photo credits @ Team Sky
Team Sky won the team time trial in this year’s Tour de Romandie today, after edging out Orica-GreenEdge by just 63 tenths of a second to claim the opening stage victory.
As a result, Geraint Thomas now wears the race leader’s yellow jersey.
photo credit @ Orica – GreenEdge
Meanwhile, Katusha rounded out the podium in 3rd spot, followed by Etixx – QuickStep, who both put in excellent performances, finishing just seconds behind the leaders.
excerpts from Team Sky
Team Sky got their Tour de Romandie campaign off to a perfect start with victory in the opening team time trial.
Storming the 19.2-kilometre course in a winning time of 21 minutes and 19 seconds, the team crossed the line to narrowly edge out nearest rivals Orica-GreenEdge by under a second.
After a superb team effort it was Geraint Thomas who led the six-rider group across the line, meaning it was the Welshman who pulled on the first yellow jersey of the race.
Katusha, and runner-up for the last two seasons Simon Spilak, came home third quickest, five seconds back, while Etixx – Quick-Step (+14″) and Astana (+17″) rounded out the top five under grey skies in Switzerland.
Defending champion Chris Froome crossed the line alongside his team-mates and was able to put time into all of his general classification rivals at the first opportunity.
Victory in the team time trial proved particularly sweet for Team Sky after missing out by less than a second a week ago in the same discipline at Giro del Trentino.
“It’s nice to be on the other side for a change,” admitted new race leader Thomas after the race. “We usually come second by a narrow margin so it was great to get the win today.
“The team time trial is something the team wants to target a bit more. We’ve always been up there but we’ve never really had much focus on it. We’re looking to keep improving in that area so it’s great to win.
“We wanted to go as fast as possible and do the best ride to try and win the stage, for us all, not just to get the yellow. It’s great for morale and to come away with the win is really nice.”
Run along the side of the Lac de Joux, the course suited the powerful TTT teams but held a sting in the tail with a late climb in the form of the Col du Mont d’Orzeires.
Cannondale-Garmin were the first outfit to dip under 22 minutes on the course but their time was smashed to the tune of 40 seconds by Orica-GreenEdge.
The benchmark held up well, with BMC Racing looking set for a strong run only to lose time on the climb as their fifth man became distanced. Sixth place was the end result, 19 seconds back, while Movistar and Nairo Quintana dropped 40 seconds on the opening test.
Team Sky matched GreenEdge exactly at the intermediate sprint, with Danny Pate and Nicolas Roche working hard before pulling off in the closing stages. That left Thomas, Froome, Pete Kennaugh, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and Elia Viviani to cross the line to bag a big opening victory.
Stage 1 TTT Results
1. Team Sky 21:18
2. Orica-GreenEdge 21:19
3. Katusha 21:24
4. Etixx-Quick Step 21:33
5. Astana 21:36
6. BMC Racing Team 21:38
7. FDJ 21:41
8. IAM Cycling 21:43
9. Movistar Team 21:59
10. Cannondale-Garmin 21:59
11. Lampre-Merida 22:00
12. Trek Factory Racing 22:01
13. Team Giant-Alpecin 22:09
14. Team LottoNL-Jumbo 22:14
15. Tinkoff-Saxo 22:14
16. Team Europcar 22:26
17. Lotto-Soudal 22:31
18. AG2R La Mondiale 22:41
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