Tour de Romandie 2015: Pinot takes Queen Stage, Zakarin leader

Stage 5 is the Queen Stage in which riders face four 1st category cols. It all boils down to a battle at the last climb with Pinot attacking and soloing to victory. Zakarin finishes second and is the new leader. By the way, the first Froome-Quintana-Nibali showdown of the season is lost by the latter, while the Froome-Quintana duel is undecided. As yet. (Slideshow route/profile)

Race Results stage 5 Tour de Romandie 2015

1. Thibaut Pinot (fra)
2. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 0.07
3. Romain Bardet (fra) + 0.20
4. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.
5. Simon Spilak (slo) s.t.
6. Rafal Majka (pol) s.t.
7. Chris Froome (gbr) s.t.
8. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 0.53
9. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) s.t.
10. Michele Scarponi (ita) s.t

GC after stage 5
1. Ilnur Zakarin (rus)
2. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 0.06
3. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.14
4. Simon Spilak (slo) + 0.19
5. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.54
6. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 1.01
7. Simon Yates (gbr) s.t.
8. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 1.04
9. Michele Scarponi (ita) s.t.
10. Joeri Trofimov (rus) + 1.06

Race report
Once the flag is dropped several riders try to break clear, but it takes a while for someone to succeed. Eventually Maxim Belkov and Bryan Naulleau race to a 7’45” gap with 47 km’s done.

Belkov is the first to crest Col des Mosses thus cementing his KOM-lead. The pack is 4’15” down at the top.

The gap balloons to 9’40”, but while climbing up Col des Giettes it shrinks to 4’40”. At the top Belkov grabs most KOM-points and wins the KOM-classification in doing so.

At the penultimate climb Belkov goes solo, while leader Albasini is dropped in the peloton. Once again Belkov is the first to crest. Shortly after he is reeled in.

With 6 km’s left, and after several attacks by Quintana, it’s down to around ten riders at the front. Thibaut Pinot accelerates with Romain Bardet and Simon Spilak chasing. They don’t make it and they are brought back by Froome, Quintana, Zakarin and Majka. Nibali and Uran can’t follow the pace and are dropped.

Zakarin tries to bridge the gap to to the front of tha race, but he never gets there since Pinot solos to victory. The Russian may find consolation in the fact he will be wearing the leader’s jersey in the closing time trial. He enjoys a small lead over both Pinot and Froome, but since he is a specialist you’ll never know. Is 25-year old Zakarin going to be the suprise winner in the 2015 Tour de Romandie?

Tour de Romandie 2015 stage 5: route, profile, more

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Thibaut Pinot

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