Sunshine and a Bunch Sprint on Tour de Romandie Stage 328. April 2017, Payerne (SUI) — Road Team
Tour de Romandie stage 3 saw the return of the sunshine in Switzerland as Richie Porte and his BMC Racing Team teammates safely crossed the line in the main bunch behind the stage winner, Elia Viviani (Team Sky).
It didn’t take long for a 7-rider breakaway to begin to build up an advantage over the main bunch after multiple attacks over the opening 15km of the 187km course.
With 25km covered, their lead had risen to over 2’30” but with four circuits around Payerne to cover, and a fast finish expected, the peloton kept tight control of the front of the race.
The gap hovered around the three-minute mark for most of the race before the peloton picked up the pace, flying across the finish line to begin the final 75km within two minutes of the breakaway.
As the riders headed onto the tough final finishing circuit with three categorized climbs to come, including the short but steep Estevayer-le-Lac, the peloton continued to close in on the breakaway.
Eventually, the race was back together with 35km remaining as the BMC Racing Team train sat firmly at the front of the bunch. The attacks soon started with Alex Dowsett (Movistar Team) going clear and riding out at the front of the race until 3km to go.
The bunch sprint looked inevitable and, in the end, riders began to battle for position before the final sprint was launched with 500 meters to go.
After being supported by his BMC Racing Team teammates all day, Richie Porte crossed the line safely behind Viviani as attention now turns to tomorrow's final climbs to Leysin.
After taking the overall lead of the Points Classification following his victory on stage 2, Stefan Küng retained the green jersey in Payerne.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“The goal was to stay safe, and that’s what happened. It was nice to get today’s stage out of the way, and finally, we had good weather which makes it a lot nicer to ride the bike. The guys were absolutely incredible today. They looked after me and kept me in a good position. Hopefully, tomorrow is another straight forward day before the final climb.”
“Coming into July when you have support like I had today from Michael Schär, Daniel Oss and Danilo Wyss, it is exciting. It was a great display today.”
Sports Director, Fabio Baldato:
“The main goal for us today was to stay safe ahead of tomorrow, and we did that. The race went as we expected with a breakaway and the sprinters’ teams controlling. We were surprised that the gap closed early, and that left the race open, but the guys were racing well around Richie. It was a good day, and now we are looking forward to tomorrow.”
“I think we all enjoyed seeing the sun today, especially the guys. It is much better to race when it is like this, and we had a good day.”
Tour de Romandie
Stage 3: Payerne > Payerne, 187km
Top 3: 1. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) 2. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team) 3. Michael Schwarzmann (Bora - Hansgrohe)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 24. Danilo Wyss 26. Richie Porte 30. Nicolas Roche
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.