Florian Lipowitz, Richard Carapaz and Carlos Rodríguez on the Queen Stage of the 2024 Tour de Romandie.

Tour de Romandie wrap-up: Carlos Rodríguez takes another step up in Switzerland

Carlos Rodríguez's star continues to rise as the young Spaniard takes the first GC title of his career.

Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) tails Florian Lipowitz (Bora-Hansrgohe) and Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost) on the Queen Stage of the 2024 Tour de Romandie. Photo: © Cor Vos

The 2024 Tour de Romandie was not the most thrilling nor action-packed event of the spring, but it had plenty to offer, with an amusingly short prologue to start, a tricky Queen Stage, and the yellow jersey changing hands daily until the final weekend. Oh, and plenty of weather to contend with.

The contenders for the overall title seemed fairly evenly matched on the few opportunities they had to show themselves, and in the end it was the 23-year-old Spaniard Carlos Rodríguez of Ineos Grenadiers who raced confidently with the support of his team, all the way into the first GC title of his blossoming career.

The peloton during the Tour de Romandie.
You can always count on the views at a Swiss bike race.
Dorian Godon wins a freezing-cold stage 2 of the Tour de Romandie ahead of his teammate Andrea Vendrame.
Job done for Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale on the first very cold road stage: stage win and a day in yellow for Godon, whose lead over third-place finisher Gianni Vermeersch was six seconds thanks in part to Vendrame’s sweeping bonus seconds.
Thibau Nys wins stage 3 of the Tour de Romandie from the breakaway.
Vendrame was less happy with his second consecutive second-place finish, this time behind first-time WorldTour stage winner Thibau Nys, for whom the Tour de Romandie was the first road race of the year. This was one of the few days when the riders could enjoy the touch of the sun’s rays, and Nys certainly made the most of it (somebody get the boy some sun screen!).
Brandon McNulty during the Tour de Romandie time trial.
McNulty had the benefit of a dry run on a good day for UAE Team Emirates – three riders in the top four including new race leader Ayuso.
Carapaz had his work cut out holding off Lipowitz, Bora-Hansgrohe’s best finisher who’d attacked further down the climb and moved up to third overall with second on the stage.
Lipowitz still looked hungry on the final stage, heavily wrapped up to keep the cold and driving rain at bay. Under his team-issue raincoat he was wearing the white jersey of best young rider on the race leader’s behalf.

Stage-by-stage results:

  1. Prologue: Maikel Zijlaard (Tudor Pro Cycling)
  2. Dorian Godon (Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale)
  3. Thibau Nys (Lidl-Trek)
  4. Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates); teammate Juan Ayuso into yellow
  5. Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost); Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) into yellow
  6. Dorian Godon; Rodríguez wins overall

Quotes of the week:

Zijlaard got the event underway in pretty spectacular fashion, posting the best time of the prologue to put Tudor Pro Cycling in the spotlight at the WorldTour stage race.

“It’s crazy – I can’t believe it. I started quite early, and the last two hours have been the worst two hours of my life because of the stress. I wanted this so much for myself and for the team. It’s super nice to show that we are capable of doing stuff like this and it’s a super team … I don’t really have the words. To win here in my first pro victory, for a Swiss team in Switzerland – it’s a bit of a dream.”

Zijlaard said giddily after an agonising couple of hours in the not-so-hot seat of the opening prologue
Maikel Zijlaard during the Tour de Romandie prologue.
The only photograph of Zijlaard on his way to prologue victory does a good job of showing the Dutchman in his element. Interestingly, while a few riders did opt for TT bikes, the entire stage podium raced on regular road frames, Zijlaard’s optimised for the effort with a disc wheel on the rear.

A few days later, the GC contenders took their chance on the Queen Stage, where Carapaz just about overcame a supercharged Lipowitz.

“I took advantage of the work of Ineos Grenadiers, who made the race very hard. Then I made a good attack, which allowed me to stay in front until the finish … Carlos [Rodríguez] and I knew that Lipowitz was the fastest of the three of us, so we had to try from far away. What was also an advantage was that I already knew the finale of this stage. I also did this climb in 2017.”

Carapaz after victory in Leysin, his first WorldTour result since the 2022 Vuelta a España

Brief analysis:

Things we love to see: Egan Bernal 2.0 on the attack. Things we don’t love to see so much: renaissance riders being chased down by their teammates – even when their teammate is the GC heir apparent. Ah well.
Julian Alaphilippe on the attack during the first road stage of the Tour de Romandie.
Alaphilippe looks determined, and there certainly seems to be some form in those legs.

Overall top 10:


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