UAE Team Emirates)
COL 12 PANTANO GOMEZ, Jarlinson (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 15
AUS 13 HOWSON, Damien (ORICA – SCOTT)
NED 14 KELDERMAN, Wilco (SUNWEB) + 16
ITA 15 MOSCON, Gianni (SKY)
GBR 16 YATES, Simon (ORICA – SCOTT) + 18
AUS 17 HAIG, Jack (ORICA – SCOTT) + 19
GER 18 BUCHMANN, Emanuel (BORA – HANSGROHE) + 20
ESP 19 BILBAO LOPEZ DE ARMENTIA, Pello (ASTANA)
SUI 20 FRANK, Mathias (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
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