Tour de Romandie (st. 1)
3rd place for Jesús behind Albasini (ORS) and Ulissi (UAD) as first mountain-top finish in Romandie opens no gaps between GC contenders under hellish weather. Herrada (3rd), Fernández (8th), Castroviejo (10th) all within top-ten overall.
It wasn't such a tough course on stage one of the 2017 Tour de Romandie -173km from Aigle to Champéry-, with almost 60 riders reaching the finish line together inside the front group, yet dreadful weather, with lots of rain all over the race and cold temperatures, made for a very complicated day. The Movistar Team, directed by José Luis Jaimerena on Swiss soil, rose to the occassion, its lineup made almost entirely by climbers, and put six of their members into the selected field, with two Blues notably featuring in the finale.
Richard Carapaz always kept the front of the group and even went after a dangerous move, 4km from the end, which included Ion Izagirre (TBM) and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) among others. No moves were, though, allowed by a bunch much strung out in the twisty, slightly-downhill last kilometer, after which Michael Albasini (ORS) won the final sprint from Diego Ulissi (UAD) and Jesús Herrada, a notable, in-form 3rd -Carapaz was 9th-.
With Herrada (3rd), Rubén Fernández (8th) and Jonathan Castroviejo (10th) all within the best ten of the GC standings, the French-speaking race now heads for two easier stages, suited for sprinters, starting with Thursday 160km from Champéry to Bulle -still pending on a decision on the start, due to worsening weather forecast-. Fireworks will have to wait until the weekend.