Top 3 for Bob Jungels in Tour de Romandie ITT
The Luxembourg champion put on a superb ride in Sion, to record his second World Tour podium of the season.
149 riders started Friday's stage 3 of the Tour de Romandie, for the individual time trial which this year came halfway through the race instead of the last day, as it did at the past editions. The course wasn't long, just 15.1 kilometers, but hard, as it included a 3.7-km long ascent with an average gradient of 5.7% in the first part. Although the second section was on a downhill, this didn't mean it was in any way easier, because the riders had to overcome some technical corners on their way to the finish in Sion.
Racing the Tour de Romandie for the first time in his career, Bob Jungels rolled down the ramp rather early and rode hard, giving his all on the climb, where he set a time just four seconds slower than the one of Chris Froome. On the last part of the parcours, the 23-year-old Luxembourg champion upped the pace and overturned this deficit, crossing the line fractions of seconds faster than Team's Sky British rider and climbing to first place in the provisional rankings.
After edging out Froome, Bob stayed in the hot spot for two hours, before Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) managed to improve his time of 20:30. The Frenchman took the win in Sion, ahead of the Dutch, while Nairo Quintana (Movistar) retained the general classification lead. The Colombian has 23 seconds on Pinot and 26 on Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha), with two days to go.
"I was targeting this time trial, because I wanted to get a good result and also to test my condition ahead of the Giro d'Italia. Yesterday, after helping Carlos Verona until the foot of the last climb, I took it easy and rode my own pace so I could keep my energy for today. I am happy with this result and with the fact that everything is going in the right direction before the Giro. This gives me a lot of confidence", said Bob Jungels at the end of the time trial.
With five categorized climbs on the course, including the one at the finish, stage 4 of Tour de Romandie (Conthay – Villars-sur-Ollon, 173 kilometers) will give the GC contenders another chance to fight for the top positions. The last ascent is 8.9-km long, averages 7.8% and tops out with around four kilometers before the line.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele