Aussie Focus

Dennis defends lead from front at Tour of Romandie

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) won Stage 2 of the Tour of Romandie but the stage was highlighted by the performance from race leader Rohan Dennis (INEOS Grenadiers).

74th Tour De Romandie 2021 - Stage 2, Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis of INEOS Grenadiers in the leader's jersey during the Tour de Romandie Source: Getty

The time-trial specialist had taken the race lead with his prologue victory and he made for a notable sight at the front of the peloton in the finale of Stage 2, warding off attacks on the final climb and then covering a move by fellow Australian Ben O'Connor (AG2R-Citroen), attempting to drive himself and teammate Geraint Thomas free of the peloton. 

The main bunch was much reduced after a day in the medium mountains, and strong work from Israel Start-Up Nation and Bahrain Victorious brought the trio back just ahead of the final sprint. Jack Haig and Damiano Caruso led out teammate Sonny Colbrelli, and while it looked like New Zealander Paddy Bevin would have the strength to win, he was closed off in his initial sprint and couldn't recover his speed sufficiently on the other side of Colbrelli to pass the flying Italian. Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) rounded out the podium in third.

“I’m very happy, yesterday I was second and very close," said Colbrelli. "Today it was a super team and a super lead out with Jack and Damiano and a super sprint. I’m very happy!”

Advertisement


Dennis retained the race lead with his performance, but characterised his efforts in the framework of riding as a domestique for his general classification leaders at INEOS, Thomas and Richie Porte.

"The team got no help from anybody else but we did a perfect job,"  said Dennis. "There were a few people who wanted to have a bit of a crack on the final climb and we just controlled that. We put ourselves at the front to make nobody really want to do anything on the final descent to the finish.

"With three of us at the front, they can tell I’m happy to sacrifice myself. On the slight downhill it’s quite fast and I don’t think anybody in their right mind would say they are going to go too far (off the front). So save their energy for another day. Tomorrow is another solid day and then Saturday is the queen stage and I’m sure there will be a lot of fireworks up there."



That final move prompted by O'Connor was more of a spur of the moment thing for Dennis, who was already looking forward to the queen stage on Saturday, a summit finish to Thyon 2000, a 20.7-kilometre climb at 7.8 per cent.

"I just went to follow and get on the wheel," said Dennis. "There was a gap and I thought if we could split the group and get a couple seconds it's great but it wasn't to be.

"Tomorrow's a solid day and Saturday is the queen stage - I'm sure there will be a lot of fireworks out there. I think on Saturday, I'm going to have to do some work."


SHARE
Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
3 min read
Published 30 April 2021 at 8:15am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS