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Press Releases | 30.04.2021

Peter Sagan takes third as sprinters denied win by late attack in rain-soaked Tour de Romandie stage 3

Skirting the Lac de Neuchatel, stage 3 of the Tour de Romandie started and finished in the town of Estavayer, the 168.7km route taking in one third category climb and several uncategorised climbs ahead of a three-lap street circuit before the finish. While the finale was flat, the climbs before the finish line would be the perfect spot for a late attack. With rain lashing the riders and the roads soaking wet from the start, most of the peloton was happy to let the break go ahead, a group of seven heading off up the road, building their lead to a little more than two minutes at first, before extending this to three minutes with 100km to go. The bunch was holding off until closer to the end of the stage, avoiding late attacks in these miserable conditions, but when the time came, it was BORA-hansgrohe at the head of the peloton, with Ben Zwiehoff, Marcus Burghardt and Jordi Meeus gritting their teeth and pushing on hard through the atrocious conditions to reduce the gap to just twenty-five seconds with 15km left. A mixture of crashes and the day’s weather conditions taking their toll saw just one rider from the escape left on the front, the catch made with 10km to go, before a solo attack from Soler saw two groups form on the road. On the final climb, Peter Sagan was still in contention, but with the stage win taken by this late attack, all that remained was for the select chasing group to fight it out for the remaining places. Peter claimed third position in this reduced bunch sprint, with Wilco Kelderman coming home in thirteenth position and rising to seventh in the GC standings. 

 

Results 

01        M.Soler                   3h58’35” 

02        M.Cort                         + 0:22 

03        P.Sagan                       + 0:22 

... 

13        W.Kelderman              + 0:22 

 

From the Finish Line 

"Thanks to all my teammates for their work today, they put in a very strong effort to bring back the break and shut the attacks. Unfortunately, it wasn't possible to catch Soler when he went off in the last climb, so the stage win got away today. I'm feeling better and I see my form improving, even under such awful conditions as the ones we had today." – Peter Sagan 

"To say it was a horrible day would be an understatement but it is on stages as hard as this that the team's work stands out. Ben, Jordi and Burgi did a great job in controlling the race and catching the break while at the same time I was kept safe under these treacherous conditions and slippery roads. I finished with the select reduced group and will now focus on tomorrow's queen stage." – Wilco Kelderman 

"Today, our goal was the stage win with Peter, so our strategy was the same one we used on the first stage. Firstly, we had to make sure there wasn't a big break and then control it in order to catch it. The break had a number of very strong riders but we managed to bring them back.  Burgi and Jordi did an amazing job, shaving nearly two minutes off the break's lead, up to the final climb where Ben took over to work for Peter. He was aiming at the stage win but, unfortunately, Soler's move stuck all the way to the finish. When the bunch came, Peter was a bit closed in, so he launched his sprint a bit late but still was second in the bunch." – Jan Valach, Sports Director

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