The German climbed with the best on the race's first uphill finish and moved to second place in the general classification.
Stage 1 of the Tour de Romandie took the riders over a distance of 173.4 kilometers from Aigle, where the race kicked off with a prologue, to Champéry, a 14.4km-long climb averaging 4.4%. Six riders jumped in a breakaway from the gun and opened a gap of nearly ten minutes, before the peloton started to gradually take back time and reel in the escapees on the last ascent of the day, which many knew from the 2013 edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné.
On Champery, it rained with attacks which strung out the pack, and Quick-Step Floors' David De La Cruz responded each time, covering all these moves and keeping the bunch together. For his efforts, the Spaniard was rewarded with a top 10 on the day, as he crossed the line in eighth position, same time as winner Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott).
Another Quick-Step Floor rider – Maximilian Schachmann – impressed with the way he climbed on this rainy and foggy day, which he finished in 14th place, despite the aggressive pace of the bunch. As a result, the 23-year-old Klein Constantia alumni, who in 2016 posted strong results in both individual time trials and hard stage races, enjoyed the best day since starting his pro career, which saw him pull on the white jersey on the podium, for leading the youth rankings.
Following this first mountain summit of the Tour de Romandie, Max moved up to second place overall, with teammate Bob Jungels not far behind, in sixth, after making a significant jump on Wednesday afternoon.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele