The Classics season is over and there are only seven one-day races left in the 2023 WorldTour as the calendar now goes heavy on stage races and Grand Tours. On Tuesday, the 76th Tour de Romandie kicks off in Switzerland, and Michael Woods, fourth in last Wednesday’s La Fleche Wallonne and 12th in Sunday’s La Doyenne, will take on the five-stage race he led in 2021.
With the Ardennes now finished, it’s stage race time!
We’re ready for Romandie🇨🇭#YallaIPT@TourDeRomandie pic.twitter.com/BVDNPR52z6
— Israel – Premier Tech (@IsraelPremTech) April 24, 2023
That year Woods grabbed the leader’s jersey by winning the penultimate stage atop Thyon 2000. The concluding time trial sifted him down to fifth. Last year Woods was 17th. The three times Woods raced the Tour de Romandie, he also contested the Tour de France.
This year Rusty was a late addition to the Israel-Premier Tech line up for Tirreno-Adriatico, where he placed 20th, following that up with sixth in the Volta a Catalunya.
The GC contenders, like the Yates brothers, are mostly due to race the Tour de France, not the Giro d’Italia, which starts in two weeks. However, there are a few fellows using the Tour de Romandie to get ready for Italy, like Damiano Caruso. Caruso’s Swiss teammate Gino Mäder was last year’s runner-up.
There are two time trials, a pancake flat prologue and a chrono with a profile that looks like an anaconda swallowed a wildebeest. The penultimate day is also the queen stage, with a summit finish on the nasty Thyon 2000, 20.9 km of 7.6 percent.
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