Jumbo Visma's Primoz Roglic had to settle for second place after the Tour de Romandie prologue time trial on Tuesday, losing out to Bahrain-Merida's Jan Tratnik by less than half a second. UAE Team Emirates' Tom Bohli (UAE Team Emirates) took third.
Roglic – the defending Romandie champion – is officially recorded as having finished a whole second behind winner Tratnik, with results always rounded up to the nearest second, but in reality the gap was just 0.39 seconds – just under four tenths of a second, which the team have more generously called three tenths of a second.
"Of course, I'm disappointed with those three tenths," Roglic said on his team's website. "You always want to win, but with Tratnik as the winner, I'm not too disappointed. He's a good friend of mine."
The time difference is likely to become irrelevant once the race hits the mountains on stage 3, with Roglic at the race to fine-tune his form for May's Giro d'Italia, where he will lead the team for the first time at a Grand Tour, having taken fourth place overall at last year's Tour de France.
"I've just returned from an altitude camp, so you always have to see and find out how things look to be going. My shape and my prospects, however, are good," continued Roglic, who won the overall classification at Tirreno-Adriatico in March – by three tenths of a second.
"Three tenths of a second is a very small difference," agreed Roglic's Jumbo-Visma sports director Jan Boven. "Sometimes you win races by a small margin and sometimes you lose with a small margin. That's all part of the sport, but Primoz rode an excellent time trial; technically he rode it very well.
"With regards to the Giro, he's had a good altitude camp, and with the second place he's confirmed that his preparation's going very well. He's just lacking some race rhythm, but this race is perfect to work on that."
Another 0.32 seconds behind Roglic on Tuesday was young Swiss time trial specialist Tom Bohli (UAE Team Emirates), who had set the fastest time before it was beaten first by Roglic and then stage winner Tratnik, who deposed Roglic's time by recording just under 5:07 for the 3.87km prologue course in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
"I'm happy with the ride, but I'm also a little disappointed to have lost by less than a second," Bohli said via his team's website. "Among other things, I had to change my trajectory heading into the corner before the uphill section on the cobbles due to a bird that was on the road. It flew right towards me and forced me to duck my head to avoid it. All little things, but that time gap was small. It's too bad, as I missed out by very little today."
The Tour de Romandie continues with stage 1 on Wednesday – a relatively flat 168.4km road stage from Neuchâtel to La Chaux-de-Fonds.
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