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“My sprint was not what I hoped it would be but I felt I needed to try since my next race is the Giro d’Italia. It was quite difficult and even dangerous in the last part because of the technical nature of the course."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele




30.04.2015 @ 19:35 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Thursday’s stage 3 in the 69th Tour de Romandie featured the longest stage in this edition at 172,5 km and provided another day for the sprinters in the northwest region of Switzerland. Taking part in the fast moving action was Team Katusha’s Sergei Chernetckii, who put himself in the heat of the action to take tenth behind winner Michael Albasini.


“My sprint was not what I hoped it would be but I felt I needed to try since my next race is the Giro d’Italia. It was quite difficult and even dangerous in the last part because of the technical nature of the course. I’ve been training recently at altitude and I hope to soon be feeling the effects of that work. I will go on trying every time I get the chance,” said team rider Sergei Chernetckii.


Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) took his second victory in as many days, winning the sprint in front of Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick Step) and Damiano Caruso of BMC. Chernetckii’s sprint for tenth place provided a solid test of the legs.


“I asked Sergei to try the sprint today, especially in view of the upcoming Giro d’Italia. It will make for better legs and also provides a good mental challenge. If he tries and fails he has learned something along the way and will be better. I’m so happy Sergei Chernetckii did his best today,” said team director Dmitry Konyshev.


With Albasini’s win the Swiss rider retained the leader’s jersey for the general classification. Second and third places are held by Ivan Santaromita (Orica-GreenEdge) and Christopher Froome of Sky.  Team Katusha’s Ilnur Zakarin, Pavel Kochetkov, Iurii Trofimov, Egor Silin and Simon Špilak fill spaces six through ten at 25-seconds off the top time. Maxim Belkov retained the pink jersey as the leader in the mountains classification.


A break of three riders went off the front after the start in Moutier but all efforts to stay away were finally brought back early near the 48 km to go mark. A steady flurry of attacks followed over the remaining kilometers, but no one could make a move stick and the peloton arrived together for the mass sprint. The technical run to the line included a left-hand corner only 250 m to go and saw Albasini’s teammate Simon Gerrans hit the front and keep the race to the left side of the course, opening up the entire right side for Albasini to come through and claim the win in Porrentruy.


Two road stages remain to race before the final individual time trial on Sunday. Stage 4 on Friday includes three rated climbs on a 170 km course beginning in La Neuveville and ending in Fribourg.  



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