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"He actually did pretty well. He was able to finish the stage and only at the steep part of the climb did he have to let the first group go because he couldn't stand and put pressure on the (right) leg," Testa says

Photo: Sirotti








30.04.2014 @ 20:26 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having crashed in yesterday's prologue, Tejay van Garderen faced a hard day in the saddle on today's first stage of the Tour de Romandie and the American suffered through the stage with a time loss of almost 8 minutes. His BMC team had more bad luck as Dominik Nerz, one of the potential GC riders, lost time due to a crash and so the team will now focus on breakaways in the final four stages.


BMC Racing Team's Silvan Dillier was part of a three-man breakaway that enjoyed freedom for more than half of Wednesday's weather-shortened stage of the Tour de Romandie. 

Originally scheduled to be 200.9 kilometers from Ascona to Scion and include two categorized climbs, snow on the Simplonpass forced organizers to shorten the stage. Only 88.5 km, the race started in Brigerbad and included only the Category 2 climb of Lens.

Less than five kilometers into the race, Dillier joined forces with two others: Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling) and Boris Vallée (Lotto Belisol). The trio was not granted much freedom – never leading by more than three minutes – and the peloton reeled them back with 27 km to go.

The climb and descent to the finish featured a flurry of action: Johann Tschopp (IAM Cycling) attacked to take the king of the mountains points, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) bombed the descent and enjoyed a 25-second lead before being caught, and Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) took a flyer inside the final kilometer but was overtaken in the last 100 meters.

Michael Albasini (ORICA-GreenEDGE) won the sprint from a reduced peloton ahead of Jesús Herrada (Movistar Team) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp). Darwin Atapuma, in 45th place and with a time loss of 4 seconds to the stage winner, was best on the day for the BMC Racing Team.

Tejay van Garderen started the stage after his crash in Tuesday's prologue.


"We tested him on the bike just before the start and we decided it was worth it to give it a try," BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said. "He actually did pretty well. He was able to finish the stage and only at the steep part of the climb did he have to let the first group go because he couldn't stand and put pressure on the (right) leg."


During the race, Danilo Wyss and Dominik Nerz both crashed, with Nerz suffering the more serious damage.


"In the last downhill, in a turn, he kind of lost control of the bike and went down on his right side," Dr. Testa said. "It looks like just superficial abrasions and contusions with no functional limitations. Hopefully, he will be fine tomorrow."

"I saw that a few riders attacked and the peloton didn't move really hard," Dillier said. "Finally, I saw Hollenstein in the front along and said to myself that I would try really hard and see if we go away or if they would bring us back.


"So finally, we were three riders in the front. We tried to stay away as long as possible, but the peloton sped up really hard at the beginning of the climb, so they brought us back there."

"The breakaway was not bad, but it would have been better with five or six riders in the front," Ledanois said. "The result (of the stage) was not good, though, with only one rider – Darwin Atapuma – in the first group. He had good legs today. In the second group we had Peter Velits and Nerz."



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