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by Mark Zalewski
April 27, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Albasini wins first climbing stage at Tour de Romandie; Gilbert healing well, will lead his namesake event; Jurgen Van de Walle wins back compensation case against team; Van Avermaet downplays Worlds chances, tips Kristoff and says Belgium should host; BMC to start reduced squad at Tour de Yorkshire; Costa leading UAE Team Emirates in hunt for stage wins at Giro; BORA-Hansgrohe roster for Giro; Former Iranian champ suspended for more than seven years for doping; Driver who killed elderly cyclist and returned as bystander given suspended sentence; Video: Inside a Keirin Race – 360 video; Video: CYCLE – Alps 2 Ocean.
Michael Albasini (ORICA-Scott) won the first climbing stage at the Tour de Romandie, amidst wet and cold conditions ahead of Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) and Jesús Herrada (Movistar).
The day began with light snow which transitioned into sleet and then into rain, making for a harsh day in the saddle. A breakaway of four occupied most of the day with a gap of three minutes at 30km to go. But that gap was taken down rather quickly as the final climb loomed and the last two were reeled back inside 10km to go.
Roman Kreuziger (ORICA-Scott) launched the first attack at around 6km to go. He only was able to maintain about a 100m gap as the rest of the group kept him close. After catching him another ORICA-Scott rider counter-attacked.
That was again countered by Tejay van Garderen (BMC) at 4km to go with the American’s move elevating the pace significantly. Ion Izigirre (Bahrain Merida) immediately jumped on the American’s wheel and that high pace shrunk the group to about ten. Inside 3km to go the group reformed a bit and everyone settling back in, looking at each other. The group grew to around 30 at this point.
At the flamme rouge ORICA-Scott led the front and FDJ tried a move, with visibility lowered due to the weather. But the group stayed together for a reduced field sprint with Albasini leading the way. Race leader Fabio Felline (UAE Team Emirates) finished in the group and retains the lead. The forecast for the week is similar weather all week until the weekend.