Tour de Romandie: Richeze sprints to seventh in Payerne
Maximilian Schachmann will go into the penultimate stage with the white jersey on his shoulders.
The sun was up Friday at noon, when the Tour de Romandie riders took on a 187km stage starting and finishing in Payerne. Davide Martinelli, one of the best neo-pros of the 2016 season, a season during which he won stages at Tour La Provence and Tour de Pologne, was among the seven men to attack and go in the escape, but despite the group having many powerful riders, they couldn't take more than three minutes on the peloton, who was keen to see everything come down to a bunch gallop.
Davide and his companions got reabsorbed ahead of the final classified climb, which witnessed a flurry of attacks. Only over the top of the climb a rider – Alex Dowsett (Movistar) – managed to get away and build a 30-second gap. The pack pulled hard behind him, with Quick-Step Floors' Tim Declercq in the spotlight, as the Belgian unleashed the watts on the flat kilometers to Payerne and brought back the former Hour Record holder.
With 500 meters remaining, Alex Edmondson (Orica-Scott) tried to anticipate the fast men of the bunch, but he didn't stood any chance against the sprinters. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) took the win, beating Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Michael Schwarzmann (Bora-Hansgrohe). Max Richeze got in the mix for Quick-Step Floors and nailed a seventh place, for the team's third top-10 at the Tour de Romandie.
Maximilian Schachmann, who is racing his second World Tour multi-day event of the season, after last month's Volta a Catalunya, went at the finish straight to the podium to claim his third consecutive white jersey at the Suisse race. The 23-year-old, who sits only eight seconds adrift in the overall rankings, will face a stiff test tomorrow, when the peloton will take on Leysin, a 5.4km-long climb averaging 6.5%, which comes at the end of the penultimate stage.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele