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Team News | 01.05.2021

Wilco Kelderman comes home safe in 11th on Tour de Romandie queen stage after peloton punished by dismal weather

An epic finale was predicted for the Tour de Romandie’s Queen Stage, with the start time brought forward due to forecasted snow at the finale in Thyon after 161.3km and more than 4,600m of hard climbing. Five categorised climbs would test the riders, the last of these being to the summit finish. It would be the last opportunity for the climbers to take time ahead of the final day’s time trial, but this didn’t stop seven breakaway riders making the move early on over the opening third category climb, quickly building a time gap of six minutes. As the climbs got higher, the weather got worse and first rain started to soak the riders, before foggy conditions made visibility poor on the fast descents. These conditions led to the race organisers neutralising the descent of the penultimate climb, the Suens, meaning the fireworks were only going to start for the GC race on the final climb, 20.7km long with maximum gradients of 10%. It was here that the breakaway fell apart and the peloton started to ride, a combination of the poor conditions and incredibly tough climbing thinning the bunch into a select GC group, while one solo rider remained of the escape group and his advantage was falling fast. Wilco Kelderman was sitting mid-pack in the GC group and was hiding the signs of the day’s exertions from his face. As snow appeared at the roadside and the break was caught, the attacks for the overall race started and, while the Dutch rider held on as long as he could as his rivals slipped off the back, the freezing conditions were just too much and he dropped back. Never one to give up, Wilco pushed on hard and crossed the line in eleventh position. 

 

Results 

 

01        M.Woods                    4h58’35” 

02        B.O’Connor                 + 0:17 

03        G.Thomas                   + 0:21 

... 

11        W.Kelderman             + 1:57 

 

From the Finish Line 

"The first part of the race was quite bearable, despite the heavy rain, but the final part was extremely cold. I was really struggling in the descents but I tried to fight all the way to the finish. Unfortunately, I didn't get the result I came here for but actually, for me, I would say it was survival mode and try to get the best out of it. Tomorrow is another day and we'll see how this week gets to finish." – Wilco Kelderman 

"We had extremely bad weather conditions with rain, fog and even some snow. Particularly in the second half of the race, the going was very tough. Nevertheless, Wilco fought for every second and in the end he had to settle for 11th place. Unfortunately, we couldn't do any better in this bad weather." – André Schulze, Sports Director

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