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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

From April 23rd to April 28th the eyes of the cycling world will be fixed on the Canton of Vaud in Western Switzerland, arguably one of the most beautiful areas in Europe, and more specifically the location of the 67th edition of Tour de Romandie stage race.

The Tour de Romandie is a great warm-up for the Grand Tours coming up - especially the Giro d'Italia - and should give us a good idea as to what form some of the big names are coming into the Grand Tour Season with. It is bookended with time trials which would surely have been to the delight of Sir Wiggo, last year's winner, however he is not on the startlist. Given Wiggo's known forte, it would not have been unreasonable to assume that he would be the first, and the last man this year, to wear this attractive jersey:


So Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) has to be seen as a frontrunner to wrest the jersey from Sky's anxious grasp - at least during the Prologue.

Both IAM Cycling and BMC have Swiss connections and are therefore highly motivated to make a good showing here - and will, I suspect feature in a number of breakaways, as neither is coming with a shoe-in for the GC.

AG2R are fielding a strong team here with Gadret, Montaguti and Nocentini as is Astana with Brajkovic, Dyachenko, Gasparotto, Gavazzi and Grivko. Blanco has sent Gesink without much support.

Basso (Cannondale) and Anton (Euskatel-Euskadi) will join the likes of Hesjedal and Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), Brutt, Spilak (who won here in 2010) and Moreno (Katusha), Costa and Valverde (Movistar), Martin and Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Albasini and Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Kreuziger (who won here in 2009) and Zaugg (Saxo Tinkoff), De Gendt and Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) in the effort to deny Froome and Porte of a Sky TdR double, but this Sky tag-team will be formidable.

As this is home turf for him, I expect Albasini will make an attempt at at least one flyer for a stage win.

Sky will be stronger in the mountains than Omega Pharma-Quick Step and I suspect that will be decisive re the final GC podium. I am therfore tipping Froome for the top step with Porte as either number two or three. Valverde will share the podium with the two Sky riders.

Startlist:
Startlist Tour de Romandie 2013 - CyclingFever - The International Cycling Social Network - Get the Cycling fever!

The Stages:
Prologue - 23 April : Le Chable - Bruson ITT, 7.50 km
Stage: 1 - 24 April : Saint-Maurice - Prilly, 176.40 km
Stage: 2 - 25 April : Prilly - Granges, 190.30 km
Stage: 3 - 26 April : Payerne, 181.00 km
Stage: 4 - 27 April : Marly - Les Diablerets, 188.50 km
Stage: 5 - 28 April : Genève ITT, 18.70 km

The Map:

Information and Press:

From 23th to 28th April 2013 - Tour de Romandie 2013

Cavendish Back In Action At The Tour De Romandie | Cyclingnews.com

Morabito At Tour De Romandie Free From Domestique Duties | Cyclingnews.com

View attachment 279471
The Canton of Valais​

The Prologue: Le Chable - Bruson ITT, 7.50 km

A challenging uphill test, in the south-western Canton of Valais, this will be yet another day in the sun for World Time Trail Champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quiskstep) and will see him slide on the yellow jersey of race leader. But it will be more interesting to watch the time-splits of the other contenders - in my book this means Chris Froome, Richie Porte and Alejandro Valverde.

The Prologue Profile:


and The Prologue Map:

 

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Where's that GPS?
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Prologue - Results

Le Chable - Bruson ITT, 7.50 km

Seems Tony Martin's (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) injury is worse than I thought. He only managed a 16th place today.

Chris Froome (Sky) jumps to an early lead by winning the ITT today.

Will he be able to wear the Yellow-and-Green jersey all the way to Geneva? I think his chances are good...but early days yet.

Current Top Ten on GC:
1) Christopher Froome (Sky) 0:13:15
2) Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) 0:00:06
3) Robert Kiserlovski (RadioShack-Leopard Trek) 0:00:13
4) Richie Porte (Sky) 0:00:15
5) Rui Costa (Movistar) 0:00:16
6) Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) 0:00:17
7) Stef Clement (Blanco)
8) Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
9) Thomas Danielson (Garmin-Sharp)
10) Wilco Kelderman (Blanco) 0:00:18

I'm likeing this top ten - looks like we'll have an exciting and closely fought race here.

Tour De Romandie 2013: Prologue Results | Cyclingnews.com

Froome: I'm 100 Percent The Leader For The Tour De France | Cyclingnews.com

Cavendish Climbing Into Form At Romandie Ahead Of Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

View attachment 279550
The Canton of Vaud​

Stage One: Saint-Maurice - Prilly, 176.40 km

Stage One takes us into the Canton of Vaud, where most of the remainder of this drama will play-out.

From Saint-Maurice the riders will summit two Catagory 3 bergs, first the Chatel-St-Denis and then the Martherenges, before reaching the foot of the Catagory 2 Col du Mollendruz.

The top contenders will heavily mark eachother I suspect so a breakaway artist might get the better of them if they don't push it too hard. Past experiance tells us that Sky will set a killer pace up the Col in order to avoid any messyness like that and someone will have to jump them towards the end - on the long descent into Prilly, to take the stage win and perhaps precious seconds on Chris Froome - someone like Valverde perhaps?

Stage One Profile:


Stage One Map:
 

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Where's that GPS?
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Stage One - Results

Saint-Maurice - Prilly, 176.40 km

Gianni Meersman of Omega Pharma-Quick Step continued his excellent Spring campaign by winning Stage One of the Tour de Romandie in a sprint - leaving Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard Trek) and Roberto Ferrari (Lampre-Merida) to fight for second and third respectivly. This stage produced no changes in the top ten of the overall GC and Froomie can start feeling more comfy in his Yellow-and-Green leader's jersey. As could be expected, both IAM Cycling and BMC had their moments in the sun. Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling) featured in a breakaway during the descent of the Col du Mollendruz and Marcus Burghardt (BMC) led the peloton into the sprint finish in the last km.

Tour De Romandie 2013: Stage 1 Results | Cyclingnews.com


Stage Two: Prilly - Granges, 190.30 km

This stage starts in Prilly in the Northwestern suburbs of Lausanne, then continues along or near the coast of the beautiful Lac du Neuchatel and then doubles back after the final climb to end in Grenchen. The parcours features an uncatagorized climb from Bole to Rochefort, a Catagory 2 climb to the top of the Chaumont followed by a tough Catagory 3 climb to the crest in Plegne - then a swift descent and a long run-in to Granges should allow the sprinters another shot of glory - if they survive the Plegne.


Stage Two Profile:

Stage Two Map:
 

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Where's that GPS?
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Stage Two - Results

Prilly - Granges 190.3km

Lithuanian Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) was able to pip both
Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) to take the stage victory. Chris Froome (Sky), with the main peloton, followed together soon after and Froome easily retains the leader's jersey going into Stage Three starting and ending in Payerne.

Tour De Romandie 2013: Stage 2 Results | Cyclingnews.com


Stage Three: Payerne, 181.00 km

Essentially three looping tours of the Payerne area South-East of Lac du Neuchatel and about equidistant from the cities of Lausanne and Bern. The town of Payerne serves as the hub for each of the three loops so spectators there will see a lot of the cyclists throughout the stage. The profile features two Catagory 3 and two Catagory 2 climbs. At the end of the last catagorized climb it remains bumpy but there is enough roadage for some of the sprinters to rejoin the front of the peloton and take a shot at another stage win. I don't foresee any major changes to the GC as a result of the difficulty of this stage - Chris Froome should have no problem maintaining his lead.

Stage Three Profile:

Stage Three Map:
 

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Where's that GPS?
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Stage Three - Results - Spoiler Warning

Payerne, 181.00 km

Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) makes it two as he won his second stage of this year's Tour de Romandie in Payerne, beating out Francesco Gavazzi (Astana) and Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) in the process. Christopher Froome maintained his 6 second lead over rival Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) and retains the Yellow-and-Green jersey for now - but perhaps he is looking over his shoulder at Meersman and wondering?

Current Top Ten on GC:
1) Christopher Froome (Sky) 13:53:16
2) Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) 0:00:06
3) Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) 0:00:09
4) Robert Kiserlovski (RadioShack Leopard Trek) 0:00:13
5) Richie Porte (Sky) 0:00:15
6) Rui Costa (Movistar) 0:00:16
7) Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) 0:00:17
8) Stef Clement (Blanco)
9) Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
10) Thomas Danielson (Garmin-Sharp)

Tour De Romandie 2013: Stage 3 Results | Cyclingnews.com

Hesjedal Abandons Romandie With Focus On Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

View attachment 279747
This is what Les Mosses looked like last time I was there,
I suspect the riders will have a greener view.​

Stage Four: Marly - Les Diablerets, 188.50 km
The riders will face four Catagory 1 climbs during tomorrow's stage in the Alpes Vaudoises; once to Les Mosses and once up to the Pas de Morgins as well as two ascents of the Col de la Croix before a blazing downhill finish in Les Diablerets.
Meersman has so far finished First, Second and First in each stage since the Prologue. Things could get interesting real quick.

Some factoids:
1) The Col de Les Mosses has been featured in the Tour de France.
2) Aigle - the home of UCI Headquarters is only a cowbell throw away.

Stage Four Profile:

Stage Four Map:
 

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It is good to see Meersman winning stages. Makes me wonder why Cav has missed to sprint finishes that his team mate has won. He finished 18 seconds down today. Not seeing the stage, I have to assume he was too far back from a climb to make the front group at the finish.
 

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This is from his twitter account today.
Whew, I was in a bit of a panic that he may have crashed. I knew he had no intentions of trying to win, but just to exercise his legs to get them ready for the Giro.

I must get twitter and start following him. Will have to ask my daughter for some twitter lessons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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