In Fribourg start Tuesday, the 72nd edition of the Tour de Romandie (Swi/WorldTour). Just as the Tour of the Alps last week, won by Thibaut Pinot, is this race for many riders a last preparation towards the Giro. The defending champion is Richie Porte, who will have to deal with Primoz Roglic, Geraint Thomas and Jakob Fuglsang as the main perpetrators.
The Tour de Romandie starts with a short prologue of 4 km through the streets of Fribourg. Rohan Dennis and Primoz Roglic can let off steam and the first leader’s jersey. Wait and see is also what Victor Campenaerts can do, though it seems this race is just a little too short for its can. Who knows may be Lars Boom surprise.
In the second stage should already climbing, a ride on 166,6 km, with at the end of Le Around Pré, in 0.8 mile with an average gradient of seven percent. Then it is another 10 km towards the finish line, run for the punchers, who also quickly fall.
The third drive seems to be on paper intended for sprinters. On Friday we had a time trial on the program, a mountain time-trial about 9.9 km away, on average, at 7.9 percent.
The day after follows the queen’s stage with start and arrival in Sion, with on the go, five passes (three first, two of second category). The top of the final climb to Les Collons, 13.3 km at 6.4 percent, is 30 km from the end. Finally, the sprinters may have one last time to put on Sunday, in the stage of Mont-Sur-Rolle to Geneva.
Favorites for the stage win are Richie Porte, second in the final standings of the Tour down Under, and Primoz Roglic, winner of the Tour of the Basque country and with two tijdrittten in Romandie definitely in the advantage. Other contenders are Ion Izaguirre, third in the Basque country and fourth in Paris-Nice, Simon Spilak, overall winner in 2010, Jakob Fuglsang and Geraint Thomas, who is surrounded by a strong team.
Roll of honour last 10 years:
2017: Richie Porte (Aus)
2016: Nairo Quintana (Col)
2015: Ilnur Zakarin (Rus)
2014: Chris Froome (GBr)
2013: Chris Froome (GBr)
2012: Bradley Wiggins (GBr)
2011: Cadel Evans (Aus)
2010: Simon Spilak (Sln)
2009: Roman Kreuziger (Ch)
2008: Andreas Klöden (Ger)