Carlos Rodríguez snatches the leadership of the Tour de Romandie from Juan Ayuso


The Ecuadorian cyclist Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost) won this Saturday the fourth stage of the Tour de Romandie, held over 151.7 mountainous kilometers between Saillon and Leysin, while the Spanish Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) gave way to his compatriot Carlos Rodríguez (INEOS Grenadiers) the lead in the general classification.

The first escape was attempted after 20 km of the day, with a group of three cyclists made up of the Spanish Raúl García Pierna (Arkéa-B&B Hotels), the Portuguese Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team) and the Dutch Bart Lemmen (Team Visma-Lease to Bike).

They took a 20-second lead over the peloton after completing the Aproz sprint and, later, the German Juri Hollman (Alpecin-Deceuninck), the Czech Josef Cerny (Soudal Quick-Step) and the Frenchman Dorian Godon ( Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale).

The Swiss Alexandre Balmer (Jayco AlUla) was also encouraged, trapped by the peloton along with the other escapees, who had enjoyed three and a half minutes of distance. He led Lemmen for another rally, which actually boosted the chances of Frenchman Clément Berthet (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) to attack with 52 km to go.

Berthet, with a much faster pace on his bicycle, was the protagonist of the great escape and was left alone for what seemed to be his triumph. However, INEOS Grenadiers pushed hard to neutralize the stage leader with only 5.4 km left to go.

With 3.3 km to go, the German Florian Lipowitz (BORA-hansgrohe) attacked and performed a stretch with Richard Carapaz and Carlos Rodríguez. Juan Ayuso then suffered, and immediately ‘came down with the flu’; With 2.1 km to go, Carapaz made a lunge and headed hard towards the last slope.

Lipowitz overtook Rodríguez in the last 500 meters and sought to hunt down the Ecuadorian, who despite everything held on agonizingly to cross the finish line in a final time of 4:06:03. Thanks to his third position, 10 seconds behind the winner of the day and with a bonus included, Rodríguez (12:22:46) took the lead from Ayuso who is now fifth (+00:27).