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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, April 27, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

A good upbringing means not that you won't spill sauce on the tablecloth, but that you won't notice it when someone else does. - Anton Chekhov

Tour de France: 2021

Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, 2021: The Little Cannibal Dominates is available in both Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Tour de Romandie Prologue team reports

We posted the report from winner Ethan Hayter's Team INEOS Grenadiers with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Rohan Dennis' Team Jumbo-Visma:

Rohan Dennis has finished second in the prologue of the Tour de Romandie. The Australian time trial champion of Team Jumbo-Visma only had to accept Ethan Hayter in front of him on the 5.1 km course.

Rohan Dennis racing to second place. Jumbo-Visma photo.

Almost traditionally, the Swiss WorldTour race started with a prologue. In sunny conditions, the riders were subjected to the first of many challenges over the next six days. Sepp Kuss was Team Jumbo-Visma's first rider to start in the streets of Lausanne. The American finished about half a minute behind the day's winner. Gijs Leemreize, Timo Roosen, Robert Gesink, Michel Hessmann and Steven Kruijswijk all had similar times.

Dennis started his prologue just after five o'clock. The Australian knew what he had to do. Shortly before, Hayter had clocked a fast time. Dennis' split times were similar to the Briton's throughout the stage, but he finished just under four seconds behind the winner. With an average speed of around 52 kilometres per hour, Dennis and Hayter were the only two riders to record a time under six minutes.

"I have to be satisfied with my race", Dennis said. "Of course I would have preferred to win but I can't blame myself and I gave everything. Today one rider was stronger. Hats off to Ethan. I didn't take the last corners well. I gave everything in the first few kilometres. I was a little dizzy at the end of the prologue, but I think Ethan was hard to beat today. The form for the rest of this tour is definitely there", Dennis looked ahead.

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Here's the report from third-place Felix Grossschartner's Bora-hansgrohe team:

The Tour de Romandie commenced today with a 5.1km flat prologue in Lausanne. Maximilian Schachmann, the first BORA-hansgrohe rider to take on the race against the clock, set a provisional best time of 6:05 minutes. It took almost an hour until he was overtaken by teammate Felix Grossschartner, who set a new best time of 6:02 minutes. Felix thereby took the provisional lead and at the end of the day only two riders were able to set a better time. As a result, Felix finished the stage in third place, with Maximilian taking fifth position.

Felix Grossschartner turning in a very fine ride. Sirotti photo

"I am very happy with my result in today's prologue. I know that I am not necessarily a bad time trialist, but I am a little surprised that I was able to finish third in such a prologue. After my injuries in the first part of the season, this result is a nice confirmation of my form and I'm really looking forward to the next days here." - Felix Grossschartner

"We wanted to keep the stress level low today, especially for Aleks who just rode Liège-Bastogne-Liège on the weekend and then did a recon of the Roubaix stage of the Tour de France. That was a pretty high load of riding. As for the other guys, they put in a solid performance. Regarding Max, we have to take into account that this was the first race for him after quite a long time. Under these circumstances, fifth place is a very solid result. If you look at the results on paper: Hayter, Dennis, Grossschartner, Thomas, Schachmann, we can really be pleased." - Rolf Aldag, Sports Director

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Here’s the Tour de Romandie report from seventh-place Ethan Vernon’s Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team:

Fresh off an impressive outing last weekend at the Track Nations Cup in Glasgow, where he took silver together with Great Britain’s pursuit team, Ethan Vernon was in action again for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, making his third appearance of the season in a World Tour race at the Tour de Romandie.

Here's Ethan Vernon finishing his ride. Sirotti photo

One of the early riders to roll down the ramp, Ethan put in a strong display on the undulating 5.1km course in Lausanne, at one point holding the third-fastest time. Eventually, our neo-pro – who stopped the clock in 6:06 – concluded in seventh place, which made him one of the five Wolfpack riders in the top 20 Tuesday afternoon, alongside Mauro Schmid, Mikkel Honoré, Rémo Cavagna and Mattia Cattaneo.

The event continues Wednesday with a 178km journey from La Grande Beroche and Romont. Taking in four classified climbs, the stage will conclude with a short uphill finish, ideal for the puncheurs.

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And here's the report from tenth-place Juan Ayuso's UAE Team Emirates:

Young Juan Ayuso stormed to an impressive time in the opening prologue of Tour de Romandie in Switzerland today.

The 19 year-old clocked a time of 6’06’’ which was good enough for 10th on the day behind winner Ethan Hayter (Ineos-Grenadiers).

Ayuso’s average speed was a blistering 50.3km per hour on the 5.1km circuit starting and finishing in Lausanne. His teammate Ivo Oliveira looked set to register a fast time after a 6th place time split at the first check, but the Portuguese rider would lose precious seconds in the final corner, narrowly avoiding a crash.

Tomorrow stage 1 will take the riders from La Grande Beroche to Romont (178km) over a hilly parcours.

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