Race report

Ilan Van Wilder 12th in punchy Tour de Romandie prologue

Tour de Romandie

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

The Tour de Romandie got underway with a short and sharp four kilometre long prologue in Oron. The opening three quarters of the route saw the riders take on flatter, albeit rolling terrain, before a one kilometre climb to the line – perfect terrain for the team to put their Scott Plasma TT bikes to the test.

Nico Denz was the team’s first rider down the ramp, setting a very respectable time of five minutes and 52 seconds, an effort that saw him move into the hot seat at the line, with Chris Hamilton not too far behind. Denz’s time would be bettered as other riders stormed around the course, including Chad Haga who went five seconds faster at the finish, crossing the line in five minutes and 47 seconds.

Ilan Van Wilder was the next rider to set the benchmark time for the team, ending his effort with a very impressive time of five minutes and 42 seconds over the challenging parcours. Thymen Arensman would go on to equal Haga’s attempt against the clock, ending his run in five minutes and 47 seconds as well. As the afternoon progressed, Marco Brenner and Felix Gall rounded out the prologue for the team, both producing good efforts.

Tomorrow sees the bunch take on the first open road stage of the race and a circuit that features two challenging climbs before a flat finale in Martigny.

“Normally, a prologue is not really something I’m good in but today I felt good and I’m happy with the result,” explained Van Wilder after the finish. “The power was there in the legs and I’m pleased about my shape for the next stages. We’ll see what we can do as a team in the coming days.”

Team DSM coach Marc Reef added: “It was a tricky four kilometre long prologue where the first three kilometres were mostly flat and the last kilometre was uphill. It was really important to pace well and to distribute your power over the course to be able to still push it to the end on the climb. All the guys did this in a pretty good way, where Ilan did a really good TT to finish in 12th for us. We’re happy to start the race like this and are looking forward to the upcoming days to race for our chances.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 DENNIS Rohan INEOS Grenadiers 5:26 60
2 THOMAS Geraint INEOS Grenadiers 0:09 25
3 PORTE Richie INEOS Grenadiers ,, 10
12 VAN WILDER Ilan Team DSM 0:16 -
25 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM 0:21 -
27 HAGA Chad Team DSM ,, -
37 GALL Felix Team DSM 0:25 -
45 DENZ Nico Team DSM 0:26 -
60 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 0:29 -
75 BRENNER Marco Team DSM 0:32 -