Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) sealed a second successive Tour de Romandie title with a dominant stage win in the individual time trial.
The Slovenian finished 13 seconds clear of the next fastest rider, new Hour Record holder Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal), to consolidate his GC lead, finishing 49 seconds ahead of Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates).
Campenaerts held the best time for over an hour and a half until Roglič was the final rider to roll out of the start hut, and opened up a 14 second gap on the Belgian at the intermediate check point. The 29-year-old held this advantage over the second half of the course to seal his third stage victory and the overall win.
Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) snuck on to the GC podium, holding off Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) by losing only two seconds to the Austrian to maintain a one second lead in the overall, whilst David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) failed to protect his third place and slipped down to fifth.
Roglić now heads off to the 2019 Giro d’Italia in fine form and as one of the favourites, boosted by Egan Bernal now not taking the start line in Bologna on May 11 after breaking his collarbone in a training ride crash.
How it happened
The fifth and final stage of the 2019 Tour de Romandie was a 16.9km individual time trial. After a couple of lumps the road flattens out for the final five kilometres.
Filippo Ganna (Team Ineos) was the quickest of the first 30 riders off the start ramp with a time of 20-13. He probably expected to get comfortable in the hot seat whilst watching the next 88 riders try and beat his time, but that wasn’t accounting for Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal).
The new UCI Hour Record holder went through two seconds faster than Ganna, at 20-11, with Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) the next rider to go close, nine seconds down at the midway point but going better in the second half to finish three seconds behind Campenaerts at the finish, to place himself in provisional third with a time of 20-14.
Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) was one of the favourites for today’s stage, but the Swiss rider finished nine seconds down on Campenaerts, and sat in provisional fourth place, with Patrick Bevin (CCC) then coming through to dislodge Tony Martin from third spot on the virtual stage podium.
It was then time for the GC contenders to do all they could over the short course to try and unseat Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), who led Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) by 12 seconds, David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) by 16 seconds, and Team Ineos’ Geraint Thomas by 26 seconds at the start of the day.
At the halfway point, Thomas was 17 seconds down on Campenaerts, a time that would see him drop behind Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the overall classification.
Gaudu was also struggling, 28 seconds down on Campenaerts at halfway, his podium place very much in question, whilst Rui Costa was only 11 seconds down and set to hold on to his second place on GC.
Primož Roglič was the last off the ramp, wearing the yellow leader’s jersey, and was 14 seconds up on Campenaerts at the intermediate time check, meaning he was on track to take a third stage win and the overall classification.
Großschartner finished in 20-42, followed by Thomas two seconds slower in 20-44, meaning Thomas held him off by just one second.
That one second would prove crucial, as David Gaudu finished with a time of 20-58, which was not good enough to hold on to his podium place, dropping behind Thomas.
Costa posted a good time of 20-35, but then Roglič showed why he’s not only won this race, but is also hotly favoured to take home the Giro, beating Campenaerts’ time by a convincing 13 seconds to take both the stage and confirm his victory in the overall classification.
Tour de Romandie 2019 stage five: Geneva to Geneva ITT (16.9km)
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, in 19-58
2. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, in 13 seconds
3. Filippo Ganna (Ita) Team Ineos, in 15s
4. Patrick Bevin (Nzl) CCC, in 16s
5. Tony Martin (Ger) Jumbo-Visma, at same time
6. Stefan Kung (Sui) Groupama-FDJ, at 22s
7. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates, at 37s
8. William Barta (USA) CCC, at 43s
9. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 44s
10. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Ineos, at 46s
General classification after stage five
1. Primož Roglić (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, in 15-25-11
2. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates, at 49 seconds
3. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Ineos, at 1-12
4. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 1-13
5. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 1-17
6. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, at 1-33
7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 1-35
8. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin, at 2-00
9. Simon Špilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin, at 2-08
10. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First, at 2-18