Race report

Thymen Arensman last man standing in Tour de Romandie breakaway

Tour de Romandie

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

The first open road stage of the Tour de Romandie saw the bunch take on a 168 kilometre route from Aigle to Martigny this afternoon, which featured a large circuit and two short but sharp climbs. After a few early probing attacks, a breakaway of six riders was able to form out front in the opening ten kilometres with Thymen Arensman riding strongly to make the move, while the rest of the team stayed safe in the bunch.

Arensman’s group worked well together and initially built up an advantage of almost six minutes but the peloton soon started to pace and their gap diminished. Approaching the final double-header of climbs, the peloton had the breakaway within their sights but a defiant Arensman showed fighting spirit, attacking his breakaway companions and going clear solo. Riding strongly, he held off a charging peloton over the two ascents but was caught just as the reduced bunch hit the final descent.

Heading into the finale there were a few attacks but a headwind saw the stage finish in a reduced sprint, with Chad Haga leading the team home after Arensman’s ride in the breakaway.

“Today we had a good plan, everyone was really committed to try and go for a sprint with Nico,” explained Arensman. “We wanted to make the race hard to get a big break, with someone in there, so the bunch had to go fast on the climbs. In the end I was in there with some other strong guys, so that was goal accomplished. It was a nice break and we got a good gap. We pushed on the climbs, but because we had a big gap the peloton chased fast and it was really hard the last time up the climbs. Nico really tried and the guys really committed to position him and work together, but he just didn’t make it in the first group. I tried my best to keep the break going and make the race as hard as possible. I managed to test my legs on the last two climbs and tried my luck, testing myself for the coming days. If I see how the team was committed to our goal today, it shows great signs for the rest of the week. Everyone is committed and feeling good, so we’ll keep going for it.”

Team DSM coach Marc Reef added: “It was a hilly day in Romandie. We had the goal to get into the break to make the race somewhat harder so that the real sprinters wouldn’t survive and we could go for Nico at the end. Thymen did well to get in a six man group where the bunch needed to chase them hard. After a good ride out front, he got caught back on top of the last climb, where Nico unfortunately wasn’t able to follow in the group. Chad, Chris, Ilan and Thymen were in the peloton for us with the stage decided in a reduced sprint.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 SAGAN Peter BORA - hansgrohe 4:12:40 60
2 COLBRELLI Sonny Bahrain - Victorious ,, 25
3 BEVIN Patrick Israel Start-Up Nation ,, 10
47 HAGA Chad Team DSM ,, -
60 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM ,, -
64 VAN WILDER Ilan Team DSM ,, -
65 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM ,, -
89 BRENNER Marco Team DSM 3:34 -
108 GALL Felix Team DSM ,, -
114 DENZ Nico Team DSM 7:22 -