Nieve spends the day in the breakaway on the Queen stage of the Tour de Romandie
Sat 28 Apr 2018
Basque rider Mikel Nieve had a strong ride on today’s penultimate Queen stage in the six-day race, the Tour de Romandie, spending most of the stage in the breakaway.
Finally, Nieve finished in 17th place on the stage and moved up to 16th overall with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) taking a solo victory into Sion and Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) remaining as the overall race leader with one-stage to come.
The 149kilometre stage consisted of over 3500metres of climb spread across three, first category climbs and two, second category climbs. In an attempt to take any chances to win the stage, Nieve forced a move taking with him four other riders after 15kilometre of racing on the first climb of the day.
Thomas de Gednt (Lotto-Soudal), Tanel Kagert (Astana), Mathias Frank (AG2R) and John Canty (EF) along with Nieve, forced a lead over over two and a half minutes ahead of the peloton.
Changes at the front
With less than 50kilometres to go the race began to heat up and one of the original escapees, Canty, lost contact with the leaders and three other riders successfully bridged across to increase the size of the breakaway.
On the final tough first category climb of the day, the general classification riders began to race hard, as they attacked away from the shrunken peloton and across to the breakaway.
Nieve was able to stay in contact as the junction was made, but with just over 25kilometres to go the race favourites pushed the pace and increased their advantage once again. In the end the race was won by Fuglsang after a strong late solo attack.
With one stage remaining, the overall classification still has the potential to change and Mitchelton-SCOTT still hunt a top result.
Mikel Nieve - 17th on stage 4
"Today the idea was to put someone in the break and try to win the stage. In the first climb I saw that the team leaders didn't have a lot of team mates around and I decided to try.
"Maybe I took too much risk but I felt good and sometimes you have to bet. I'm happy with my performance, I did as much I could and I knew when the peloton didn't give us more of a time gap it would be really difficult to stay away until the end."
Tour de Romandie stage 4
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) 4:18:48
2. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) 0:48
3. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) ST
17. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +2:09
General classification after stage 4
1. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) 12:59:09
2. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) +0:08
3. Richie Porte (BMC) +0:35
16. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +4:07
Photo courtesy of Getty Images