Roglic bounces back with Romandie time trial win

With the overall victory out of reach, Slovenian champion dials up a winning time trial effort

LottoNL-Jumbo's Primoz Roglic saw his hopes for the overall win at the Tour de Romandie evaporate when he finished 11th during Saturday's queen stage, but the 27-year-old Slovenian bounced back on Sunday to take the time trial win and lift himself onto the final podium behind Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and Simon Yates (Orica-Scott).

The talented time trialist had been looming just nine seconds off the lead going into Saturday's stage, but on the climb to the finish in Leysin Roglic ceded 52 seconds to Yates and Porte, who finished together with Yates taking the stage win and race lead. 

With an overall win looking unlikely, Roglic set his sights on the final stage win and a possible podium spot, and he delivered, tearing through the largely downhill second half of the Lausanne course to win by eight seconds over Porte and 34 seconds over third-placed Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing). Yates was 12th, 48 seconds back, but he held onto his runner-up GC spot over Roglic by five seconds.

For a brief moment, it appeared Porte was going to overhaul the Slovenian time trial champion from the hot seat, setting the fastest time at the first intermediate time check, but Roglic's effort and technique on the descent over the second half of the course won the day.

"I am very pleased with this result," said Roglic, who has four wins so far this season, including the overall at the Volta ao Algarve, two stages at Pais Vasco and a stage at the Tour de Suisse.

Roglic started the five-stage Tour de Romandie with a sixth-place finish in the prologue, coming in nine seconds behind winner Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo). He maintained that margin to Felline but moved to fourth overall during stage 2, and his hopes of being close enough to take the final overall lead in Sunday's time trial were intact until he lagged on the slopes to Leysin the day before.

"We wanted to go for a good classification from the start of this race and we worked hard with the team every day," he said. "Yesterday, unfortunately, I lost precious seconds, which meant that classification win was out of sight. Still, I had a lot of confidence in a good result today, which meant a wonderful victory."

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