Tour de Romandie: Sky pip Orica-GreenEdge in team time trial

Thomas in yellow as British team wins by 0.63 of a second

Team Sky edged out Orica-GreenEdge by just 0.63 of a second to claim victory in the opening team time trial of the Tour de Romandie and place Geraint Thomas in the yellow jersey of race leader.

The two teams could scarcely be separated on the rolling 19.2km course from Vallée du Joux to Juraparc, and they were level at the intermediate checkpoint after 15 kilometres. The finale included the climb of the Mont d'Orzeires and that, perhaps, made the critical difference.

While Orica-GreenEdge were reduced to the bare minimum of five riders by the time they crested the summit, Sky, the last team to take the start, still had seven riders in place as they swooped down towards the finish, including two-time Tour de Romandie winner Chris Froome.

As Sky fanned across the road and hit the finish line with the new best time, the Orica-GreenEdge team, led by Svein Tuft, could only smile with resignation in the hot seat, where they had spent much of the afternoon after easily overhauling the early mark set by Cannondale-Garmin.

"It's nice to be on the other side for a change," said race leader Thomas. "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."

The only team to present a genuine threat to GreenEdge’s time before Sky was Katusha. Led by Simon Spilak, who boasts a remarkable record at the Tour de Romandie, the Russian squad finished just five seconds off the pace. The display leaves Spilak, third at Paris-Nice last month, very much in the running for overall honours.

Etixx-QuickStep was the other squad with a fine team time trialling pedigree in the race but despite the presence of former world time trial champion Tony Martin and Rigoberto Uran in their line-up, they could only manage 4th on the day, 14 seconds down on Sky and GreenEdge.

Vincenzo Nibali confirmed on the eve of the race that he will not be participating at the Giro d’Italia but the Sicilian showed flashes of form at the Ardennes Classics last week and will be eager to secure the first major results of his 2015 campaign in Switzerland this week. It was a solid if unspectacular start for his Astana team, who finished the stage 17 seconds off the pace in fifth.

For Nairo Quintana and Movistar, it was an afternoon to forget, as they struggled to find their rhythm early on the course. They were already 34 seconds down at the 15-kilometre mark and coughed up another six seconds in the closing kilometres to finish the stage in 10th place, leaving Quintana with considerable ground to make up in the battle for overall honours.

Thibaut Pinot and FDJ (7th at 22 seconds) and Matthias Fränk and IAM Cycling (8th at 24 seconds) will be rather more content with their showings, as they limited their losses to Froome, Spilak, Uran and Nibali.

Wednesday sees the Tour de Romandie peloton tackle the rugged 168 kilometres from Apples to Saint-Imier, a stage that includes the second category Col de la Vue des Alpes ahead of a rapid drop to the finish.

Thomas will carry the yellow jersey into the first road stage for the second time on his career. He won the prologue in 2012 before passing the jersey on to his teammate Bradley Wiggins, who went on to win overall. Froome continued Sky’s sequence in 2013 and 2014.

Stage results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Sky0:21:19 
2Orica GreenEdge  
3Team Katusha0:00:05 
4Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:14 
5Astana Pro Team0:00:17 
6BMC Racing Team0:00:19 
8IAM Cycling0:00:24 
9Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:00:40 
10Movistar Team  
12Trek Factory Racing0:00:42 
13Team Giant-Alpecin0:00:50 
15Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
16Team Europcar0:01:07 
17Lotto Soudal0:01:12 
18AG2R La Mondiale0:01:22 


General Classification

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Geraint Thomas (Gbr) Team Sky0:21:00 
2Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky  
3Ian Stannard (Gbr) Team Sky  
4Luke Rowe (Gbr) Team Sky  
5Christopher Froome (Gbr) Team Sky  
6Peter Kennaugh (Gbr) Team Sky  
7Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge  
8Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica Greenedge  
9Svein Tuft (Can) Orica Greenedge  
10Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica Greenedge  
11Simon Yates (Gbr) Orica Greenedge  
12Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:05 
13Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha  
14Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha  
15Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha  
16Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Team Katusha  
17Egor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha  
18Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:14 
19Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step  
20Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
21Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
22Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step  
23Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step  
24Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:17 
25Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team  
26Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team  
27Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
28Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana Pro Team  
29Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bmc Racing Team0:00:19 
30Danilo Wyss (Swi) Bmc Racing Team  
31Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bmc Racing Team  
32Manuel Senni (Ita) Bmc Racing Team  
33Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Bmc Racing Team  
34David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:21 
35Steve Morabito (Swi) Fdj.Fr0:00:22 
36Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Fdj.Fr  
37Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Fdj.Fr  
38Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Fdj.Fr  
39Arthur Vichot (Fra) Fdj.Fr  
40Stef Clement (Ned) Iam Cycling0:00:24 
41Mathias Frank (Swi) Iam Cycling  
42Marcel Wyss (Swi) Iam Cycling  
43Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Iam Cycling  
44Matthias Brandle (Aut) Iam Cycling  
45Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team0:00:34 
46Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:00:40 
47Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
48Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
49Thomas Danielson (Usa) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
50Janier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
51Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
52Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Movistar Team  
53Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team  
54John Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team  
55Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (Crc) Movistar Team  
56Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team  
57Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team  
58Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida0:00:41 
59Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) Lampre-Merida  
60Diego ** Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
61Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida  
62Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida  
63Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing0:00:42 
64Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek Factory Racing  
65Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing  
66Matthew Busche (Usa) Trek Factory Racing  
67Fabio Silvestre (Por) Trek Factory Racing  
68Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek Factory Racing  
69Stefan Kueng (Swi) Bmc Racing Team0:00:44 
70Campbell Flakemore (Aus) Bmc Racing Team  
71Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin0:00:50 
72Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin  
73Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-Alpecin  
74Chad Haga (Usa) Team Giant-Alpecin  
75Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Alpecin  
76Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin  
77Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Iam Cycling0:00:52 
78Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida0:00:53 
79Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo0:00:55 
80Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Tinkoff-Saxo  
81Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo  
82Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
83Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo  
84Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
85Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo  
86Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team Lottonl-Jumbo  
87Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Lottonl-Jumbo  
88Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team Lottonl-Jumbo  
89Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team Lottonl-Jumbo  
90Rick Flens (Ned) Team Lottonl-Jumbo  
91Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:00:57 
92Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:59 
93Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo0:01:01 
94Rory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar Team0:01:05 
95Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team  
96Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Team Katusha0:01:06 
97Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar0:01:07 
98Bryan Naulleau (Fra) Team Europcar  
99Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar  
100Romain Guillemois (Fra) Team Europcar  
101Maxime Mederel (Fra) Team Europcar  
102Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar  
103Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica Greenedge0:01:08 
104Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:12 
105Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
106Greg Henderson (Nzl) Lotto Soudal  
107Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
108Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
109Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:01:18 
110Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
111Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2R La Mondiale0:01:22 
112Jan Bakelants (Bel) Ag2R La Mondiale  
113Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
114Ben Gastauer (Lux) Ag2R La Mondiale  
115Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
116Brian Bulgac (Ned) Team Lottonl-Jumbo0:01:55 
117Carter Jones (Usa) Team Giant-Alpecin0:01:56 
118Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar0:01:58 
119Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Team Europcar  
120Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Fdj.Fr0:02:00 
121Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica Greenedge0:02:04 
122Sam Bewley (Nzl) Orica Greenedge  
123Lawrence Warbasse (Usa) Iam Cycling0:02:07 
124Michal Golas (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step  
125Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) Iam Cycling  
126Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky0:02:13 
127Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:18 
128Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:02:34 
129Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha0:02:47 
130Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:03:00 
131Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:07 
132Danny Pate (Usa) Team Sky0:03:12 
133Cheng Ji (Chn) Team Giant-Alpecin0:03:16 
134Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing0:03:20 
135Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
136Mikael Cherel (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:03:24 
137Julien Berard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
138Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
139Amaël Moinard (Fra) Bmc Racing Team0:03:45 
140Jérémy Roy (Fra) Fdj.Fr0:04:04 
141Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Team Lottonl-Jumbo0:04:32 
142Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Lottonl-Jumbo  
143Cédric Pineau (Fra) Fdj.Fr0:04:34 
144Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:05:00 

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