Race report

Ilan Van Wilder sprints to 7th after Chris Hamilton makes the breakaway

Tour de Romandie

After yesterday’s foray into the hills, more climbing awaited the riders on day three of racing at the Tour de Romandie this afternoon; with a tough 165 kilometre long stage from La Neuveille to Saint-Imier. It was an intense start to the day with lots of attacks where the team were present, before a strong six rider group featuring Chris Hamilton finally broke clear.

The group worked well together over the rolling and hilly terrain but the peloton didn’t allow their gap to grow too far, only ever reaching a maximum of two minutes and 45 seconds. As the kilometres progressed, their advantage ticked down and Hamilton’s group was caught by the bunch just inside the 30 kilometre to go mark. Unfortunately, Hamilton then abandoned the stage as a precautionary measure after feeling some muscle pain.

Heading into the final climb of the day, the team was to the fore with Felix Gall and Marco Brenner riding well to position Thymen Arensman and Ilan Van Wilder at the front of the bunch as the slope increased in severity. Arensman went on the attack, hoping to drag a group clear but the peloton kept them close and over the top of the ascent it was all back together. Attacks were expected on the run in but nothing came to fruition, with the day settled in a reduced bunch sprint finish, where Van Wilder did well to get up and take a strong seventh place finish for the team.

“It was a really hard stage today,” explained Van Wilder. “We had Chris in the break, which was perfect for us, he did an amazing job. Then in the final we tried to set it up and attack with Thymen but he didn’t really get the space to ride away. We were still there with two of us in the group of 30 and we tried to go for me in the sprint. I was a bit boxed in but still got a top ten which was nice and the feeling is good.”

Team DSM coach Marc Reef added: “It was fast start today and after a hard fight we had Chris in a group of six which was good. Ineos controlled the peloton behind and rode a strong pace. We then focused on Ilan and Thymen for the final. Chris was caught back and got a sore muscle so quit the stage as a precaution, which was a shame as he was really strong in the breakaway for us. In the final we tried to position ourselves in a good way for the last climb and the guys did that really well; we had Thymen and Ilan, together with Felix and Marco. We were maybe a bit too enthusiastic with leading on the climb and out of that Thymen attacked. It was a really good move but unfortunately he didn’t get the space and from that point it was controlled. We tried to concentrate on if groups or riders attacked again in the final ten kilometres but that didn’t happen so we then focused on the sprint with Ilan. He finished seventh for us which was good so all-in-all it was a pretty good day and promising again for tomorrow.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 COLBRELLI Sonny Bahrain - Victorious 4:21:42 60
2 BEVIN Patrick Israel Start-Up Nation ,, 25
3 HIRSCHI Marc UAE-Team Emirates ,, 10
7 VAN WILDER Ilan Team DSM ,, -
28 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM ,, -
61 GALL Felix Team DSM 0:43 -
70 BRENNER Marco Team DSM 5:25 -
90 HAGA Chad Team DSM 7:32 -
126 DENZ Nico Team DSM 18:27 -
1005 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM -04:21:42 -