Kittel keeps green jersey in Romandie
Halfway through the race, the German still leads the points classification, with a hefty advantage over the second placed rider.
For Marcel Kittel, the Tour de Romandie is the 21st different stage race in which he scored a win since turning pro, and following his victory on Wednesday afternoon, he jumped to first in the green jersey classification. One day later, a tough stage (Moudon – Morgins, 173.9 km) awaited the peloton, with an uphill finish which was expected to see the GC favourites come to the forefront. For the 27-year-old German, it was more a matter of survival, and helped by his Etixx – Quick-Step teammates he came to the finish comfortably within the control time and kept the lead in the ranking, with a 15-point advantage over Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge).
The stage was won by Nairo Quintana (Movistar), but only after Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha), who crossed first the finish line, was relegated by the race jury for irregular sprinting. The Colombian also got to don the yellow jersey, which rewards the leader of the general classification, and will start the next day with a 10-second gap over Zakarin. Another Movistar rider, Ion Izagirre, rounds out the podium, 16 seconds adrift.
The overall standings should see another significant shake up on Friday, when stage 3 of the Tour de Romandie schedules a hilly individual time trial over 15.1 kilometers, in and around Sion, a city which returns to the race after a two-year hiatus.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele