Tour de Romandie kicks off with short and intense prologue
After a tough effort against the clock, Davide Martinelli came home as the highest-ranked Quick-Step Floors rider.
The 72nd Tour de Romandie – last World Tour stop of April – started from Fribourg, a small but charming medieval town located on the Saane river, with a 4km-long prologue held on a twisting course that had pretty much everything: a short and tricky descent, tight corners, a cobblestone section and an uphill finish on a stiff climb.
First World Tour stage race in three weeks, Romandie marked the return of Fernando Gaviria in the peloton, after a six-week lay-off caused by a hand injury in Tirreno-Adriatico. As the 23-year-old Colombian slowly eased back into racing, it was Davide Martinelli who posted the best result for Quick-Step Floors, after stopping the clock in 5:47 on the stage won by Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb).
A lumpy day, with four classified climbs jammed between Fribourg and Delémont – where the race will return for the first time in 23 years – is what awaits the peloton on Wednesday. La Sommet, a 4.5km climb averaging 7.3%, will feature inside the final 20 kilometers and could be used as springboard to victory by some riders.
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