Maikel Zijlaard takes powerful prologue victory at 2024 Tour de Romandie

Maikel Zijlaard has become the first man to take the leaders jersey at the 2024 Tour de Romandie after a very impressive performance in the opening prologue.

The first rider to set a real marker time down was Tudor Pro Cycling Team's Maikel Zijlaard, the Swiss setting a time of 2:55 for the twisty and technical 2.2km course. Notably, Zijlaard had opted to use a road bike rather than a time-trial bike for his effort.

Elsewhere, most of the notable names such as Juan Ayuso (3:01), Lenny Martinez (3:01), Enric Mas (3:00), Aleksandr Vlasov (3:02) and Jan Tratnik (3:01) were all quite tightly packed together in the overall standings, given the short, sharp nature of the course.

Although very few seconds differentiated almost the entire race, Zijlaard still held a comparatively massive gap at the top. The first rider to even go close, was Julian Alaphilippe, clocking a time of 2:57.

Former Tour de Romandie prologue winner Ethan Hayter started his efforts brightly, but the INEOS Grenadiers man pushed it too hard on one corner and with so little room for mistake, was immediately ruled out of stage winning contention.

As rider after riding came towards the finish, Zijlaard's time began to look more and more impressive. Cameron Scott though, looked like he might finally unseat the Swiss before narrowly missing out by around a second. Last down the ramp was Brandon McNulty but the American time-trial champion couldn't pull off the win.

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