Race report

Thymen Arensman 10th on brutal day in the mountains in Romandie, moves into white jersey

Tour de Romandie

The penultimate day of racing at the Tour de Romandie saw the bunch faced with a brutally tough day in the saddle, with over 4000 metres of climbing and an incredibly challenging 20 kilometre long ascent to the finish at Thyon 2000. As the riders left the start in Sion, conditions were overcast and forebode what was to come later in the day.

Multiple attacks flew before a breakaway established itself at the head of the race, with all Team DSM riders in the peloton. As the kilometres ticked by and the climbs overcome, the rain began to fall with the riders faced with truly biblical conditions.

Heading onto the last climb of the day, the team positioned Ilan Van Wilder and Thymen Arensman well to the fore, with Felix Gall riding strongly with the duo. Progressing up the ascent, the pace was increased with Van Wilder and Gall riding maturely together at their own tempo while the numbers in the yellow jersey group dwindled. Ahead, Arensman dug deep on the highest slopes, producing a very strong ride to take a great tenth place on the stage and as a result, move into the lead of the best young rider competition.

“Today was a really epic day,” said Arensman after the stage. “It was super cold on the descents which made the race very hard. The guys did such a great job especially Chad, Felix and Marco, they really looked after me and Ilan. They dropped us in the best possible position for the climbs, all we had to do was pedal actually. I had some good legs and just went for it on the last climb. I was able to follow the pace of Ineos for quite a long time. When they really accelerated I rode at my own pace and was able to finish in the top ten. I’m of course really happy with the result and to have the white jersey, that’s a really nice achievement I think. I will try my absolute best to defend the jersey tomorrow in the time trial. All in all, today was a very good day. The team rode amazing, again. It was such good teamwork, I’m really proud of the guys.”

Team DSM coach Marc Reef added: “Hard day today in Romandie, with over 4000 altitude metres and a finish on a climb of 20 kilometres, where also rain and cold temperatures played a role. The guys protected Ilan and Thymen during the day in a good way and positioned them into the crucial points nicely. In the end Thymen could follow the best guys for a long time and took his own pace on the right moment, where after that he could still push it to the line, finishing 10th and taking the white jersey which was really nice. Also, Ilan and Felix did a good ride too; finishing just outside the top 20 in these circumstances is a very good job.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 WOODS Michael Israel Start-Up Nation 4:58:35 60
2 O'CONNOR Ben AG2R Citroën Team 0:17 25
3 THOMAS Geraint INEOS Grenadiers 0:21 10
10 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM 1:57 -
23 GALL Felix Team DSM 6:18 -
24 VAN WILDER Ilan Team DSM ,, -
64 HAGA Chad Team DSM 18:56 -
66 BRENNER Marco Team DSM ,, -
1006 DENZ Nico Team DSM -04:58:35 -