After Max Poole secured his first WorldTour top ten finish at the individual time trial on Friday, he and the team aimed to improve on that result. After a massive team effort on Saturday, the young Brit and Team DSM fought to a well-deserved fourth place atop the Thyon 2000 climb in the Queen Stage of Tour de Romandie.
The race started nervously with several attacks in the opening 20 kilometres. Marco Brenner made it into a big group of leaders, however, they were caught soon. Right after that, a group of nine riders attempted a breakaway, which kept away for several hours. Our guys looked after each other in the bunch very well. After taking on Category One mountains of Anzère and Suen, the team faced a 20.9 kilometre monster summit finish atop the Thyon 2000 with it’s over seven and a half percent average gradient.
The pace went up right from the bottom with Romain Bardet, Max Poole and Oscar Onley looking strong there for Team DSM. Hence, it did not take long before the break was caught. Then a heated final started with Onley setting the pace whereafter the group exploded. Into the last seven kilometres Bardet attempted several attacks, but unfortunately was not allowed to go for a solo by the rest of the group; which thinned down even further. Poole showed some brilliant racing and kept up in the chasing group of four behind leader Yates. Pushing it all the way to the line, he managed to defeat two others in the group and finish in a great fourth place, with Bardet in seventh.
It’s a result that leaves Team DSM with two riders in the top ten on GC, with Poole and Bardet in the same places overall as their stage placings today, ahead of Sunday’s final stage.