Ethan Vernon won stage one of the Tour of Romandie on Wednesday after a reduced peloton sprint.
“The group split with about 45km to go, so I knew it was all-in for the sprint. The nerves started to set in a bit when you know the stage is there. I didn’t see anyone behind me,” Vernon said. “I don’t think there’s much time to enjoy tomorrow, but it looks quite hard.”
Most of the pure sprinters had been dropped in an early attack over two hills led by the Ineos team, with Mark Cavendish pulling out with 60km to go.
Cavendish’s teamate Alexey Lutsenko also pulled out ahead of the start due to Covid-19. Another Briton, Simon Yates, withdrew during racing because of stomach problems.
The sprinters in the second part of the peloton appeared to get lost and somehow go the wrong way before local police stopped them and sent them in the right direction.
Thursday’s stage is also a hilly run featuring five categorised climbs between Morteau and La-Chaux-de-Fonds.
2 out of 2 for Soudal Quickstep! ✔️ Ethan Vernon won stage one of @TourDeRomandie with one leg in a bunch sprint without sprinters and he took also the Yellow Jersey. The Belgians Nys & Menten completed the podium, far behind him. #TDR2023
— Mihai Simion (@faustocoppi60) April 26, 2023