PIC: Rabobank Just as Predictor-Lotto’s Chris Horner predicted after Saturday’s wet stage, 22-year-old Thomas Dekker (Rabobank) won the final time trial to become the 2007 Tour de Romandie champion. Dekker, much like last year’s overall winner Cadel Evans (Predictor – Lotto), pulled final victory out of the hat by taking the final time trial, thereby leapfrogging over his breakaway companions from Saturday’s disappointing results (for Dekker). And as predicted, Horner ended up fifth overall, despite a leader’s jersey-inspired time trial for seventh on the day, two seconds faster than TT specialist and fellow American David Zabriskie (Team CSC). Dekker finished the 20.4km course around Lausanne in 26 minutes and 36 seconds. The young Dutchman went into the final stage not quite as confident as Horner, but then again, Horner knows a good thing when he sees it, which he did in Dekker during the wet and mountainous stage Saturday. “I’m happy but surprised, as this wasn’t on my program,” Dekker said. “The time trial is my specialty. I thought I’d make the podium but not necessarily as the winner.” Paolo Savoldelli (Astana), just five seconds slower than Dekker Sunday, moved into second overall, just 11 seconds back. Teammate Andrey Kashechkin, third on the day at 12 seconds off Dekker’s pace, finished third overall at 34 seconds. The overall victory was Dekker’s 13th since turning professional in 2005. At just 22, he is the youngest rider to win here since his countryman Johan Van Der Velde in 1978. Dekker will be aiming for the young rider’s jersey during the Tour de France after a short break from racing. Tour de Romandie Stage 5: Lausanne Time Trail (20.4km) Stage 5 results 1 Thomas Dekker (Ned, Rabobank) 26.36.24 2 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita, Astana) 00:00:05 3 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz, Astana) 00:00:12 4 Cadel Evans (Aus, Predictor – Lotto) 00:00:23 5 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita, Astana) 00:00:46 6 Roman Kreuziger (Cze, Liquigas) 00:00:52 7 Chris Horner (USA, Predictor – Lotto) 00:00:55 8 David Zabriskie (USA, Team CSC) 00:00:57 9 Sandy Casar (Fra, Franaise des Jeux) 00:01:01 10 Janez Brajkovic (Slo, Discovery Channel) 00:01:05 Final general classification 1 Thomas Dekker (Ned, Rabobank) 17:2:.02 2 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita, Astana) 00:00:11 3 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz, Astana) 00:00:34 4 Cadel Evans (Aus, Predictor – Lotto) 00:00:43 5 Chris Horner (USA, Predictor – Lotto) 00:00:46 6 Roman Kreuziger (Cze, Liquigas) 00:01:35 7 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa, Euskaltel – Euskadi) 00:01:51 8 Andy Schleck (Lux, Team CSC) 00:01:53 9 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol, Lampre – Fondital) 00:01:55 10 Janez Brajkovic (Slo, Discovery Channel) 00:02:00 Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.
Pure, raw strength enabled Rabobank’s young Dutchman Thomas Dekker to win the 2007 Tour de Romandie,