Ineos and Bora have a strong start in French-speaking Switzerland
Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers). | Photo: Cor Vos
26/04/2022 | (rsn) – Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) celebrated his first victory in a WorldTour race during the prologue of the Tour de Romandie. After 5.1 kilometers in Lausanne, the 23-year-old was four seconds faster than Rohan Dennis (Jumbo – Visma). Today’s podium was completed by Felix Großschartner (Bora – hansgrohe), who, like fourth Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), lost ten seconds to Hayter. Maximilian Schachmann (Bora – hansgrohe) and Georg Steinhauser (EF Education – EasyPost) delivered appealing results from a German perspective.
Despite beating Wout van Aert (Jumbo – Visma) and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) between each other, Hayter’s twelfth victory as a professional was his first at the highest level in cycling. This year, the all-rounder was able to strike out on the 2nd stage of Settimana Interazionale Coppi e Bartali (2.1). After that, he did not race for a month. “I had some problems at the beginning of the year and I took a break. It’s nice to come back like this, of course,” he says happily.
“I just wanted to try it and see how far I can get,” he said, looking back at his prologue. That was enough for first place, both on stage and of course in the standings. “Geraint also drove well and things look good for the weekend,” Hayter analyzed his team’s good starting position. But before going into the mountains on Saturday and Sunday, there are still a few flatter sections on the program. “The next few days could also suit me and I just want to try to win more stages. But we still have other options on the team and want to try to win the Tour, ”said the Londoner.
His teammate and nominal captain Geraint Thomas first found out his position at the finish line from the reporter. “Fourth? It’s okay, it could have been better. But after the race on Sunday it’s okay,” he assessed his result, looking back at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “Eventually I lacked some strength, but I’m happy he added.
Bora – hansgrohe can also be very happy with the start. Großschartner surprised with a podium finish. “I liked the course as soon as I warmed up. I made my comeback on the Tour of the Basque Country – and my legs were already pretty good there,” the Austrian told Eurosport during the chill.
His teammate Schachmann also showed an appealing performance with a fifth-place finish on his comeback. “I am just happy to be able to start here. I would not have believed it four weeks ago. I’m happy to still have a good swing feeling. After such a long time, it could have been that it was gone, “he said after his first race after recovering from illness, today’s winner.
Steinhauser delivered his first top 10 result as a professional. The 20-year-old neo-pro surprisingly finished in eighth place on the flat track at his WorldTour premiere and is now in third place in the youth standings, which Hayter leads, as well as the overall and points standings. There was no mountain classification in Lausanne.
This is how the race went:
Schachmann got the first reference time noted. Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange – Jayco) clocked exactly the same time and took the hot seat with the German. Steinhauser later achieved the best intermediate time, but at goal, the neo-pro was barely a second behind the leading duo.
Großschartner made it clear at the top of the standings by being three seconds faster than his teammate and Italian time trial champion. The Austrian was able to enjoy the place in the sun for a long time before being beaten by Hayter by nine seconds.
Nor could Britain’s time endanger top favorite Dennis. He lost four seconds to the leader. Remi Cavagna (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) surprisingly even missed the top 10. Thomas finished in fourth place and completed the good result for Ineos.