Ion Izagirre (14th), Jesús Herrada (17th) lead Blues' performance in the beginning of the Tour de Romandie. Kwiatkowski (OPQ) claims first yellow jersey
Without their two main leaders -Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana- in this week’s race, the Movistar Team will have their best young riders gathering full protagonism in the 68th Tour de Romandie. The Swiss race took its curtain up in Ascona on Tuesday with a 5.5km individual prologue where Ion Izagirre claimed the 14th fastest time of the afternoon, ten seconds slower than Polish Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQ), who prolonged his recent, leading form to take the first yellow jersey.
The Basque rider spread his strength well over the course in the Ticino canton, a mixture of technical zones and long straight. More impetuous was Jesús Herrada, who clocked the 7th best time through the intermediate point -Ion rode through in 12th- to later concede two seconds on his team-mate to rank in 17th spot. Behind the two, Spanish TT champion Jonathan Castroviejo struggled to find his top pace after several weeks in altitude in Boyacá with Nairo Quintana, finishing in 29th (+15″.)
Wednesday will lead the riders through the first mountains in the race in the longest stage of the week: 201km to Sion, including the Simplonpass (Cat-1), more than 2,000 meters above sea level, and Lens (Cat-2), 17k from the end. Montreux’s finish on Thursday should bring more chances to Juanjo Lobato, who suffered a small crash today with a contusion in his right thigh.