Primož Roglič leads the race in the first stage of the Tour de Romandie 2019



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Primož Roglič continues to dominate the race while winning the first leg of the 2019 Tour de Romandie.

The Jumbo-Visma rider takes the lead in the race after beating the overall rankings in a sprint of a group of 20 men.

Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) made a solo attack within the last kilometer, but was unable to hold the group as Roglič won with a strong sprint ahead of David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Rui Costa (United Arab Emirates Team Emirates) .

Roglič leads the race with a 10-second lead over Rui Costa (United Arab Emirates Team) after prologue winner Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida) has lost touch in the final 50km.

How did this happen

A characteristically marked day marked the first stage of the 2019 edition of the Tour de Romandie, 168.4 km from the city of Neuchâtel in eastern Switzerland, to neighboring La Chaux-de-Fonds.

The peloton faced five medium difficulty climbs along the route, the last of which the Col de la Tourne (4.2 km long and 7.2% average) reached 14 km from home.

After this test, the riders would take a short descent and a long false apartment, before an ungraded ascent, another descent, and then the final descent slightly to the line.

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At the beginning of the race, a great escape of 12 riders was clear, including notable names like Diego Rosa (Team Ineos), Eros Capecchi (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r La Mondiale).

The breakout extended its lead to 3-40 within 100km, with the squad aware of the danger of such a large group accumulating a gap.

A chase took shape as the group quickly began to close the fugitives.

As the race approached the remaining 40km, eight riders remained ahead with just over a minute advantage – Rosa, Capecchi and Gougeard taking their places at the front of the race, along with Chad Haga (Sunweb), Lukasz Owsian ( CCC Team), Simon Pellaud (Switzerland), Jonas Vinegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal).

The break was caught up in the final climb of the day, with a handful of attacks following swiftly.

Nothing was stuck until Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) attacked with 25km to set up and took an advantage while riding alone.



Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) was next to attacking the peloton 15 km away from home with David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) in his wheel when Michael Woods (EF Education First) joined them in the search for Buchmann.

The pace in the last few kilometers tore the race until only 20 riders stayed ahead, with race leader Tratnik in sight.

Thomas, Woods and Gaudu were able to capture Buchmann, but it was a condemned effort when the remains of the platoon captured them within 5 km.

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The group of 20 reached the final few kilometers together, when Geraint Thomas launched a last solo attack that seemed to have surprised the rivals by surprise.

But Thomas was quickly surpassed within the last mile to mount a sprint among the climbing talent that came to the line.

Roglič showed all his strength and beat Gaudu with Rui Costa in third.

The Slovenian enters the leader's shirt after finishing second in the prologue.

Results

Tour of Romandie 2019 step one: Neuchâtel to La Chaux-de-Fonds (168.4km)

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 4-5-18
2. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3. Rui Costa (By) United Arab Emirates
4. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First
5. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Carl Fredrik Hagen (neither) Lotto Soudal
7. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar
8. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana
9. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert, all at the same time

General classification after the first stage

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, on 4-20-15
2. Rui Costa (By) UAE Team Emirates, at 10 seconds
3. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at age 12
4. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Ineos, aged 13
5. Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar, aged 14
6. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, aged 15
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at age 17
8. James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at age 18
9. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at the same time
10. Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team, at age 19

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