Pinot wins the time trial in Tour de Romandie

Thibaut Pinot proved Friday that his time trial victory in March’s Critérium International was no fluke, claiming another TT win in stage 3 of Tour de Romandie Friday. The FDJ rider bested Giant – Alpecin’s Tom Dumoulin, one of the peloton’s best time trial riders, by two seconds in the 15.11km race around Sion, Switzerland. Etixx – Quick-Step’s Bob Jungels rounded out the podium in third.

It was a great outcome for the race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar), as he gained 8 seconds on Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) on a day when he had expected to lose time and so he comfortably defended his overall lead. In fact, Pinot moved into second and now sits just 23 seconds behind the Movistar captain while Zakarin has dropped to third, 3 seconds further adrift, with Izagirre now in fourth at 29 seconds.

The other big winner was of course Dumoulin who moved into fifth overall while local hero Mathias Frank (IAM) had a fine ride with 19th which allowed him to defend his 6th place. Tejay van Garderen (BMC) also bounced back from yesterday’s disappointment to make it back into the top 10.

The big losers were specialists Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Simon Spilak (Katusha) who had expected to gain time today. They had to settle for 24th and 17th respectively and even though they both stayed in the top 10, they had certainly hoped for a different outcome.

While Froome bounced back from yesterday’s disappointment by taking fourth, it was another bad day for his teammate Geraint Thomas who failed arrived almost a minute back in 36th.

Quintana now faces the biggest test of the entire race in the queen stage. After a flat start with just a small category 3 climb, the riders will tackle the big Col des Planches at the midpoint before going up another category 3 climb. In the end, they face a difficult 32.3km that includes an 8.9km category 1 climb with an average gradient of 7.8%. The riders will go up the climb twice, with the top coming just 4.1km from the line. The final part has a small descent before the final 400m are uphill at 4.7%.

Tour de Romandie 2016 – stage 3 results (ITT Sion):

1 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)


2 Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)


3 Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step)


4 Christopher Froome (Sky)


5 Jerome Coppel (IAM)


6 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


7 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha)


8 Jon Izaguirre (Movistar)


9 Steve Morabito (FDJ)


10 Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff)



General classification after stage 3:

1 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


2 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)


3 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha)


4 Jon Izaguirre (Movistar)


5 Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)


6 Mathias Frank (IAM)


7 Simon Spilak (Katusha)


8 Rui Costa (Lampre – Merida)


9 Tejay Van Garderen (BMC)


10 Rafal Majka (Tinkoff)


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