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Josef Cerny (Soudal-QuickStep) took victory through the slimmest of margins on the Excursion de Romandie prologue in Port-Valais, the Czech time trial specialist environment a time of seven:25 to edge out International Champion Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) through simply 0.29 seconds on the finish of the 6.82km degree.
The Norwegian simply ignored out on his first win within the rainbow bands, his effort concluding a minute of past due drama after Cerny’s teammate Rémi Cavagna crossed the road at 0.97 seconds right down to take 3rd position.
Cerny’s win is his first ever at a WorldTour time trial, and his moment at a WorldTour race after his solo effort in Asti on the 2019 Giro d’Italia. The 29-year-old used to be the one guy to reasonable over 50 kph at the out-and-back route alongside the Rhône River, hanging him into the primary yellow jersey of the race.
“In any case I did somewhat a pleasant prologue, however the consequence used to be in a single moment for 3 guys, so it used to be in reality tight,” Cerny stated after the degree. “I’m tremendous glad that I’m the fortunate one these days and that I will revel in this win.
“I paintings arduous so it’s now not in reality a wonder. However it’s just right groups and just right names beginning right here so I wasn’t in reality the favorite, however I used to be very assured, and I used to be considering that I will be within the best 10 or best 5. Victory is one thing in reality great for me. It used to be in reality fast, in reality painful, however now I’m in reality glad, and I will be able to revel in it.
“I feel it is going to be arduous for a dash [tomorrow], however I feel we will stay [yellow] and we’ll see for the opposite days.”
The way it opened up
Cerny have been within the chief’s scorching seat for nearly an hour by the point the general riders headed down the beginning ramp and onto the route. Because the 107th rider of 154 to take at the prologue, he had few actual demanding situations to his time forward of the general runners.
Ahead of Foss and Cavagna set out, Joel Suter (Tudor Professional Biking) and Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) had run Cerny the nearest, environment instances of seven:30, whilst Matteo Sobrero (Jayco-AlUla) used to be additionally moderately shut at 7:34.
Previous within the day, Ivo Oliveira (UAE Group Emirates) had set the early operating, additionally with a time of seven:34. Nico Denz (Bora-Hansgrohe) used to be the one rider to edge him out ahead of Cerny got here alongside, the German recording a snappy time of seven:29 to finally end up fourth on the finish of the day.
Within the closing gasps of the prologue, Cavagna and Foss sped house, however their efforts fell agonisingly wanting the win, leaving Cerny to revel in an eleventh profession victory.
“It’s all the time painful,” Foss stated of his time trial effort. “I additionally haven’t had the most productive closing weeks, suffering with some worm within the abdomen. It used to be a correct lengthy opener these days. I discovered a just right rhythm and had just right training from the auto. I do know I will all the time compete up there in order that provides motivation. Sadly, I didn’t have that additional proportion.
“It’s by no means great to lose when it’s so shut however I gave my all these days. I’m pleased with that. There’s a time trial later within the week that can swimsuit me higher.”
On the subject of the GC favourites, the standings stay shut after the fast opener. Juan Ayuso (UAE Group Emirates) got here off superb on his season debut following a protracted struggle with a nerve harm in his leg. The younger Spaniard lies thirteenth at 12 seconds down.
Fausto Masnada (Soudal-QuickStep) and Romain Bardet (Group DSM) apply at 3 and 4 seconds additional again, whilst Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) lies at 18 seconds down.
British twins Adam Yates (UAE Group Emirates) and Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla) got here house 19 and 20 seconds down, whilst Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe) is an additional six seconds down.
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