Sonny Colbrelli took the win on Thursday’s second stage of the Tour de Romandie, proving the fastest man out of greatly winnowed peloton in Saint-Imier. Michael Woods was active on the day, and he climbed up to 21st from 29th on a hilly route. Rohan Dennis kept the lead.
Colbrelli takes the win, with @W1lcokelderman finishing the stage in 6th 👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/hxjVzsXqa7
— BORA – hansgrohe (@BORAhansgrohe) April 29, 2021
After Wednesday’s smorgasbord of Cat. 3 climbs, Thursday was all about Cat. 2s. There were five Cat. 2 ascents and one Cat. 1. The Cat. 1 peaked 17 km from the finish line in Saint-Imier, but perhaps there would be an attack on the last Cat. 2, Les Pontins, a 4.2 km climb of 8 percent.
We are underway for stage 2 of the #TDR2021, 165.7 kilometers from La Neuveville to Saint-Imier. pic.twitter.com/fIyMSVlEz6
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) April 29, 2021
A sextet of fugitives bounded away early and by the fourth Cat. 2, Davide Villella of Movistar was 10 points shy of KOM leader Joel Suter, who piled up the points on Wednesday’s Cat. 3 feast. There was a long rippling gap between the fourth and fifth climbs and for a while it looked doubtful that the break would make it to Les Pontins.
Estonian escapee Rein Taaramäe of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert lit out on his own on Les Pontins. By the start of the Cat. 1, Taaramäe had a 1:50 lead over the Ineos-led peloton. The jackets, vests and arm warmers came off.
Team DSM took over the front and captured Taaramäe. Michael Woods was part of a move that skipped away with 20 km to go.
The race leader, obviously working for the chances of teammates Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte, sewed it up again. A group of about 30 tipped over the top.
A gap opened up when Rohan Dennis reacted to an attack, and Woods closed it. Just under the red kite, Bahrain-Victorious took over the front and launched Sonny Colbrelli, who held off Woods’ teammate Patrick Bevin for the win.
Friday is another Cat. 3 fest before Saturday’s queen stage.
2021 Tour de Romandie Stage 2
1) Sonny Colbrelli (Italy/Bahrain-Victorious) 4:21:42
2) Patrick Bevin (New Zealand/Israel Start-up Nation) s.t.
3) Marc Hirschi (Switzerland/UAE-Team Emirates) s.t.
33) Michael Woods (Canada/Israel Start-up Nation) s.t.
2021 Tour de Romandie GC
1) Rohan Dennis (Australi/Ineos) 8:39:48
2) Patrick Bevin (New Zealand/Israel Start-up Nation) +0:08
3) Geraint Thomas (Great Britain/Ineos) +0:09
21) Michael Woods (Canada/Israel Start-up Nation +0:25