Cycling News

Prologues don’t come much shorter than the Tour de Romandie opener

Prologues don't come much shorter than the Tour de Romandie opener

The Tour de Romandie is known for its brief prologues, but on Tuesday it came close to a record in brevity. Its shortest length since 2008, riders tackled 2.28 kilometers in Payerne, Switzerland on regular bikes to kick off the 77th edition. Tudor’s Maikel Zijlaard was the surprise winner, pulling on the first gold leader’s jersey.

In 2008, the length was 1.9 km in Geneva, the winner was Marc Cavendish with 2:07 and the overall victor five days later was Andreas Klöden.

Juan Ayuso came in as all-around favourite after his Itzulia Basque Country title and runner-up spot in Tirreno-Adriatico. He was also runner-up in last year’s Tour de Suisse and has a third and fourth in his first two Grand Tours. Now the best Spanish stage racer, he currently has the fourth-best Tour de France betting odds. He wasn’t in Tuesday’s top 25.

Ayuso, here at Tirreno-Adriatico, has had a fine 2024 so far.

There were a lot of narrow turns and curves in those 2.28 kilometres, so it wasn’t particularly suited to the big engine chaps and made the GC men cautious. Maikel Zijlaard of Swiss ProTeam Tudor posted the best time of 2:55.43, but Julian Alaphilippe came very close with 2:57.74. Rain later in the day inhibited hard charging.

Loulou had a heck of a run.

The 77th Tour de Romandie is the last WorldTour stage race before the Giro d’Italia, which starts on May 4. Most Romandie GC men were tapped for the Tour de France instead, but riders like Giulio Ciccone, Damiano Caruso and Eddie Dunbar are racing both Romandie and the Giro.

Wednesday’s course has six categorized climbs for the breakaway to scrap over, but it should come down to a reduced bunch sprint.

2024 Tour de Romandie Prologue
1) Maikel Zijlaard (Switzerland/Tudor) 2:55
2) Cameron Scott (Australia/Bahrain-Victorious) +0:01
3) Julian Alaphilippe (France/Soudal-Quick Step) +0:02

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…