The stage got off to a lively start and on the approach to the category three climb Vuisternens-en-Ogoz a seven-man group went clear, opening up a lead of 1’45”. CCC Team’s riders were tucked in the peloton, saving energy on the undulating terrain and gearing up for a very demanding finale, which featured a steep climb in the closing kilometer, with an average gradient of 7.9 percent.
The Team Jumbo-Visma-led peloton kept the gap under control, not allowing the escapees to gain too much ground and dropping some of the sprinters in the process. The bunch started closing in on the break inside the final 40 kilometers and caught the attackers with 17 kilometers to go, just before the final climb of the day, the category three Villars-Bramard. Bevin was well positioned on that ascent, at the head of the pack and on the run-in to the punchy finale he was well protected by his teammates.
Joey Rosskopf, Łukasz Owsian, and Zoidl all moved to the head of the reduced peloton allowing Bevin to pass the flamme rouge in the top ten places in the group. Unfortunately, with 600 meters to go the New Zealander was held back by a crash and was ruled out of the sprint. Zoidl quickly took over the baton and powered to the line, finishing in 15th place, six seconds behind the winner, David Gaudu (Groupama – FDJ)
Quotes from the Finish Line:
„It was such a pity about the crash with 600 meters to go, which ruled Paddy out of the sprint. I was lucky enough to go around it, move up a few places and launch my sprint. Paddy was in a really good position, so it’s a shame that he was not able to take advantage of the work done by Łukasz and Joey on the approach to the last climb.
„Today’s stage was hard, but the climbs were not as long as what’s awaiting us tomorrow. There are some tough slopes on the menu and the weather is supposed to be interesting as well. We will see how the legs are and what we can accomplish on the mountain top finish.”
Sports Director, Fabio Baldato
„The plan was to bring Bevin to the front for the final climb and our guys did an amazing job since it was not an easy task. From four kilometers to go until the bottom of the last climb Owsian and Rosskopf were setting the pace on the front and I was very happy with what they did.”
“Bevin was in a good position coming towards the Flamme Rouge, as he was sitting in fifth or sixth place. We had discussed before the stage that he should be patient, not give his all early in the climb and wait until 600 meters to go but, then the crash happened in front of him. Not only was he held back by it, but he also broke the rear derailleur shifter cable, after a rider crashed into him from behind. In that moment it was over for him.”
“Obviously we are disappointed with the result, but I’m satisfied with how the team performed. Until the crash we were riding a perfect race and our guys were executing the plan perfectly.”
Stage Three: Romont – Romont, 160km
Top 3: 1. David Gaudu (Groupama – FDJ) 2. Rui Costa (UAE – Team Emirates) 3. Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma)
CCC Team Top 3: 15. Riccardo Zoidl 35. Joey Rosskopf 46. Patrick Bevin