Team pull together on freezing Romandie test

27 Apr 2017

Team pull together on freezing Romandie test

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Team Sky emerged without issue through a gruelling stage two at the Tour of Romandie as the weather provided the day’s main talking point.

Tough conditions continued to follow the Swiss race, with pouring rain, sleet and snow buffeting the peloton during a weather-shortened test.
At the finish in Bulle it was the day’s breakaway that contested the victory, with Stefan Kung (BMC Racing) besting Andriy Grivko (Astana) in a two-up sprint.
Team Sky put David Lopez to the fore to help monitor the gap to the men up the road, but with designated sprinter Elia Viviani distanced in appalling conditions, the riders reverted to finishing safely in the peloton.
Chris Froome, Owain Doull, Pete Kennaugh and Gianni Moscon all crossed the line together in a frozen peloton, 20 seconds behind Kung. Also in the group, Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) did enough to hold onto the yellow jersey ahead of more selective stages to come. 
Snow up high meant the stage started at kilometre 22 in Aigle, removing the opening descent down from Champery. Kung, Grivko, Sander Armee (Lotto Soudal) and Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty Groupe Goubert) made up the break, with the quartet digging deep to carve out a winning edge.

After the stage Sport Director Nico Portal put the day's conditions into perspective.

He told "The guys started in dry weather but when we climbed up the weather changed quickly. First we had rain, which transitioned into snow. The temperature dropped to two degrees and it was like this until the finish. 

"The bunch started to get really cold with 50km to go after the first long descent. When you're wet you get cold and it's hard to warm up. So you could see guys one by one being dropped.

"Kiry was struggling in these conditions and Elia too. Ian did a fantastic job from the beginning of the stage pulling and he eventually dropped back too. With Elia not at the front we just concentrated on crossing the line in the bunch. It was a really hard, hard stage. Chapeau to all the guys.

"Tomorrow will be another challenge again. We expect even worse conditions but we are glad to come through today." 
Nicolas Portal

Nicolas Portal

I think we forget sometimes how hard cycling can be. It just takes a tough 50km stretch and it can be horrible.
Stage two result:

1. Stefan Kung (BMC Racing) 3:33:15
2. Andriy Grivko (Astana) s.t.
3. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida) +20"
4. Alexander Edmondson (Orica-Scott) s.t.
5. Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates)

Overall standings:

1. Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) 8:12:42
2. Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) +8"
3. Jesus Herrada (Movistar) s.t.
4. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) +9"
5. Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida) +12"
15. Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) +16"
36. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +29"

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