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by Shane Stokes
April 24, 2018
Gasparotto, Izagirre seeking to keep momentum going in Tour de Romandie; Vos out of racing for a month after undergoing collarbone surgery; Bettiol to miss Giro d’Italia due to Liège crash; Landis on Armstrong case settlement: ‘I don’t care about the money’; Video: 2018 UCI Women’s WorldTour – highlights of Liège Bastogne Liège; Video: Mitchelton-Scott’s 2018 Liege-Bastogne-Liege; Video: Campagnolo BoraWTO – Wind Can’t Touch It
With the Ardennes Classics now over, attention has shifted very quickly to stage racing and the upcoming Tour de Romandie. The race will begin on Tuesday with a four kilometre prologue in Fribourg and will run until Sunday. As usual, a very solid line-up is in place, with many riders either seeking to profit from their Ardennes form or to use the race as part of their build-up for the Giro d’Italia.
Enrico Gasparotto is in the first group: he was a fine third in the Amstel Gold Race, and was also sixth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “The [Tour de] Romandie is a race that I’ve always liked. Looking at the race route, I think I have a couple of opportunities. Yesterday’s sixth place at the Liège has confirmed to me that the condition is good and therefore I hope to get a good result here in Switzerland.”
Also aiming high is Ion Izagirre. “I’m arriving from the Ardennes Classics and I’m here to try to improve the fifth place of the last edition,” he said. “There are many good uphill and time trial opponents, but I think I can do well.”
After Tuesday’s prologue, the rides will duke it out over the mountainous second and fourth stages, and in the stage three time trial. The race will conclude on Saturday with an undulating stage to Geneva. The Bahrain-Merida team of Gasparotto and Izagirre will also include Gorka Izagirre, Sonny Colbrelli, Ramunas Navardauskas, Hermann Pernsteiner and Kristijan Koren.