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“Riccardo [Zoidl] suffered a lot today in the rain, and Giacomo stopped to change his clothing in a bad moment, but really, even with good weather, it was not a day for the sprinters. It was really, really, really hard.”

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






01.05.2015 @ 21:09 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The 169.8-kilometer stage four started under wet, cold conditions that continued for the entire length of the more than four and a half hour affair. It was a wretched day to be in the saddle for everyone, except, perhaps, one rider: the plucky Stefan Küng (BMC) soloed to an impressive win from the day’s breakaway, leaving the decimated peloton with nothing but a sprint for fifth place.


Trek Factory Racing came into the Tour de Romandie with mostly a sprint team, assembled around Giacomo Nizzolo and targeting the Giro d’Italia, and only one rider, Riccardo Zoidl, to manage the mountainous terrain for the overall classification.



The team pinned hope on an outside chance that Nizzolo could manage the relentless uphills to contest a sprint finish on one of the lesser climbing stages, and today was his best – and last – opportunity. However, despite today’s stage featuring the least amount of climbing of the six-day race, it was still not one for the sprinters, explained director Alain Gallopin:


“What I can say is that year after year the parcours of Romandie doesn’t give anything to the sprinters, and we didn’t come here with our strongest climbing team. Also, some guys have arrived from altitude in preparation for the Giro, and it has been a tough adjustment for them. Today was another hard parcours and with the rain…it was unbelievable.


“Riccardo [Zoidl] suffered a lot today in the rain, and Giacomo stopped to change his clothing in a bad moment, but really, even with good weather, it was not a day for the sprinters. It was really, really, really hard.”


Tomorrow the Tour de Romandie continues with the queen stage, ending with a mountain summit of 14 kilometers.  Riccardo Zoidl struggled in the cold and wet today and lost a chance of a high GC placing. 



In his first race back from an injury sustained in a crash on January 31, Matthew Busche put his spin on the dismal conditions in Friday's stage:


“Starting a race in the rain is always difficult. Thankfully it wasn’t super cold today, but still all the clothing I started with I finished with. It could have been a lot worse; the stage was hard itself and it’s never super easy to race in the rain – it was an adventure to say the least.


“It has been nice to be back in the peloton, and I am happy to be getting a race in my legs and feel some lactic acid again. In general, I have felt comfortable in the peloton and with my fitness. I am hopeful after this race it will take a step to the next level.”  



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