Thomas, Roglic and Sanchez headline Tour de Romandie
Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and defending champion Primoz Roglic and Luis León Sánchez headline this week's Tour de Romandie
Rui Costa, Tony Martin, no doubt will duel with Stephan Küng in the final time-trial in Geneva. Also tipped for a fast time are David Gaudu, Michael Woods, Simon Spilak, Ilnur Zakharin and Remco Evenepoel.
Andrey Amador, Sonny Colbrelli, Domenico Pozzovivo, Eros Capecchi and sprinters Viviani and Sam Benett with battle it out for the stage 2 sprint finish.
Could Geraint Thomas, who led for one day in yellow in 2012 after his victory in the prologue, win the doublé TdR-Tour de France this year?
The title winner, Primoz Roglic, who went on to have a fantastic Tour de France (4th) and has already won this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico, could well do it again. In terms of a new revelation, young Belgian Remco Evenepoel confirms his nickname as the “new Merckx”. This TdR will be the first major test on a stage race for the 2018 double junior world champion.
Thomas de Gendt, who won the stage ending in Yverdon alone and ahead of the pack last year and was the best climber, will be among the leaders and he just won a stage and the jersey for the general climbers classification in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.
The Tour de Romandie starts this Tuesday and finishes on Sunday. The mountainous 6-day race in the French-speaking part of Switzerland includes two chrono races, while the Queen Stages serves an altitude gain of almost 3,500 metres.
The race kicks off with a 3.9 kilometres prologue through Neuchâtel. The parcours is flat for the most part. Tony Martin, Primoz Roglic, and Geraint Thomas all line up as potential suitors for the race’s first leader’s jersey.
Stage 1 from Neuchâtel to La Chaux de Fonds, with its 2,700 metres of climbing, will almost certainly prove too testing for the pure sprinters who have ventured to Romandie. Yet, a sprint is not to be ruled out. Resilient all-rounders who can excel at climbing and sprinting from a small group are the likely candidates. Last year’s 1st stage was won by Omar Fraile ahead of Sonny Colbrelli after a similar stage.
La Locle and Morges are the start and finish place of the 2nd stage. The 173 kilometres test contains 1,819 metres of climbing, but a bunch sprint is a viable scenario as the last climb is crested with 30 remaining. Then again, Thomas De Gendt is riding the Tour de Romandie…
The Tour de Romandie serves another lumpy route in stage 3. The out-and-back race in Romont finishes on an incline, so the punchy type of riders will be eyeing up this one.
The Queen Stage starts in Lucens and finishes in Torgon. The race comprises five major classified climbs and almost 3,500 metres of ascents. The four toughest climbs all come inside the last 100 kilometres, while the final haul up to the line is 13 kilometres at 6%.
Just like two years ago, the ITT at the Tour de Romandie comes on the final day in Geneva. That stage was won by Primoz Roglic ahead of Richie Porte, who sealed his overall victory. Yet, the route of this time trial is not as hilly, though it is far from flat either.
2019 Tour de Romandie Stages
Prologue: Neuchâtel to Neuchâtel, 3.9km
Stage one: Neuchâtel to La Chaux-de-Fonds, 168.4km
Stage two: La Locle to Morges, 174.4km
Stage three: Romont to Romont, 160km
Stage four: Lucens to Torgon, 176km
Stage five: Genève to Genève, 16.8