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Old 28.04.2008, 15:26
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Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

The 62nd edition of the Tour de Romandie is about to start. There is a good preview over at cyclingnews.com, and here is the official website with full logistical info.

Highlights this year include the prologue time trial in Geneva. It seems a little short to me at just 2 km, which the riders should take about 2 minutes to complete. However, it is well timed if you work in Geneva and just want to stop by to see the action before heading home because it runs from 4pm-7pm on Tuesday April 29th. There is a thread here about the resulting traffic disruptions that day.

They'll then spend a day heading through the Jura mountains (Morges - Saignelegier), and a day in the three-lakes region and finishing in Fribourg (Moutier - Fribourg).

On Friday, they'll do a 19km time trial around Sion (2pm - 5:30pm) that includes a small climb, before the "queen stage" on Saturday where they'll repeatedly climb up and down the valleys around Sion and Sierre, before eventually finishing at 1677 metres elevation in Zinal (probably between 5:00 and 5:30pm).

All that is left for Sunday is a quick hop over the Col des Mosses, and then a cruise towards Lausanne. Just before the finish they'll have to climb some hills around Lausanne, including going straight up through the center of the city at around 2:00 to 2:45pm, then coming back in from the north to finish near the Olympic stadium at about 3:00 to 3:30pm.

According to the preview at cyclingnews.com, we can expect several big-name riders to be there, including: Thomas Dekker (defending champion), Chris Horner (an American who has finished in the top 5 both of the last two years), Fabian Cancellara (Swiss time trial world champion), Robbie McEwen (Aussie sprint specialist), Denis Menchov, Andreas Kloden, Carlos Sastre, Sandy Casar, and Oscar Pereiro.

The Giro d'Italia starts just one week after this race finishes, so some of the riders will be using this race as final preparation for that, but there's sure to be a good contingent of riders who are going all out. So, get out there and cheer them on if you can.

I'm away for a lot of it, but I should be back by Sunday afternoon, so I plan to head to Rue de Valentin in Lausanne to watch them climb up there, then wander over to the Olympic Stadium to see the finish and some of the award ceremony. Let me know if you want to meet up, and maybe drink a beer or two while waiting for the riders to come by.
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Old 28.04.2008, 15:31
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

so no Cadel Evans this year? I very much enjoyed the Lauasnne time trial on the final day last year but I guess they aren't repeating it this year.

How are the climbs on the Saturday stage? Any good viewing opportunities my climbing ahead of them?
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Old 28.04.2008, 16:45
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

Hello Chris

I'm also a little busy until sunday but i will come and support them with you

Sam
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Old 28.04.2008, 17:15
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

I'm so mad that I'm going to miss the good stuff. I LOVE watching pros. (total ispiration for getting up at the crack of dawn to ride a million miles to no where.)

Maybe, if I bribe some people, I can make the TT tomorrow.
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Old 28.04.2008, 17:17
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

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so no Cadel Evans this year? I very much enjoyed the Lauasnne time trial on the final day last year but I guess they aren't repeating it this year.
Unfortunately, according to the website of the Silence-Lotto team, Cadel won't be here.

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How are the climbs on the Saturday stage? Any good viewing opportunities my climbing ahead of them?
You can check out the detailed map of Saturday's stage here. I don't know the road, but I expect that there are a lot of places up the Val d'Annivers where you'd get a good view of some of the action on the final climb. I think if I were you I'd go up to the King of the Mountains points banner in the village of Vercorin, and once the riders have passed take the direct road (which the riders aren't using, they'll have to go back down into the Rhone valley plus up and down once more) and go to somewhere along the final climb between Vissoie, St Jean, and Grimmentz. I look forward to hearing all about it!
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Old 28.04.2008, 18:47
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

ChrisW, you are the best -- I was just now looking at the Tour de Romandie website trying to decipher what was going on, and then I thought of checking the forum and am really glad I did -- This helps a lot!

We will be in Nendaz that Saturday and planning to bring our bikes to ride and to watch the pros... So Dakman, we should try to meet up!
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Old 28.04.2008, 19:04
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

Unfortunately none of the stages are near me. However, the Giro will be starting one of their Swiss stages from the town I work in! I can't wait!!!!
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Old 28.04.2008, 22:21
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

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Unfortunately none of the stages are near me. However, the Giro will be starting one of their Swiss stages from the town I work in! I can't wait!!!!
Yes, the Tour de Romandie does tend to stay within Romandie (french-speaking Switzerland) for some reason, but that is why the Tour de Suisse generally avoids Romandie, and stays in the other parts of the country (stage 5 on June 18th will go from Domat (GR), all the way through Ticino and finish in Caslano on Lake Lugano, see the route here). You'll also have the Giro di Lombardia (Tour of Lombardy) coming pretty close by you in October, here is a map of last year's route which started in Varese, then did a big loop of lake Como before finishing in Como. So, there will certainly be no lack of opportunities for you guys to see a lot of different racers.
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Old 28.04.2008, 22:31
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

what's the weather like at 1600 meters there? Here at that level, there is still tons of snow, at least from webcams but Saturday at 1200 meters was about the snowline.
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Old 29.04.2008, 09:39
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

The snowline around Lausanne seems to be at around 1400 metres right now. Valais is normally a bit warmer, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are snow banks along the sides of the upper roads that they race along.
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Old 29.04.2008, 11:09
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

I finally found the official start list here. Unfortunately, Chris Horner, Fabian Cancellara, and Carlos Sastre are not on it. However, team High Road (formerly T-Mobile) are bringing a couple of good British riders - Mark Cavendish (a promising young sprinter) and Bradley Wiggins (mostly a time-trialer). It's strange that Astana are not bringing more of their big riders (Horner, Leipheimer, Contador) because they have been excluded from most of the major races this year. Still, some teams do not have a full team (8 riders) listed, so maybe there will still be some more changes.

Last edited by ChrisW; 29.04.2008 at 12:06.
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Old 29.04.2008, 11:18
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

It doesn't seem complete yet, CSC only lists 4 riders and Astana 6....and is Kloden even riding these days, I thought he was injured, I could be wrong, it seems to be a good ride for mountain specialists, it would be cool contador or leipheimer showed up. Last year there seemed to be more of the top names so maybe it will develop.

edit - seems Kloden is healthy, so maybe this is the race Astana is doing for him - close to his home country etc.
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Old 29.04.2008, 12:05
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

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I finally found the official start list here.
Dude, that start list is so 2007. For 2008, clicky here.



Heather
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Old 29.04.2008, 12:45
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

The list I linked to does indeed say 2007 at the top, but it does appear to be an incomplete 2008 list. Even so, the one Heather found appears to be the complete, accurate version. No changes to what I said above, except that we can add Jens Voigt to the list of riders to watch - everyone's favorite breakaway man in the medium mountains and a true work-horse.
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Old 30.04.2008, 10:22
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

Mark Cavendish, the British sprinter that I mentioned previously, won the 2km prologue time trial yesterday - he's not known as a time trialist, but as he said, at just 2km, he could basically just sprint all the way for 2 mins 7 secs, an average speed of 56 km/h. Another Brit, Bradley Wiggins, came in fifth, see full report and results at cyclingnews.com.

Regarding the final stage into Lausanne on Sunday, if anyone wants to meet up to watch and cheer the riders, then I'll be the guy with the "Canada" baseball cap near the intersection of Rue du Valentin and Rue de la Pontaise in Lausanne (see this map). The riders are due some time between 2:15pm and 2:45pm, so I'll plan to be there by 1:45pm. After they've all passed by, it'll be about a 500-metre walk over to the Olympic stadium to try to get a good viewing spot for the finish about 45 minutes later. Sam is planning to come along (see above), and if anyone else wants to join then they are more than welcome. We'll both be away for the next few days, so don't expect any further info on this.
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Old 05.05.2008, 10:50
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

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if anyone else wants to join then they are more than welcome.
Thanks to ChrisW for the info! I managed to watch it after all - well, they DID go right past my apartment. Great couple of hours spent taking in the atmosphere.
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Old 05.05.2008, 10:53
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

Yep it was a good one, the did the same as my commute but where as my best ever time with a massive tail wind is 24 minutes and my average is 32, they did it in 20 with no wind

looks like i have some room for improvments

Sam
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Old 05.05.2008, 11:35
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

I was able to watch the TT in Geneva on Tuesday. Pretty cool. I am totally psyched for cycling season now. And officially the envy of my cycling and triathlon friends back home that I live amongst all the velo fun.

I also brought one of the kids I watch. He loves cycling. (At 2 1/2 years, he is riding a standard bike with no training wheels. Look out for him in 18 years. I'll have him on his first road bike by age 5. ) Wearing his cycling cap to the TT, he got a lot of smiles, and autographs on it from many of the teams.
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Old 05.05.2008, 12:37
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Re: Tour de Romandie '08 (pro-cycling), April 29 - May 4

I saw the riders passing by yesterday at Futri near Lausanne. Was really cool to see all the bikes and chopper following them. By the way we rode this weekend from Gstaad to Geneva , it was a beautiful ride. Would recommend it to everyone.
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