Full live coverage of stage 3 of the 2017 Tour de Romandie.
- Stage 2 report: Küng wins from the break on snowy day
- Tour de Romandie race hub
- Warren Barguil fractures hip in Tour de Romandie crash
- Race preview
Hello there, and a warm welcome to Cyclingnews' live race centre for stage 3 of the Tour de Romandie. It's certainly warmer in here than it is out there, with plenty more snow falling in Switzerland falling overnight. Today's stage, based in Payerne, will still go ahead as planned, however.
Here's what we can expect
The 149 riders left in the peloton have just set out and the stage is underway.
Plenty of layers needed again today...
Here come the attacks. There are four third-category climbs on the menu today, so it wouldn't be a surprise if Lotto Soudal's Sander Armée, leader of the KOM classification, got himself in the break for a third day in a row.
Nothing is sticking in these early kilometres, despite a number of attempts, and the peloton is lined out at high speed.
Here's a slightly confusing map of where we're heading today. Essentially, we start and finish in Payerne, with four different loops in between.
175km remaining from 187km
After 12 kilometres, a group of seven riders have opened up a promising advantage on the peloton.
The seven men in the break are:
Davide Martinelli (Quick-Step)
Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe)
Toms Skujins (Cannondale-Drapac)
Victor Campenaerts (LottoNL-Jumbo)
Thoma De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)
Hugo Houle (AG@R-La Mondiale)
Nikita Stalnov (Astana)
172km remaining from 187km
That's a WorldTour full house, and they have a lead of two minutes - and growing - over the peloton.
As the race situation settles down, why not catch up on what happened yesterday. The stage was shortened due to snow, and many riders were telling tales of how they couldn't feel their fingers or toes all day long. It was a miserable one, that's for sure, and in the end the break made it all the way, whereupon Stefan Küng took the honours on home soil. Here's the full write-up, with full results and plenty of photos.
There was plenty of speculation that today's stage might also be curtailed, but that won't be the case. Here's a photo taken this morning by Katusha-Alpecin mechanic, Bjorn Neyt.
Prologue winner Fabio Felline is still the race leader and it's his Trek-Segafredo teammates who are leading the peloton. Of the breakaway riders, Houle is the best-placed GC-wise at 3:35.
162km remaining from 187km
We're 25 kilometres in and the breakaway's advantage hasn't really grown that much. It stands at 2:30.
Despite the four climbs, today's stage should culminate in a bunch sprint, especially if the peloton continues to keep the escapees on a short leash.
Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) won the bunch sprint behind the break yesterday and is a prime candidate for today, having also won at Paris-Nice this year in miserable conditions. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) is the other big sprinter in the field.
Speaking of Viviani, Sky announced their Giro d'Italia line-up this morning, and the Italian wasn't in it. The British squad have opted to select a team built entirely around the general classification ambitions of Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa, with no room for a sprinter.
Daniel Benson spoke to Viviani at the start in Payerne this morning - here's his reaction.
147km remaining from 187km
We are one hour into proceedings and we've covered 40 kilometres in that time. Well, the riders have. I definitely haven't. The gap still stands at a slim 2:20.
I'd say I've covered a good 20 metres (the kettle and back) since the stage began.
Can you do any better? Get in touch - I'm probably more interested in your thoughts and predictions for today's stage, to be honest - via Twitter @cyclingnewsfeed / @paddyfletch.
137km remaining from 187km
The gap goes up to three minutes as the break hit the 50km mark.
The riders are passing through the first feed zone. Another 30 or so kilometres remain before the first ascent of the day - the third-category Mont-Vully.
Another rider Daniel Benson has spoken to out in Switzerland is Simon Yates. The Briton has had his race programme changed as a result of Esteban Chaves' knee injury and, after originally being put down for the Giro, he'll now be heading to the Tour de France in July. Here's his take on the decision:
A shot of the break from the Astana team car as they passed through the finish line for the first time.
123km remaining from 187km
After 64 kiometres, the gap between the 7-man break and the peloton stands at 3 minutes.
This race was once seen as the ideal final preparation race ahead of the Giro d'Italia. There are a couple of contenders for the pink jersey here, but have they made it into our '10 riders to watch' video?
Here's the link to the latest feature in our Giro countdown: Giro d'Italia 2017: 10 riders to watch - Video
111km remaining from 187km
The gap comes down again to 2:26 after 76km. We're just a few kilometres away from the first climb of the day.
Trek and Bahrain are the two teams doing the bulk of the work on the front of the peloton. Trek taking responsibility for the leader's jersey on the shoulders of Felline, Bahrain clearly confident in Colbrelli today.
@Lotto_Soudal Fri, 28th Apr 2017 12:45:30
105km remaining from 187km
Thomas De Gendt is first through the KOM banner atop the climb. The Belgian collects five points for his troubles. Houle is next through, followed by Postlberger.
None of the seven riders had any KOM points coming into today's stage and, with a maximum of 20 available today, they won't be any threat to Sander Armée, who sits atop the standings on 39 points.
@TeamDiData Fri, 28th Apr 2017 12:59:44
91km remaining from 187km
Martinelli bags the points as the breakaway riders hit the first intermediate sprint after a welcome stretch of downhill.
All of the riders were suffering in the cold yesterday, and De Gendt, who is currently keeping warm up front in the breakaway, tweeted the below message to the UCI, suggesting they should get some fresh air whilst following the riders.
@mkossy Fri, 28th Apr 2017 11:29:14
84km remaining from 187km
@LottoJumbo_road Fri, 28th Apr 2017 13:18:06
Yesterday's runner up Andriy Grivko is about to serve a 45 day ban for a dust up with Marcel Kittel in the Dubai Tour earlier this year. But he thinks Kittel should also serve a ban. You can read all of what the Astana rider had to say in this story.
82km remaining from 187km
The gap to the leaders is really starting to tumble now that the peloton have digested their lunch and are feeling perkier. 1:47 was the latest time check.
Here's a reminder of what the riders will face in the second half of this stage.
75km remaining from 187km
The peloton clearly isn't making the same mistake they did yesterday, and are keeping the breakaway's gap at 1:52.
Up in our breakaway, Toms Skujins is the rider who has given Cannondale-Drapac its only win of the year so far - stage 2 of the Coppi e Bartali. The Latvian is making himself into the Jens Voigt of the current generation - always going on the attack.
The weather is a bit better for the riders on today's stage - it's still quite cold, but not bitterly so, and dry at the moment. This has to be a boost to the peloton's morale.
The weather has been causing havoc for the television producers this week as bad conditions have grounded the helicopters. Currently French TV is showing a man painting a picture of a pig on a bike.
The leaders will soon make their way up the pair of category 3 climbs that punctuate the parcours - the Grandsivas and the Lovens, which crests at km 130. There is another nice little launchpad with 30km to go, the steep but short Estevayer-le-Lac.
@TourDeRomandie Fri, 28th Apr 2017 13:40:57
40km/h is the average speed after three hours in the saddle.
62km remaining from 187km
The breakaway riders come to the top of the second climb of the day, at Grandsivaz, and it's once again De Gendt who reaches out to take the maximum five points.
The climbing doesn't stop there, though. The riders will keep heading uphill and will face some steep gradients on a short ascent at Lovens - also rated as third-category.
@Bahrain_Merida Fri, 28th Apr 2017 13:54:53
Stalnov has been distanced on the climb.
55km remaining from 187km
The gap is starting to come down now.
45km remaining from 187km
We've just had a couple of technical difficulties - apologies for that - but we can tell you that with 45km left to go, the gap between the break and the peloton is down to one minute.
The Bahrain-Merida team are setting a high pace on this downhill section
40km remaining from 187km
50 seconds now as Bahrain continue the charge. The peloton really are making no mistake today after yesterday's fluffed chase.
38km remaining from 187km
The Bahrain riders have the six remaining breakaway men in their sights. This is going to be an early catch.
36km remaining from 187km
With a catch made this early, we could well see further attacks being made and another breakaway forming before we come back into Payerne.
Bahrain have no fewer than seven riders in single file at the head of the bunch. The other teams aren't complaining, even if they must be slightly bemused. This seems an excessive effort - no pressure Sonny Colbrelli.
Ben Swift is off the back chasing back through the cars onto the back of the peloton. The UAE Team Emirates rider was third in the bunch kick yesterday and could figure today. He missed the Ardennes with an innocuous ankle sprain, and will be keen to start bagging results in his new team colours.
32km remaining from 187km
BMC and Sky form trains of their own and line up alongside Bahrain now.
31km remaining from 187km
The grouped peloton hit the final climb of the day at Sassel. It's a third-category ascent but it still packs gradient of over 12 per cent.
Simon Clarke attacks on the lower slopes. He is followed by an FDJ rider.
Bahrain setting the tempo behind the two escapees. Not sure why they brought the original break back before this climb.
Team Sky come through now, putting Peter Kennaugh on the front.
And here come the counter attacks...
28km remaining from 187km
It's Tosh van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) and Sebastien Reichenbach (FDJ), who have set off in pursuit. And they're across.
So, the four men up front are:
Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac)
Sebastien Reichenbach (FDJ)
Arnaud Courteille (FDJ)
Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal)
Another flurry of attacks in the pack as Andrey Amador accelerates away. It's a bit disorganised in there now.
Sander Armée, leader of the KOM classification, accelerates now. Bob Jungels fancies it, too.
25km remaining from 187km
Jungels drives again and gets a gap. There are plenty of riders looking round, wondering how to play this rather chaotic race situation.
Alex Dowsett is the next to go and the Briton immediately gets a sizeable gap. He's a time trial specialist and will be hard to peg back.
The bunch is strung out. Where are Bahrain-Merida? They're certainly not all gathered together on the front like they were not too long ago.
Van der Sande was first over the top of that climb, meaning Lotto Soudal have bagged the maximum KOM points at all five climbs. That protects the KOM classification lead of Armée if nothing else.
21km remaining from 187km
Here come Bahrain again, with Grmay on the front. Three others, including Colbrelli and Izaguirre, are there.
The four leaders have an advantage of 23 seconds. Dowsett is somewhere in between.
Dowsett is off the front with a lead of 17 seconds.
Bahrain-Merida are assuming responsibility here, but neither Colbrelli nor Izaguirre are going to do much heavy lifting. Dowsett is holding is own here.
15km remaining from 187km
Dowsett loses a couple of seconds on a false flat but the Bahrain riders fan across the road and knock off the pace slightly, causing the Movistar man's lead to rise to 25 seconds again.
14km remaining from 187km
Quick-Step's Tim Declercq comes to the front to lend Bahrain a hand.
13km remaining from 187km
Can Dowsett do this?
If Quick-Step do contribute, and Declerq is coming through now, then it's hard to see him staying away. The peloton can't afford a moment's hesitation, though.
11km remaining from 187km
It's Arashiro on the front for Bahrain now, with Peter Kennaugh also coming now for Sky and Viviani.
11km remaining from 187km
Dowsett takes the points at the intermediate sprint - not that he'll be taking much notice of the green banner. He has his arms over his bars, grimace on his face and he ploughs on, absorbed in his effort.
Yesterday's stage winner Stefan Kung, wearing the green jersey, clips off the front of the bunch to collect some additional points.
10km remaining from 187km
20 seconds, still, for Dowsett, with 10km to go.
Kennaugh does a turn as Bahrain continue to burn their matches. This has turned into a bit of a desperate situation for them - and it's a mess entirely of their own making.
8km remaining from 187km
Just 12 seconds now for Dowsett as Declerq comes through. This sort of collaboration in numbers is going to spell trouble for our lone leader.
6km remaining from 187km
Dowsett doesn't dare look back. If he did he'd see his compatriot Peter Kennaugh breathing down his neck.
6km remaining from 187km
Just five seconds now for Dowsett.
5km remaining from 187km
Dowsett is going to be caught any minute.
4km remaining from 187km
The Briton wants to drag this out for as long as possible, flying through a left-hand bend.
3km remaining from 187km
And it's all over. Dowsett admits defeat, Declerq pulls over, and Bahrain take it up once again.
3km remaining from 187km
3km to go and Viviani is tucked in behind UAE, the team of Ben Swift. Have Bahrain burned themselves out for this one?
2km remaining from 187km
The riders spread across the road now as Bora take it up.
2km remaining from 187km
We have a fight for position on our hands here. FDJ move Kevin Reza up
1km remaining from 187km
A slight bend takes the riders through a roundabout. The pace is high as Bora drill it. Sky and UAE trying to move up.
1km remaining from 187km
Here come Sky
Bora try to regain their position but Sky are dominating this one.
Viviani tries to come back as the sprint opens
Viviani takes it!
Edmondson sprang a surprise with a long-ranger but Viviani stayed calm and had the speed to win it. Colbrelli was second in the end there.
From disappointment to delight...
It was announced this morning that Viviani had been left out of the Sky squad for the Giro d'Italia, and here he bounces back with a fine victory. Hugs all round from the Sky riders, who all played their part - including Chris Froome - in that lead-out. They're all delighted for their Italian teammate.
@CafeRoubaix Fri, 28th Apr 2017 15:13:33
1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky 4:27:42
2 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3 Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Orica-Scott
5 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
6 Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension Data
7 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
8 Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal
9 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
10 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
General classification after stage 3
1 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 12:40:24
2 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:08
3 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team
4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:09
5 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:12
6 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
7 José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:13
8 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott 0:00:14
10 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team
No change in the GC standings, though you can bet that won't be the case again tomorrow. We have some proper climbs on the menu for stage 4 in what is billed as the queen stage of the race. With the race concluding with a time trial on Sunday, it's all to play for in a decisive weekend.
@TourDeRomandie Fri, 28th Apr 2017 15:29:54
Here's a first finish line shot of Viviani
Here's our stage 3 page with a full report, plenty of photos, and full results on the way very shortly.
Fabio Felline lives to ride another day in yellow.
Here's what lies in store tomorrow
We will, of course, be back tomorrow with full live coverage of that all-important stage. In the meantime, keep an eye on Cyclingnews.com for all the news and reaction from the race, along with all the action from the Tour de Yorkshire, where the opening stage has just finished. See you back here tomorrow.
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