The first stage of Tour of Romandie was 173km long and it started from Aigle. It was a long flat start with couple cat3 climbs before reaching cat 2 climb to Vex, 9km long with average gradient of 6.3%. The breakaway had 6 people and they had maximum 8 minute lead, but at the bottom of last climb peloton caught up with them.
Last climb was 14km long but not steep. Our boys were always close to the front, and when attacks started from various riders, Izagirre was always there catching them. At the finish it was bunch sprint and Ion finished 16th with same time as winner Albasini from Orica Scott. At General Classification Izagirre moved to 5th place, still 12 seconds behind leader.
Asked if he was effected by the weather Izagirre said: “No, it was cold, rainy at the end and windy. We wanted to keep in front of the peloton the whole way and we managed to do so, at the last climb we kept a position in front, there were some attacks and I followed. It wasn’t a steep climb so there were 60-70 guys that finished together. “ Asked about how he felt as he was answering all the attacks Ion said: “ Yes I felt really good, same as yesterday, and I will stay up front next two days, and last two days will be really important for General Standings.”
Our Sports Director Tristan Hoffman was happy with the race: “Trek and Lotto Jumbo took responsibility up front but we stayed calm, concentrated at the last climb, boys kept Ion out of trouble. There were some attacks at the last climb but Tsgabu and Ion were there all the time. It was a good race for us, and the most important is that Ion was part of the group that finished in winner’s time.”