Tour de Romandie: Chris Froome & Nairo Quintana in action
Stage-by-stage guide to the six-day Swiss race
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 01/05/16 6:13pm
Chris Froome will renew his rivalry with Nairo Quintana at the six-day Tour de Romandie in Switzerland from Tuesday, April 26, to Sunday, May 1.
Froome is hoping to win the race for the third time in four years but will need to show an improvement on last month's Volta a Catalunya, when he could only finish eighth.
Quintana won in Catalunya and is chasing a first Romandie title, but it is not just a two-rider race, because Richie Porte, Tejay van Garderen, Thibaut Pinot, Simon Spilak and defending champion Ilnur Zakarin are all also taking part.
The race is made up of two times trials, two summit finishes and two rolling stages.
Here is everything you need to know…
Prologue: Tuesday, April 26 - La Chaux-de-Fonds to La Chaux-de-Fonds - 3.95km
Winner: Ion Izagirre (Movistar). Race leader: Ion Izagirre (Movistar).
Stage 1: Wednesday, April 27 - La Chaux-de-Fonds to Moudon - 166.9km
Winner: Marcel Kittel (Etixx - Quick-Step). Race leader: Ion Izagirre (Movistar).
Stage 2: Thursday, April 28 - Moudon to Morgins - 173.9km
Winner: Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Race leader: Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Stage 3: Friday, April 29 - Sion to Sion - 15.11km individual time trial
Winner: Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr). Race leader: Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Stage 4: Saturday, April 30 - Conthey to Villars-sur-Ollon - 173.2km
Winner: Chris Froome (Team Sky). Race leader: Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Stage 5: Sunday, May 1 - Ollon to Geneva - 172km
Winner: Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge). Race leader: Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Stage four. The summit finish at Villas-sur-Ollon is the toughest of the two mountain stages and could create decisive gaps between the contenders.
Chris Froome (Team Sky)
Froome is a two-time winner of the Tour de Romandie and finished third last year, so he is usually in good form at this race. However, he was off the pace at last month's Volta a Catalunya so will need to have made up ground on his rivals over the past few weeks in training if he is to challenge for a third win.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
Quintana won the Volta a Catalunya but then struggled slightly on the steep climbs of the Tour of the Basque Country earlier this month. His form, however, should be good and it will be a surprise if he is not challenging for victory. He has raced the Tour de Romandie only once before, finishing eighth last year.
Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha)
The 26-year-old Russian sprang a major surprise by winning last year's race and is expected to put up a stern defence of his title. He is as comfortable on mountain stages as he is in time trials, so the course appears to suit him perfectly. The Tour de Romandie is his last warm-up race for next month's Giro d'Italia.
Simon Spilak (Katusha)
The 29-year-old Slovenian seems to love this race, winning in 2010 and finishing second in all of the past three years, twice to Froome and once to team-mate Zakarin. He is a strong all-rounder and is almost certain to be challenging again this year as a co-leader of Katusha with Zakarin.
Richie Porte (BMC Racing)
Porte has enjoyed a strong season so far, finishing in the top five of three stage races and on the podium in two of them. The challenge now is to upgrade those results to a win and the Romandie course appears to be an ideal place given that he climbs and time trials well. Key to his chances will be whether he is strong enough to attack and drop the likes of Froome and Quintana on the summit finishes.
- Adam Blythe (Tinkoff)/
- Chris Froome (Team Sky).
- Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).
- Alex Peters (Team Sky).
- Ian Stannard (Team Sky).
- Ben Swift (Team Sky).
- Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).
- Yellow: General classification.
- Green: Sprints classification.
- Pink: King of the mountains.
- White: Best young rider.
- 10, 6 and 4 bonus seconds will be awarded to the first three finishers on each stage.
- 3, 2 and 1 second will be awarded to the first three riders over the line at intermediate sprints.
2015: Ilnur Zakarin (Rus).
2014: Chris Froome (GB).
2013: Chris Froome (GB).
2012: Bradley Wiggins (GB).
2011: Cadel Evans (Aus).
2010: Simon Spilak (Slo).
2009: Roman Kreuziger (Cze).
2008: Andreas Kloden (Ger).
2007: Thomas Dekker (Ned).
2006: Cadel Evans (Aus).
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