Tour de Romandie (st. 1)
Valverde enters dangerous break through Mollerouz climb – Rui Costa attentive, takes 8th in Renens’ sprint and stays in 5th overall in Romandy
Movistar Team is still very attentive to their chances in the Tour de Romandie following their great prologue. Stage one in the Swiss race, over 176km from Saint-Maurice to Renens, was won by Belgian Gianni Meersman (OPQ) after the initially soft, sprinter-suited parcours ended up shaking the bunch through the Cat. 2 Col de Mollendruz, the day’s only big climb. A ten-man group including Alejandro Valverde forced Chris Froome’s Sky team to pick up the pace and take some sprinters out in order to abort the Spaniard’s attempt.
After several attacks into the descent, a big group came in bad organization into the finish. The fact allowed Rui Costa gain positions to avoid any time gaps ahead of him and conserved his privileged 5th spot overall. The Portuguese rider finished in 8th spot and proved again his superb form before a second stage -Prilly-Grandes, 190km- that should not see any major changes despite the Cat. 3 Col de Plagne being located just 17k from the end.