Tour of Romandie Prologue Preview
As it's been the case almost every year the race starts with a short prologue. Very short in fact, only 3.9Km long with a short punchy climb midway and very technical roads to deal with. For those who race Romandie they must be accostumed to the unusual kind of route, the weather can play a big part in the stage as rain would make it one absolutely for those who are willing to take risks, technique and risks will be vital in the opening day although it shouldn't open big gaps.
With 7 turns in 3.8Km, excluding the short pinch ramp midway, it will be very important to take the cornering to the extreme, as fractions of a second can be decisive for the win in such a short prologue. Luckily for the riders it will be a dry day but it won't remove the technique's importance.
Time-trialists or risk takers?
I'll have to say a combination of both. Some lightweight riders and time-trial specialists may not profit from this course as accelarations will be aplenty and there won't be a constant pace. It's too long for sprinters but the right set is a combination of both.
However seeing Victor Campenaerts' current run this season it's hard to ignore him as a top contender. As I said lightweight time-trialists won't be so favoured tomorrow, but Campenaerts has the punch needed to fly over the hill and he is a prologue specialist so he's suited for it.
Stefan Kung is another prologue specialist, another one who prefers the more steady efforts and a heavyweight. It's a bit of an unknown where he will stand, he can either win or place 10th and both wouldn't come as a surprise. Same for Jos van Emden, but the Jumbo-Visma rider stands a bit lower on the odds.
Primoz Roglic and Geraint Thomas both would like the route but they will certainly not be in the fight for the win, but to be close to it wouldn't be a surprise, specially the Slovenian. Team Sky have Dylan van Baarle and Fillippo Ganna who could surprise. I see Ganna as a top contender for the podium, one of the riders with more pure power in the peloton currently.
There's two riders who will fancy the explosiveness of the prologue, Patrick Bevin and Benjamin Thomas are both riders who can be deemed as both time-trialists and sprinters. Tom Bohli was second in the opening prologue last year, he's an outsider but clearly one to watch.
Track background may be something to take into acount, the intensity of the effort will suit the explosive riders just as we find in the track. Benjamin Thomas, Filippo Ganna and Cameron Meyer are hence in the top of the list for me right behind Campenaerts and Kung.
Ryan Mullen, Tony Martin, Maciej Bodnar, Jan Tratnik, Alex Dowsett, Mads Wurtz, Joey Rosskopf and Chad Haga are all reliable options, although stage contention may be a little far off.
⭐ van Emden, Bodnar, Tratnik, Mullen, Wurtz, W.Clarke
I'm going with Campenaerts, he's got the experience and skills for such a short prologue, he has good technique and can climb well, so I think he will resist the attack of the other riders who can surprise and win time in the risks.
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