Tour de Romandie 2018 – Prologue Preview

By David Hunter

Fribourg 4km ITT

The race begins with a technical looking prologue.

To start with, the riders will be able to pick up a lot of speed with the opening downhill section. After the 2.4km mark, the road starts to rise. The main issues are the 400m at 10%, on city centre cobbles, before a final 400m at 7%. This is an interesting looking fight against the clock.

Weather

Nice and sunny with a consistent wind from the west. It does slightly strengthen as the day goes on, meaning it’s better to go earlier in the day, but the difference will be minimal.

Contenders

Rohan Dennis – the TT King! He’s won 7 of the last 8 ITTs he’s competed in, his only fail was the World Championships. The Aussie is sensational against the clock and virtually unbeatable in stage races TTs, his last defeat was in the 2016 Tour of Britain. The only concern I have surrounds the distance, as 4km is very short. Dennis has a huge amount of power, but he’ll need to hit top speed as soon as he can. Can he continue his remarkable record?

Primoz Roglic – the man of the moment. After his stunning win in Itzulia, all eyes will be on the Slovenian. He starts as one of the GC favourites and will hope to land an early blow, with a big performance. He would prefer a longer course, but will still expect to be challenging for the win.

Michael Matthews – a rider who seems to be continuing his improvement in this discipline, but how much will Sunday have taken out of him? Matthews started LBL as one of the big favourites, but the legs just didn’t respond. With such a short space between the races, I can’t help but think that there will be some fatigue in his legs.

Victor Campenaerts – the European TT champion started the season with 2nd place in the Algarve TT, but was only 16th in Tirreno. He made the move from Jumbo to Lotto, meaning he now rides a Ridley bike. This is not a bike usually associated with fast TT performances!

Jonathan Castroviejo – has the power, but lacks the sprinting speed required to win a prologue. He’ll be challenging for the podium, but I can’t see him winning.

Ion Izagirre – won a hilly prologue in this race back in 2016, a year where he made huge progression in this discipline. Since moving to Bahrain, he’s not looked as good in TTs. After completing all three of the Ardennes races, it is difficult to predict what he’ll have left in the engine.

Gorka Izagirre – don’t think he’ll be as strong as his brother. A solid top 10 option.

Geraint Thomas – one of the best team pursuit riders of his generation, this is a stage that the Welshman will be excited about. He can hold a huge amount of watts for 4km and will hope to challenge for the win.

Prediction Time

It’s a TT in a stage race, that means one thing… a win for Rohan Dennis.

*Overall Preview

David Hunter

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