Tour de Romandie (st. 1)
2nd place behind Albasini (OGE) for Spanish champion in shortened Romandie stage one, jumps into fourth spot overall
The 2014 Tour de Romandie started as an opportunity for the Movistar Team’s youngsters to stand up, and Jesús Herrada profited from it on Wednesday. The Spanish road champion finished in 2nd place in a shortened stage one -only 88.6km- from Brigerbad to Sion, after the Simplonpass (HC) was scapped from the day’s route due to snow in the southern Swiss Alps.
The climb of Lens (Cat-2), located just under 20k from the finish, still ruled out any chances for the top sprinters -Juanjo Lobato struggled into the final ramps and was dropped with 2k from the top-, and its descent saw a dangerous attempt by Vincenzo Nibali (AST). The Italian reached almost half a minute’s gap over the reduced, 50-rider field -with four Blues in it: Herrada, Izagirre, Intxausti and Castroviejo-, getting caught with just 1.5km remaining.
A perfectly-timed sprint by Michael Albasini (OGE) beat Herrada, who was able to overtake Navardauskas (GRS) but couldn’t close the gap on the Swiss rider. The ‘rojigualda’ jersey’s wearer was still rewarded for his fight by jumping into 4th overall (+6″), as Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQ) stayed in yellow following his win on yesterday’s prologue. Thursday will bring a clearer chance for the fastmen as 166km with no big difficulties lead the riders to Montreux.