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Tour de Romandie stage 3 - Live coverage

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Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 3 of the Tour de Romandie.

As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height, it's a rainy in Switzerland and stage is underway. 

We have an early break of 15 riders.

But the fast moving peloton has closed it down.

The stage has fast. 

After a fast opening 25km, the peloton is all together. 

This was the wet roll-out at the start.

This video from Movistar's drive to the start shows the rain the riders face today.

Fortunately the weather is expected to improve as the stage goes on.

Fortunately today's stage covers a circuit near Lake Neuchatel and so riders will get to se the roads they face several times.

The riders face one large loop and then three finishing circuits around Estavayer overlooking the lake.

The riders are on the climb and it has inspired an attack. Seven riders have come together.

They are Kobe Goossens, Stefan Küng, Sander Armée, Matthias Reutimann, Stefan Bissegger, Charles Quarterman and Johan Jacobs.

They are over the Surpierre climb and heading to the intermediate sprint after 44km.  

The peloton has eased up, so the gap is up to 2:00. Ineos and race leader Rohan Dennis must  be happy with the make-up of the break. 

It looks like the weather is improving.

Today's stage is similar to yesterday, when Sonny Colbrelli survived on the rolling roads and then won the sprint to the line. 

Situation

There are four Swiss riders in the attack, including  Kung and Bissegger. They could have the strength to go all the way and win the stage. 

120km to go

They face some flat roads before the first climb on the finishing circuit. 

The weather is expected to be be tough during the weekend for the mountain stage and so the Tour de Romandie organisers have just announced that Saturday's stage will go ahead but start two hours early in the hope  hitting a better window of weather.

It's wet out there.

100km to go

Bravo, Courage! The break rides through the finish area for the first time and starts the three near 35km circuit.

Behind it is Ineos and their hard working domestique Eddie Dunbar who is leading the chase. 

The break of 7 have extended their lead to 4:00. 

The break starts the short climb of Chables, 1.8km at 6.2%. 

Kobe Goossens was the first to the top of the climb.

It looks like Stefan Kung is making everyone suffer in the break.

Kobe Goossens is also first to the top of the Les Granges climb. He scores 5 points and seems to be chasing the KOM jersey.

The peloton seems to be stronger and has cut the break's lead down to 2:40.  

65km to go

The race is on the flat valley roads after passing through the finish area again. There are just less than two laps to race. 

The roads are awash with rain water, making for a tough day out. 

Chris Froome is off the pack of the peloton in a chase group. 

50km to go

As the Chables climb begins, several riders are dropped from the break.  

Armée and Quaterman are distanced.

The gap to the five up front isa down to 1:25 but the peloton takes the descent with care to avoid crashes.

The race hits the Les Granges climb. It is longer and harder that the Chables climb and so the break becomes just 4 riders now.  

Only Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Stefan Bissegger (EF Education) and Johan Jacobs (Movistar) are up there.

The road is narrow and wet and the peloton is just 1:00 down now. 

All eyers are on Stefan Kung. He likes racing in the rain and seems ready to go on the attack.

Bora-Hansgrohe  is now helping Ineos with the chase at the head of the peloton. 

The break passes through the finish area with 39km to go.  Kung reaches into his pocket for ace food to fuel his final hour  of racing and fight the cold and rain.

The peloton is 2:20 behind, seemingly in control. 

30km to go

Kung is liked a coiled spring and will surely attack on the climbs.

Bahrain are also helping with chase now. It's a pursuit match but Kung will surely try to time trial to the finish very soon.

ESTAVAYER SWITZERLAND APRIL 30 Filippo Ganna of Italy Eddie Dunbar of Ireland and Team INEOS Grenadiers lead The Peloton during the 74th Tour De Romandie 2021 Stage 3 a 1687km stage from Estavayer to Estavayer Rain TDR2021 TDRnonstop UCIworldtour on April 30 2021 in Estavayer Switzerland Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The break is less than 5km from the first climb and the roads have started to ride.

It's good to young Welsh rider Stevie Williams riding on the front for Bahrain after a difficult pro debut hit by tendinitis.  

The four riders up front are all working together to keep the gap at 1:20.

16km to go

Kung pushes on with Kobe Goossens but then surges away solo. 

Kung has won a stage at the Romandie in every two years he rides, often in terrible wet conditions like today.

Kung crashes ! 

He crashed at speed and slid along the road.

Kung touched the wet white line and lost control of his bike. He slid along and into the padded protection on a barrier. 

Only Kober Goossens (Lotto Soudal) is left out front as he starts the final climb.

obe Goossens (Lotto Soudal)

Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal)  fights on as Kung is caught by the bunch. 

10km to go

Wow! We could also see a change in the race lead. 

The descent to the finish begins. 

The stage winner could be the best or bravest descender.

Soler has attacked from the peloton but Porte is leading the peloton for Geraint Thomas.

Does Soler know that Saturday's stage could be cancelled or shortened?

Soler is pushing on at the front. He leads by 25 seconds.

He stated the stage 27 seconds down on Dennis and so could take the lead and there are time bonuses awarded at the finish too.

3km to go on flat roads.

Soler wins the stage! 

And the clock ticks. Can he take the lead too? 

Magus and Peter Sagan take 2nd and 3rd in the group sprint to the line and so sweep up the time bonuses. 

Soler has surely taken the race lead. We wait for confirmation of the tine gaps and the position of Rohan Dennis, who was the race leader.

This is the stage result:

In theory he leads the race by 14 seconds.

It's an important win for Soler in the days before he leads Movistar at the Giro d'Italia. 

Soler rode Tirreno-Adriatico and Catalunya but did not leave much sign of form.

Soler pointed to his mouth as he crossed the line, perhaps to silence his critics.

ESTAVAYER SWITZERLAND APRIL 30 Marc Soler Gimenez of Spain and Movistar Team celebrates at arrival during the 74th Tour De Romandie 2021 Stage 3 a 1687km stage from Estavayer to Estavayer TDR2021 TDRnonstop UCIworldtour on April 30 2021 in Estavayer Switzerland Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

General classification after stage 4

This was the gesture.

Rohan Dennis finished 45th on the stage, 1:21 down on Marc Soler after his late crash.

ESTAVAYER SWITZERLAND APRIL 30 Richie Porte of Australia and Team INEOS Grenadiers during the 74th Tour De Romandie 2021 Stage 3 a 1687km stage from Estavayer to Estavayer Rain TDR2021 TDRnonstop UCIworldtour on April 30 2021 in Estavayer Switzerland Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Soler did not explain his finish line gesture but was happy to win the stage. 

He is ready to defend the yellow jersey whatever happens on Saturday due to expected bad weather. He is strong enough if the stage climbs up to 2000m or if it shortened and changed.

ESTAVAYER SWITZERLAND APRIL 30 Marc Soler Gimenez of Spain and Movistar Team celebrates at arrival during the 74th Tour De Romandie 2021 Stage 3 a 1687km stage from Estavayer to Estavayer TDR2021 TDRnonstop UCIworldtour on April 30 2021 in Estavayer Switzerland Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

According to the Movistar team, post-race Soler dedicated his win to long-standing team doctor Jesús Hoyos, who died suddenly on Friday.

Here's Soler in the leader's yellow jersey. 

Rohan Dennis addmited that he 'binned it' on the descent.  

Thanks for following our full live coverage. For our full stage report, full results and photo gallery, click below. 

Join us during the weekend for full coverage of the final stage of the 2021 Tour de Romandie. 

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