Stage win for Dylan Teuns in Romandie
Team Bahrain Victorious has sent a strong team with three co-captains to the Tour de Romandie. And this paid off at the end of the first stage as Dylan Teuns managed to get back to a late attacker and beat him to the line to get the stage win in Romont.
With a flat prologue, three hilly stages, a hard mountaintop finish and a mountain time trial to cap things off, the Tour de Romandie is a stage race that favours true all-rounders, while pure sprinter will find it hard to win anything at this race. The line-up of Team Bahrain Victorious followed this logic: Just like Luis Leon Sanchez and Damiano Caruso, Dylan Teuns rolled to the start of this Worldtour race only two days after the Liège-Bastogne-Liège monument, where he had finished in 6th place. Gino Mäder is looking to show his class on home turf, and the team can also rely on the able support of riders such as Hermann Pernsteiner, Johan Price-Pejtersen and Stevie Williams. In short, the riders in red, orange and black can rely on serious depth and quality. But at the flat and short prologue, no rider of the team managed to finish within the top20. At least the time margins remained small due to the short distance.
The first real stage of the Tour de Romandie saw an easy start in La Grande Beroche and along Lake Neuchâtel and onwards to Romont, where a hilly loop was waiting after a first passage of the finish line. Since the last kilometre of the stage featured an average gradient of 7 per cent, the riders of Team Bahrain Victorious fancied their chances for a stage win. One week after his impressive win at the Flèche Wallonne and seeing his great form throughout the Ardennes one-day races, Dylan Teuns looked like the team’s best bet for the win. And as the race passed the finish line the first time, the guess that this finale could be suitable for Teuns seemed spot-on. But with only two kilometres to go, strong time trialist Rohan Dennis attacked hard from the peloton that had lost quite some riders after a large pile-up. Teuns could not get on the wheel of Dennis right away and had to concede a couple of bike lengths. But with 450 meters to go, the Belgian rider went all-in and started his long uphill sprint.
Thanks to that gradient on the final kilometre and a self-confidence that was on a high after winning the Flèche Wallonne, Dylan Teuns managed to close the gap to Dennis pedal stroke by pedal stroke at the very last moment and to time his bike throw to perfection to beat the Australian on the line and win the stage. With Damiano Caruso in 7th, another rider of Team Bahrain Victorious finished within the top10 of the stage. And as for the overall standings, Dylan Teuns jumped from 55th to 4th thanks to the bonifications for the stage win. The next couple of days will offer more opportunities for the riders in red, orange and black to hunt stage wins, and since the gaps in the overall standings still are pretty small the GC of this stage race is still wide open - and likely to be decided on the closing weekend, anyway.
75TH TOUR DE ROMANDIE, STAGE 1: LA GRANDE BEROCHE - ROMONT, 178KM
1. Dylan Teuns, BEL/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 4:23.58 hours
2. Rohan Dennis, AUS, st
3. Marc Hirschi, SUI, + 0.02
Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency