Tour de Romandie Stage 6: Martin Victorious in Final TT! Uran Top 5 GC!
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Tony Martin won the final, 17.3km ITT of Tour de Romandie in Lausanne on Sunday with a time of 23 minutes and 17 seconds (44.581 km/h). The German TT Champion was 11 seconds faster than Simon Spilak (Katusha) and 13" faster than Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha). Zakarin, who won the overall, had a mechanical that forced him to change bikes. Martin was faster than Zakarin by 2" at the intermediate point.
Martin's victory was on a course meant for the powerful specialists. There was only 230m of climbing in the middle of the parcours. The rest of the stage was flat, with no technical concerns. His win was the 23rd on the road for Etixx - Quick-Step.
Rigoberto Uran also secured a 5th place (+1'20") finish in the general classification thanks to an 11th place finish (+32") in the time trial. He moved up from 6th after gaining time on some of his GC competitors.
Etixx - Quick-Step earned three podiums in six stages of Tour de Romandie, and was also in the top 5 of the opening team time trial. Julian Alaphilippe finished 2nd and 3rd in the 2nd and 3rd stages, respectively. The victory of Martin is also on the same day as Mark Cavendish won the Green Jersey and finished 2nd on the final Stage of Tour of Turkey. Last but not least, Etixx - Quick-Step remains at the top of the UCI WorldTour Team Ranking with 835 points. Katusha is 2nd, with 828 points, and Team Sky 3rd, with 723 points.
"I am really happy about this victory," Martin said. "This is my 2nd win of the season. The first was in Algarve, so I had to wait a long time for my next one. It's a really nice feeling. Today the time trial was completely in the rain, so it was a little bit of a disadvantage, especially on the climb with the cobblestones and a few tricky corners on the downhill. But I actually didn't mind it. I was really confident in my Specialized Shiv and my materials, especially the tyres. I knew my bike and materials were an advantage for me and I was relaxed in the conditions. Before the race I thought about the mistake of last year on the downhill, and I lost by a second. So this year I was even more focused than usual. I checked the video of the parcours a few times this morning and kept my concentration really high during the race. I think this is a nice victory for me, but also for the team. At Tour de Romandie we were always in the actions, with a few good placements but no victories. So this win is important for the morale of all of us at the end of this race. Rigo also did really well. He finished 5th GC and is building up his condition for the Giro d'Italia. Considering everything we are all quite happy about Tour de Romandie."
"Once again the team performed well in this race," Sport Director Rik Van Slycke said. "The guys who are participating in the Giro really grew up in their condition over the last days. So, we are happy. Rigo maybe didn't have the best performance of his life on the TT bike, but after the performance of yesterday on the queen stage he was still able to defend his position, and he even moved up one place, in the overall. These are all good signals prior to the Giro d'Italia that he will be a presence for the Grand Tour over the three week period."