Birthday-boy Tolhoek lost touch with the chasing group on the climb and started to head back towards the peloton. He was caught by a fast-moving peloton with 37km to go with 2-17 being the gap up to Taaramäe.
Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) managed to hold on over six very tough climbs to go for the sprint into Saint-Imier. Bevin (Israel Start-Up Nation) also looked very strong and almost pipped the Italian sprinter on the line but Colbrelli held on.
Ineos slowed up on the climb as Taaramäe continued to push on alone. He quickly pulled out a very solid gap. He got a gap of 2-10 over the peloton and about 30 seconds to his chasers. The Estonian held 33 seconds over the top of Les Pontins.
With 25km to go Ineos were joined by Qhubeka-Assos and Bahrain Victorious. The pace continued to ride with Israel Start-Up Nation and Jumbo-Visma also joining the pacing. The pace change meant that stage one winner Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was dropped with 22km to go along with Philippe Gilbert (Lotto-Soudal).
Taaramäe was caught with 21km to go as Team DSM took over the pacing for their main riders. Ineos continued to look strong at the front just behind the leading riders from DSM. Ilan Van Wilder (DSM) kicked with Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ) and Ben O’Connor (Ag2r-Citroën).
Dennis still holds the overall lead with Thomas and Porte still very well placed for the upcoming mountain stage on Saturday. But stage three is to come first with a loop ride from and to Estravayer over lumpy terrain but an expected sprint after 168.7km.
1. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious. in 4-21-42
2. Patrick Bevin (NZl) Israel Start-Up Nation
3. Marc Hirschi (Sui) UAE Team Emirates
4. Clément Champoussin (Fra) Ag2r-Citroën Team
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team DSM
8. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
9. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
10. Marc Soler (Esp) Movistar Team, all at same time.
Much like stage one, a six-man breakaway got away with six very strong riders that pulled out a maximum gap of 2-46 back to the peloton.
The chasing group was caught by a charging Ineos with 28km to go as Taaramäe continued to lead by 1-50 before the final climb of the day. The first category one climb of the race, the Vue des Alpes.
O’Connor tried to get away in the last 2km but Dennis closed it down immediately but Dennis caused a gap with Thomas alongside him but Woods managed to drag it back as Bahrain Victorious up as they went under the Flamme Rouge.
GC riders Jack Haig and Damiano Caruso (both Bahrain Victorious) led Colbrelli out with Caruso doing the last sprint to the line for his fast man, positioning him perfectly and pinning Bevin in a bit so he had to sprint the long way around the Italian.
Tour de Romandie 2021 stage two, La Neuveville to Saint-Imier (165.7km)
Sonny Colbrelli managed to hold off a fast-finishing Patrick Bevin to take stage two of the Tour de Romandie 2021 and moves him up to fifth overall with Rohan Dennis keeping the overall lead.
How it happened
Taaramäe went on a solo attack just before the second of three passages of the finish line in Saint-Imier before hitting the penultimate climb of the day, Les Pontins which was a very steep climb of just under 5km. The gap had dropped down to 1-17 at the base of the climb thanks to Ineos using the descent to pull the gap back with 46km to go.
The six riders up front were Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma), Davide Villella (Movistar), Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Jonathan Caicedo (EF-Nippo), Chris Hamilton (DSM) and Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain Victorious).
Once again, Ineos Grenadiers had complete control of the peloton as well as the overall standings going into stage two. Eddie Dunbar, Andrey Amador and Owain Doull were doing all the early work for their leaders.
Dennis held on to his yellow jersey despite working for the final 17km for his leaders of Thomas and Porte where he needed to pull back attacks from the likes of Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) and Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation).
Colbrelli managed to get over the top of the final climb led by Dennis with Thomas and Porte on the wheel with 16km to go in a very reduced group. Pernsteiner joined Dennis at the front to work for Colbrelli in the closing 6km.
Bevin's second place means he moves above both Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte (both Ineos Grenadiers) in the general classification to slot into second overall with third place Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) moving up to sixth in the GC.
The second stage of the Tour de Romandie started in the town of La Neuveville before tackling six categorised climbs over 165.7km with a descent to the finish in Saint-Imier.
Dennis was forced to chase for Thomas and Porte so Woods countered with Elissonde and Kuss with 19km to go. But again, Dennis was just keeping calm and setting a very solid pace to pull it back.
Colbrelli's win sees him move to fifth overall with Bevin slotting in at second just eight seconds behind the overall leader, Dennis. Hirschi also gained some bonus seconds seeing him go in at sixth place.
General classification after stage two
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers, in 8-39-48
2. Patrick Bevin (NZl) Israel Start-Up Nation, at 8 seconds
3. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 9s
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
5. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious, all at same time
6. Marc Hirschi (Sui) UAE Team Emirates, at 11s
7. Jasús Herrada (Esp) Cofidis, at 14s
8. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 15s
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 16s
10. Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team DSM, at the same time.
EF Education-Nippo and Rapha reveal special edition ‘Euphoria’ kit for Giro d'Italia
This year's Giro switch-out kit that's designed not to clash with the maglia rosa doesn't feature any ducks... so far
By Simon Smythe •
Remco Evenepoel: You can’t prepare fully without racing, but that’s the risk we took
Belgian star is among the favourites to win the 2021 Giro d’Italia, having not raced for nine months
By Alex Ballinger •
Sam Bennett sprints to stage one victory at Volta ao Algarve 2021 after yet another perfect lead-out
Sam Bennett took the opening stage of the Volta ao Algarve 2021 after his team nailed the timing of the lead-out yet again for their star fast man beating Danny Van Poppel and Jon Aberasturi.
By Tim Bonville-Ginn •
UAE Team Emirates sign another promising young talent
After discovering Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar and signing Marc Hirschi, the squad are banking on another young rider for the future
By Tim Bonville-Ginn •
'What is most important is that he's happy in what he's doing': Jumbo-Visma still unsure if Tom Dumoulin will return to pro cycling
The Dutchman has been on an indefinite break from cycling since January
By Shane Stokes •
Five things we learned from the Tour de Romandie 2021
Geraint Thomas takes a yellow jersey en route to the one he really wants to win this summer
By Stephen Puddicombe •
What separates the best...from the rest?
Winners at WorldTour level are truly exceptional, but what makes them so? Chris Sidwells investigates what sets apart the best cyclists from the merely excellent
By Chris Sidwells •
Chris Froome suffers through chest problems at Tour de Romandie: 'It's been a tough week'
The Israel Start-Up Nation rider will now head to altitude to continue training
By Jonny Long •
'It's not like I haven't performed since I won the Tour,' says Geraint Thomas, who reaffirms his form with Romandie win
The Welshman took the overall at the 2021 Tour de Romandie as he continues to build towards this summer's French Grand Tour
By Jonny Long •
Geraint Thomas makes up for slip with time trial performance to seal Tour de Romandie overall
Remi Cavagna won the fifth and final time trial stage for Deceuninck - Quick-Step
By Jonny Long •