[Article was written before the start of the Tour de Romandie and has not been updated.]
Remarkably, no regular stage in the Tour de Romandie has a summit finish. The only race with a climb for dessert is the individual time trial on the fourth day of action. And basically, this is an appetizer, main course and dessert all in one. The route goes uphill from start to finish – 9.9 kilometres at almost 8%. With some imagination one could argue the prologue is another summit finish as the route kicks up at more than 10% just before the line.
Supposedly, the GC is done and dusted after the 4th stage. At almost 150 kilometres, the route takes in five intermediate climbs while the altitude gain amounts to 3,584 vertical metres. The race ends with a long descent and the last few kilometres are on the flat.
Still active riders who have won the Tour de Romandie are Richie Porte (2017), Nairo Quintana (2016), Ilnur Zakarin (2016), Chris Froome (2013, 2014), Simon Spilak (2010) and Roman Kreuziger (2009). Only Porte and Spilak will be lined-up at the start of the 2018 edition.
ITT specialist Primoz Roglic is a contender who is on a roll at the moment. The Slovenian recently won the Tour of the Basque Country and in the Tirreno-Adriatico he showed fine form but was thrown back by a mechanical issue in the Queen Stage. Geraint Thomas met the same kind of problem in that race.
In theory, the route of the Tour de Romandie should suit Richie Porte, but – except for a stage victory in the Tour Down Under – his 2018 performances have been ruined by illness. He made a comeback in the Basque Country, but that came too early.
Favourites Tour de Romandie 2018
***** Primoz Roglic, Geraint Thomas, Ion Izagirre
**** Richie Porte, Steven Kruijswijk, Egan Bernal
*** Simon Spilak, Daniel Martin, Jakob Fuglsang
** Gorka Izagirre, Emanuel Buchmann, David Gaudu, Pierre Latour
* Rui Costa, Andrey Amador, Tejay van Garderen, Rohan Dennis
Tour de Romandie 2018: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Stage 4: Ovronnaz climb
Stage 4: Vercorin climb
Stage 4: Les Collons climb
Fribourg and Genève at Google Maps