In His Own Words: Matt Wilson on Tour de Romandie Stage FourSat 27 Apr 2013
Rain, cold and fog greeted the peloton the morning before the start of Tour de Romandie stage four. The race organisers, recognizing the perilous conditions, altered the course before the stage start, eliminating the snow covered Col de la Croix’s second ascent and replacing it with a shallower mountain.
Michael Albasini and Travis Meyer thrived in the wintry conditions to finish 2’40 behind stage winner Simon Spilak (Katusha) and race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky). The ORICA-GreenEDGE pair posted top 40 finishes on a mountainous stage thought to favour the pure climbers. In his own words, Sport Director Matt Wilson describes the team’s effort.
The weather today was absolutely terrible. It was never more than 9°C, and it rained during the entire race. At the top of the final mountain, it was 1-2°C. The organizers made a last minute change to the course due to the weather, and they cut out the second crossing of the Col de la Croix. I didn’t think it changed the race too much.
Neither the course change nor the weather changed our approach. Yesterday, I said that we’d likely sit today out and rest up ahead of the time trial. Instead, we decided to work for Alba [Michael Albasini] and Trav. They both raised their hand for the stage today and were eager to see what they could do.
Today proved to be a bit dangerous, to be honest. I don’t necessarily think they should have run the race the way they did. There was really poor visibility in the mountains because of the fog. We couldn’t see more than two car lengths in front us.
The team did good work heading into the third categorised climb. They put Alba and Trav in a good position before letting up to save themselves for tomorrow. We heard over race radio that Svein Tuft had abandoned around this time, and we know this was reported on Twitter as well – Svein did not abandon. He finished the race, and he’s looking forward to having a real crack at the time trial on Sunday.
Left to their own devices, Alba and Trav managed to hang with the bunch until the final ten kilometres. They only got tailed off when the action really heated up. They both finished in the top 40, with Albasini in 30th and Travis in 36th. Really valiant rides by them in brutal conditions.
Time trial tomorrow. We’ve been talking about it all week, and we’re very much looking forward to it. Keep an eye out on our social media channels. We’ll post our start times before the stage begins.