With the end of the Ardennes, there is a distinct shift from one-day racing to stage racing. Yes, we’ve raced Basque and Catalunya, Trentino and Tirreno, Paris-Nice, but with the first Grand Tour of the season looming, this part of the season takes on a different feel.
Enter Tour de Romandie. Rigoberto Uran headlines Cannondale-Drapac’s diverse squad for the six-day Swiss tour.
“We will know more about our GC ambitions after the first road stage,” said sport director Charly Wegelius. “We will define our strategy going forward from there.”
Tour de Romandie beings with a prologue in Aigle on Tuesday. The 4.8-kilometre effort has a mid-route rise and several technical corners. The opening stage is followed by a road stage that concludes with a summit finish into Champery. The 14.4-kilometre category one finale will provide an early sorting of the first overall contenders.
“It’s true that the GC will be defined by the end of day two,” said Wegelius. “While this can open up the race for breakaways, there are often many strong teams still with interests in controlling the race.”
On paper, stage two looks like a potential stage for the breakaway, stage three for the sprinters and stage four for the climbers. The race concludes with a final stage individual time trial in Lausanne.
“The terrain in Romandie is without a doubt challenging, and the spring weather can also make it extremely hard,” said Wegelius. “The race brings together a mix of GC riders, Ardennes specialists, and riders ramping up for the Giro, which raises the level very high.”
Tour de Romandie will be broadcast on Eurosport, Sporza SF Zwei and RTS Sport.
Cannondale-Drapac for 2017 Tour de Romandie:
Nate Brown (USA)
Brendan Canty (AUS)
Simon Clarke (AUS)
Will Clarke (AUS)
Kristijan Koren (SVN)
Toms Skujins (LVA)
Rigoberto Uran (COL)
Wouter Wippter (NDL)