Tour de Romandie #4: Kudus fights for 10th on stage

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Jakob Fuglsang (Team Astana) won stage 4 of the Tour de Romandie with a crafty solo attack on the final descent of the stage. Race leader, Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) brought a chase group of 4 home, to place 2nd. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) was 3rd on the day.

It wasn’t the longest stage by World Tour standards at 149km but with over 3500m of climbing, the stage was set for an attacking day of racing. An early break of 5 riders managed to go clear after the opening climb while behind, the peloton was in pieces.

The main group regrouped somewhat ahead of the 3 categorised climbs in the middle section of the stage, but by the penultimate climb, roughly only 50 riders remained in stage contention. Our African Team had Merhawi Kudus and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier both in the main group still.

The big test of the day was the final 13km climb to Les Collons, peaking some 26km from the finish-line in Soin. Team Sky set a high tempo, catching the break, and then launching their leader Bernal, up the road with still 8km to the top. Roglic followed the Colombian’s every move while the rest of the race was strung-out down the mountain.

Kudus was putting in a real fighting ride, finding himself in the 2nd group on the road, just behind the GC contenders. On the descent, Fuglsang made the telling move, going solo for the final 15km of the stage. As Bernal and Roglic marked each other, the Danish rider kept opening the gap to take a good win.

A number of riders made it back to Kudus group on the downhill, including Ghebreigzabhier, and they sprinted it out for 6th place. Kudus placing 10th on the stage, and moving up 18 places on GC, to 26th.

Merhawi Kudus- Rider
Today was a key stage. It was hard for us, hard for me especially. The big groups were able to make it back on the descents, so I wasn’t able to finish as well as I would have liked. I was happy to make top 10, but I am a little disappointed with the GC place. It was a good team effort, they helped me a lot and I really appreciate it.