Verona breaks away before Albasini sprints to ninth on the final stage of the Tour de Romandie

Sun 29 Apr 2018
Spaniard Carlos Verona animated most of the final stage in today's Tour of Romandie, spending the day in the main breakaway before being caught and local Swiss rider Michael Albasini took on the bunch sprint to finish in ninth place for Mitchelton-SCOTT and wrap up a hard week of racing in Switzerland.
Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the stage into Geneve with Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) sealing the overall victory after defending the jersey for the past days.
The main move
The final 181kilometre stage featured less climbing than the previous stages with just three, third category climbs. Within the opening 10kilometres Verona jumped into a move alongside Winner Anacona (Movistar), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R), Pavel Sivakov (Sky) and Michael Storer (Sunweb). 
The five riders hovered for the majority of the stage over two minutes ahead of the peloton, with Team LottoNL-Jumbo, the race leading team, and the key sprint teams setting the tempo to control the distance. 
General classification remains the same
With 15kilometres to go and no more categorised climbs to come, the breakaway was finally reeled in with most teams wanting a bunch sprint finish.
After taking the pressure off with Verona in the breakaway all day, Mitchelton-SCOTT were without any pressure and leave Albasini in a good position to contest the sprint finish.
Carlos Verona - Breakaway ride
"Today the goal was to try to win the stage, and the plan for that was to have everyone attentive at the start to put someone in the breakaway, and when the breakaway was gone, support Albasini during the day in case everything comeback all together.

"I was ready to go in the breakaway and luckily I had the legs to go, so I took advantage of the hard start to attack full gas and after 10km with the bunch just behind of us, I could make the break with another four riders.
"We have been working together really good, but we knew that to make it to the finish would be really difficult as the maximum gap that we got was about three minutes, so I am happy to have give a try but at the end we were caught about 10km to go and we had the predictable bunch finish where Albasini could finish in the top 10.

"In the end, we didn’t get the results that we want in this Tour de Romandie, but I think that we have to be happy because everyone racing here gave their maximum for the team, and we tried the maximum of our own possibilities."
Tour de Romandie results of stage 5:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 4:09:51
2. Michael Morkov (Quickstep-Floors) ST
3. Roberto Ferrari (UAE) ST
9. Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Final general classification
1. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) 17:09:00
2. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) 0:08
3. Richie Porte (BMC) 0:35
28. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 4:07
Photos courtesy of Getty Images