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2019 Tour de Romandie 30 April - 5 May

Tuesday's opening prologue - a 3.87 km ITT (yes, that's 3km 870 m) around Neuchâtel. Or a trip to the shops as we would say. Estimated 5 minute work out for the pros.

First man off at 14.59 CET and there's a time check at approx 1.5 km TV from 16.00 CET

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People need to calm down when it comes to Remco in this race, you can't expect him to finish top 10 against such a strong field. That would be a surprise, he's also too much of a diesel to go for time bonifications on the hilly stages or the MTF.
 
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Mayomaniac said:
People need to calm down when it comes to Remco in this race, you can't expect him to finish top 10 against such a strong field. That would be a surprise, he's also too much of a diesel to go for time bonifications on the hilly stages or the MTF.
Where do you see posts about Remco's top10? I can't find any. Anyway the field isn't that strong for a WT race to be honest. You have Roglič who comes straight from altitude training and thinking about the Giro, Thomas who should be far from 100%, Kruijswijk who is maybe the No1 favourite all things considered, Buchmann, Zakarin, Gaudu, Costa, Woods and some 3rd tier GC riders. I'm not sure Pogačar is riding. If he is, he is a candidate for top5 or maybe even a podium. There is also Špilak but he's been terrible in the last year or so. So a top15 should be a reasonable goal for Remco.
 
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Robert5091 said:
I'm looking forward to Remco doing stage 5's ITT. Otherwise he's here to learn and carry bottles.
Yes, it's a good learning experience for him, but i think that he'll have a free role on all of the harder stages.
He got beaten by Kudus, Großschartner and Conti in Turkey, so many of the so called 3rd rate gc riders could end uo outclimbing him at this stage of his career.
It should be a learning experience for him and people shouldn't be too harsh.
Dani Martinez could finish top 3 in this one.
 
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Mayomaniac said:
People need to calm down when it comes to Remco in this race, you can't expect him to finish top 10 against such a strong field.
Not that I expect some fireworks from Remco, but this field doesn't feel really strong as for a WT race.

Looking at the startlist, it looks like only BORA, Groupama, EF, Jumbo, Katusha, Sky, Wanty and maybe CCC are treating this race somewhat seriously this year. Most of the rest would have a hard time to bring a weaker roster than they actually do. It's a shame because several years ago this race seemed to have good startlists as both many Giro guys and TdF guys were using this as a prep race.

It seems like all April stage races have had a rather sub-par starting list this season, including Romandie, Itzulia and Tour of the Alps. Many of the top climbers like Lopez, Dumoulin, Simon Yates and even Valverde are not doing a single one of these. Is this a new trend to skip all stage races in April alltogether in order to prepare for the Giro? I seem to remember not so long ago that most of the Giro guys would do either Romandie or Trentino (and Hesjedal even did both one year) but now it's not the case.
 
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Anderis said:
Mayomaniac said:
People need to calm down when it comes to Remco in this race, you can't expect him to finish top 10 against such a strong field.
Not that I expect some fireworks from Remco, but this field doesn't feel really strong as for a WT race.

Looking at the startlist, it looks like only BORA, Groupama, EF, Jumbo, Katusha, Sky, Wanty and maybe CCC are treating this race somewhat seriously this year. Most of the rest would have a hard time to bring a weaker roster than they actually do. It's a shame because several years ago this race seemed to have good startlists as both many Giro guys and TdF guys were using this as a prep race.

It seems like all April stage races have had a rather sub-par starting list this season, including Romandie, Itzulia and Tour of the Alps. Many of the top climbers like Lopez, Dumoulin and Simon Yates are not doing a single one of these. Is this a new trend to skip all stage races in April alltogether in order to prepare for the Giro? I seem to remember not so long ago that most of the Giro guys would do either Romandie or Trentino (and Hesjedal even did both one year) but now it's not the case.
Many of the Giro contenders have raced a lot and it's a Giro that starts a week later and has a rather easy first half, so they probably want to avoid peaking to early just to fade at the crucial part of the Giro.
 
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johnymax said:
Pogačar is not riding in the end. Wise decision, it'd be too much racing for the young rider. Prepare well for California and aim to the top.
Yep, sounds like a very sensible decision.

Speaking of young riders, Mark Padun was on the provisional startlist but he's now officially out. Do we have further info on his knee injury? It's been a rough spring for him in what I thought would be a breakout year.
 
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Robert5091 said:
I'm looking forward to Remco doing stage 5's ITT. Otherwise he's here to learn and carry bottles.
Trust me that Remco is not here to carry bottles. This is his first GC test (as stated by himself and Lefevre). Which doesn't mean he is expected to attack or is expected to finish high in GC. But he certainly isn't here to carry bottles.

Mayomaniac said:
Robert5091 said:
I'm looking forward to Remco doing stage 5's ITT. Otherwise he's here to learn and carry bottles.
Yes, it's a good learning experience for him, but i think that he'll have a free role on all of the harder stages.
He got beaten by Kudus, Großschartner and Conti in Turkey, so many of the so called 3rd rate gc riders could end uo outclimbing him at this stage of his career.
It should be a learning experience for him and people shouldn't be too harsh.
Dani Martinez could finish top 3 in this one.
"He got beat by Kudus..."

Did you even watch the stage? First of all, it was ONE long climb which decided the stage and the GC. It was a hard 16k climb where he attacked solo and set the pace in the chase after he was caught. Second, he got beat by less than 20 seconds on that climb (16s to Grossschartner, 7 to Conti & Kudus). And the only reason he got beaten, is because he wanted to test himself, not because he thought it was a smart move to attack that early. He's already stated that he will not be attacking in Romandie, but just try to follow and ride his own pace if needed.

Also, there was no ITT in Turkey. Had there been an ITT, he would always have been on the podium, possibly the top spot (though Grossschartners boniseconds would make that more difficult, but had there been an ITT he might have felt less compelled to place the attack on the climb).

Unless he completely colapses somewhere, crashes or has 10 mechanicals in the ITT, there is literally no way he will get beaten by third tier GC guys for GC. Since he has always been very consistent, i expect him to be consistent here as well, and i think it's unlikely over the course of 1 week, that many of those guys will finish ahead of him.

I fully expect him to finish top 15. I think he has a very good chance to finish in the top 10.

johnymax said:
Pogačar is not riding in the end. Wise decision, it'd be too much racing for the young rider. Prepare well for California and aim to the top.
Luckily common sense has prevailed. Coming out of the ardennes, and having to ride California next, it would be insane to make him ride here as well. He's only 16 months older than Evenepoel.
 
I was not trying to disrespect him, I just think that there is a decent amount of riders on the startlist that is on a higher level than those guy, with all the respect for them and young Remco. It will be interesting to see him in an itt against strong opponents on a proper tt bike, he' probably still a bit raw when it comes to his position on a tt bike.
 
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Mayomaniac said:
I was not trying to disrespect him, I just think that there is a decent amount of riders on the startlist that is on a higher level than those guy, with all the respect for them and young Remco. It will be interesting to see him in an itt against strong opponents on a proper tt bike, he' probably still a bit raw when it comes to his position on a tt bike.
I didn't mean to bite you head off, sorry if it came across that way. I just don't think that you should take Turkey as a reference of how those guys could beat him. Circumstances were not in his favor. First of all, he is not a samba climber, he's a tempo climber. You can always outclimb a tempo climber if you have a better jump. However, he will always minimize the difference and not lose a lot of time in the end. He would have been better off if this was not just one climb in one stage, but if there were two stages with two or three climbs in them. There was no ITT, which means, if he wanted to be on the podium, he needed to gap those guys on that one climb. Had there been an ITT, he could have played the waiting game on the climb, because he would have taken, or would take them on the ITT. And without those wasted efforts on the attack, i doubt they would have dropped him.

Look at his climb in UAE tour, before he crashed out. He dropped fairly early on the climb, in an even more elite field than Romandie. However, he finished within 1 minute of winner Valverde, only 12 seconds behind Dumoulin and ahead of Schachmann, Sivakov, Lambrecht, Nibali...

His ITT position might not be perfect, but he loves riding it, and i haven't seen any real issues with his position on the bike. I have seen him make some janky manouvres, trying to evade potholes and gaps in the road.
 
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Lequack said:
I don't see why they bother with 3km prologues, it's seems like a waste of everyone's time.
Why not? I like to have something different from time to time.

Also having such a short prologue 2 days after LBL may help to attract some riders who would otherwise not want to ride TdR because of fatigue.
 
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Anderis said:
Lequack said:
I don't see why they bother with 3km prologues, it's seems like a waste of everyone's time.
Why not? I like to have something different from time to time.

Also having such a short prologue 2 days after LBL may help to attract some riders who would otherwise not want to ride TdR because of fatigue.
Would an extra 4k really make a difference in attracting riders?
 
The Swiss riders will probably be in top shape for this race.
Reichenbach and Frank are haven't been in great shape recently, but you also have Thalmann who is in great shape (probably deserves a contract at pct level) and all the younger guys who can go stagehunting. Märder and Kung are obvious candidates, but the hilly stages could also suit Albasini, if he still has something left in the tank.
 
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Logic-is-your-friend said:
Anderis said:
Lequack said:
I don't see why they bother with 3km prologues, it's seems like a waste of everyone's time.
Why not? I like to have something different from time to time.

Also having such a short prologue 2 days after LBL may help to attract some riders who would otherwise not want to ride TdR because of fatigue.
Would aan extra 4k really make a difference in attracting riders?
probably not. But usually people on here are always complaining about too many time trial kilometers :D.

I like those short prologues, as they also give sprinters a chance to go for the win. If it was 4k longer, Campenaerts would win anyway. Now it's completely open.

And this year the MTF seems to be a particularly easy one, so keeping the gaps close can't hurt, I guess.
 

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