Tour de Romandie
Stage 1: Crissier - Vallée de Joux
Switzerland Wednesday 26 April 2023 170.9 km
Vernon keeps the ball rolling for the Wolfpack in Romandie
Ethan Vernon scored a crushing sprint victory on stage 1 of the Swiss race, after a great lead-out of Casper Pedersen, who placed him in a perfect position with 300 meters to go. A winner of three races in the first couple of weeks of the season, Ethan remained calm in a hectic finale, before launching down the middle of the road and stomping his sprinting authority in Vallée de Joux.
“It’s the second World Tour success of my career after the one in the Volta a Catalunya last year, and just like back then, it feels great to win at this level”, said one of the youngest riders to take a Tour de Romandie stage victory this century.
The day contained three classified climbs, but a flawless teamwork of his Soudal Quick-Step teammates helped the Brit make it over the stage’s difficulties, where many of the other sprinters got dropped. Dries Devenyns did a fabulous job, keeping things together for most of the stage, before Rémi Cavagna and even overall leader Josef Cerny took over in the closing kilometres, making sure Vernon remained well-positioned under the flamme rouge.
Following this victory and the bonus seconds it brought, the 22-year-old went straight to the top of the general classification, ahead of Josef, and will sport the yellow jersey on the hilly stage to La Chaux-de-Fonds.
“It was difficult on the climbs, as some teams upped the tempo and pushed hard, but I survived thanks to the boys. I am grateful to them, not just for their help there, but also for the mammoth work they put in the entire day. I already had three victories this season before today, but the last of these came two months ago, so it feels good to win again. Leading this race is a bonus, and I will enjoy wearing yellow on Thursday”, added Ethan after Soudal Quick-Step’s 21st victory of the year.
Photo credit: ©Dario Belingheri / Getty Images