CYCLING Preview: Tour de France champ Thomas warms up in 73rd Tour de Romandie

2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas (GBR) (Photo by Hobele via Wikipedia)

The Tour de Romandie in western Switzerland is mostly about the area’s mountains and has made it a favored race in advance of the Tour de France. Four winners of this race have gone on to win the Tour de France in the same season, as late as 2013 (Britain’s Chris Froome), so it attracts some special attention from fans. The stages:

● 30 Apr.: Prologue (3.9 km): Neuchatel (flat)
● 01 May: Stage 1 (168.4 km): Neuchâtel to La Chaux-de-Fonds (mountains)
● 02 May: Stage 2 (174.4 km): Le Locle to Morges (mountains)
● 03 May: Stage 3 (160.0 km): Romont to Romont (hilly
● 04 May: Stage 4 (176.0 km): Lucens to Torgon (mountains)
● 05 May: Stage 5 (16.9 km Time Trial): Geneva (flat)

The entries include three former winners and five former medalists:

● Simon Spilak (SLO) ~ Winner in 2010
● Primoz Roglic (SLO) ~ Winner in 2018; second in 2013-14-15; third in 2017
● Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) ~ Winner in 2015
● Tony Martin (GER) ~ Second in 2011
● Rui Costa (POR) ~ Third in 2012-13-14

Among the starters is Swiss Michael Albasini, who ranks third all-time for the number stage wins at the Romandie with seven.

And the reigning Tour de France champ, Geraint Thomas (GBR), is in the race as well, in a test of fitness. He has had a quiet 2019 season thus far, with a best of 12th in the Strade Bianche in March. He will be closely watched this week.

Look for results here.