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Tour de Romandie prologue TT – Live coverage


Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the prologue time trial of the Tour de Romandie in Switzerland.

As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height, the first riders have begun the 4.05km prologue in Oron.

Joel Suter (Swiss Cycling) was the first off the starting ramp at 15:00 CET while Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) will be the last rider off at 17:19 CET.

The race was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 but returns for six days of racing from April 27 to May 2. The event begins with a short prologue and will follow with five stages that includes a total of 12,500 metres of climbing.

Suter and other early starters are already done, with Suter setting  time of 6:10.

Indeed Philippe Gilbert set 5:53 but that has been beaten too. 

Lots of riders are warming up for their riders in the shadows of their tram buses parked in a country road near Oron.

The week in western Switzerland will see a number of big names do battle, including Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), Miguel Ángel López (Movistar), and Steven Kruijwsijk (Jumbo-Visma), while Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), and Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal) are also among the starters.

The route of the 2021 Tour de Romandie largely follows the cancelled 2020 edition of the race, kicking off with a prologue in the town of Oron near Lausanne.

Stage 1 proper sees the riders head from the UCI's home of Aigle to Martigny, where four laps of a hilly circuit lie in wait. With nine third-category climbs on the menu, it's a challenging day out, concluding with an uphill run to the line.

This is the view at the finish. with riders enjoying blue skies and spring weather in Switzerland today.

Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) completes his preparation for the Giro d’Italia at the Tour de Romandieand is the favourite for Tuesday afternoon’s prologue time trial in Oron.

New fastest time! 

The Swiss rider goes into the hot seat.

Here comes Stefan Kung.  

Kuing sets 5:43 and so is beaten. The Euro TT champion perhaps suffered on the technical and rolling course.

Stefan Bissegger won the Paris-Nice opening TT and used his superb bike skills and aero position to strike again.

GIEN FRANCE MARCH 09 Stefan Bissegger of Switzerland and Team EF Education Nippo during the 79th Paris Nice 2021 Stage 3 a 144km Individual Time Trial stage from Gien to Gien 147m ITT ParisNice on March 09 2021 in Gien France Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Stefan Bissegger's average time of 43.264km/h shows hoe technical and rolling the course is. 

Jos van Emden is out on the course, the Giro TT winner could be a threat today.

Van Emden started the climb to the finish on the tops of his bar  but is now back in an aero tuck. 

The USA's Chad Haga is next off. 

British TT champion Alex Dowsett is also racing now.

Provisional standings

  1. Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) 5:37
  2. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) 5:39
  3. Stefan kung (Groupama-FDJ) 5:43
  4. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 5:44
  5. Patrick Bevin (Israel Start-up Nation) 5:44

Haga sets 5:47, good but not for the stage victory, he's ten seconds slower than Stefan Bissegger.

Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) pulls off a good ride, setting 5:40.  

One of the big-name revelations of the spring Tom Pidcock is not racing today. 

Michael Woods finished 13 seconds slower than Bissegger.

Wilco Kelderman (Bora) is the first of the GC contenders to finish. 

Provisional standings

  1. Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) 5:37
  2. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) 5:39
  3. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) 5:40
  4. Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5:42
  5. Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ) 5:43

Owain Doull rides well, the former team pursuiter setting 5:46. 

Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) is next off, starting his season after injury, COVID and other delays. 

After 12 weeks off the bike after his Giro crash, Lopez is on a gradual return to form.

Ilan Van Wilder (Team DSM) sets a good time of 5:42 for the fourth fastest time. 

This is Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) in action. 

The bike was first spotted at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, with Rigoberto Urán using it.

77 of the 140 riders have finished the TT. World Champion Ganna will be off in around 20 minutes.

Geraint Thomas (Ineos) is the last rider off, in about an hour. 

Here we go! Rohan Dennis starts his ride. 

Peter Sagan sets 5:48, He's within the ten-second time-bonus range for Wednesday's road stage.

Dennis is tucked low over his TT bike. He's fast, but how fast?

Dennis was fastest at the intermediate check. 

Rohan Dennis in action in the 2020 Giro d'Italia.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Next off is Chris Froome.

Provisional standings

  1. Rohan Dennis (Ineos Grenadiers) 5:26
  2. Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) 5:37
  3. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) 5:39
  4. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) 5:40

today's TT is in Oton but is close to Lake Geneva and Lausanne. Wednesday's stage is on a hilly circuit between Aigle, the home to the UCI and Martigny. 

He comes Froome, he sets: 6: 18.

Filippo 'Top' Ganna is off very soon. If anyone can beat Dennis' time of 5:26, he can. 

Ganna is quickly into his TT position. 

Time trial world champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) races to victory on the final stage of the 2020 Giro d'Italia

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Ganna takes the U turn onto the bike path. He will soon start the climb to the finish.

Ganna dived into the sweeping corner that starts the climb.  

It is surprising to see Ganna some 14 seconds slower than Dennis.

Ganna is only fifth fastest so far. He will not be happy about that. 

Lucas Hamilton (Bike Exchange) is next to finish. 

Richie Porte is next off. He's a former winner and back with Ineos for 2021 after his 2020 Tour de France podium. 

provisional standings

  1. Rohan Dennis (Ineos Grenadiers) 5:26
  2. Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) 5:37
  3. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) 5:39
  4. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) 5:40
  5. Filippo Ganna (Inoes Grenadiers) 5:41

Tony sets 5:46, not bad on a comeback from injury. 

Elia Viviani (Cofidis) is off. He'll be hoping for a sprint win this week before diving into the Giro sprints.

Richie Porte is fast. He sets 5:35. 

That's an excellent ride and asks further questions about what  happened to Ganna.  

Porte's ride bumps Ganna out of the top five. 

ORON SWITZERLAND APRIL 27 Filippo Ganna of Italy and Team INEOS Grenadiers during the 74th Tour De Romandie 2021 Prologue a 405km Individual Time Trial stage from Oron to Oron 700m ITT TDR2021 TDRnonstop UCIworldtour on April 27 2021 in Oron Switzerland Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Alex Dowesett is off. He's in the British champion's colours and should be a contender.

Riders come think and fast, starting at 1-minute intervals because the stage is so short.

All the riders go deep on the climb to the finish, while children cheer them on and some adults enjoy an outdoor beer in the sun.

This is the expected stage winner. 

Dowsett sets: 5:52. Not a great day or ride for him.

Next off is Marc Hirschi. A national hero in Switzerland but perhaps lacking peak form after his winter transfer to UAE Team Emirates and problems.

We're down to the final riders from each team now and so often the GC leaders.

Geraint Thomas is last rider off. 

Here comes Hirschi. He sets a time of 5: 41. That's a good time.

Sepp Kuss sets 5: 42. That keeps him in the GC battle. 

Cavagna is the French TT champion and shows it. 

Here comes Thomas. He' pushes a big gear on the climb. Can he make it a Ineos 1-2-3?

Thomas sets 5: 35. 

That does give Ineos a 1-2-3 for the stage. They are the Mapei of the time trial today.

Ineos work hard on their TT skills and equipment and dominated the result today.

This is the top ten for the stage:

Dennis was beaten by Ganna in recent TT's but came out on top today. 

To see our full stage report, our growing photo gallery and full results, click below.

Here's Rohan Dennis in the first Tour de Romandie yellow leader's jersey.

Here's Geraint Thomas in action in the Romandie TT. 

Thanks for joining us for our full live coverage. 

This is the top result for the prologue:

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