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Tour de Romandie - 2.HC

Switzerland, April 29 - May 3, 2003

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The Stages

  • Prologue - April 29: Genève, 3.4 km
  • Stage 1 - April 30: Genève - Val-de-Travers, 181.9 km
  • Stage 2 - May 1: Val-de-Travers - Lucens, 178.2 km
  • Stage 3 - May 2: Moudon - Loèche-les-Bains, 171.3 km
  • Stage 4 - May 3: Monthey - Châtel-St-Denis, 146.5 km
  • Stage 5 - May 4: Lausanne ITT, 20.4 km


Starting on April 29 with a 3.2 kilometre prologue in Geneva, this year's edition of the Tour de Romandie will cover 701.7 kilometres in six days, finishing with another individual time trial in Lausanne. The race is classified as Hors Categorie, which is equivalent to the Tour de Suisse and Paris-Nice in terms of UCI points. It's also an important final test for riders who are competing in the Giro d'Italia, which starts in two weeks' time in Lecce.

After his impressive ride to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday, Tyler Hamilton goes into the Tour de Romandie as one of the favourites. After the race yesterday, Hamilton said that this race, along with La Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, was one of his major objectives for the spring. With two time trials and a hilly parcours, The TdR will suit the CSC rider down to the ground.

His chief rivals will be last year's winner Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo), who has been in excellent shape all year in the top ranked stage races. Frigo is very good against the clock and also on uphill finishes, and he will be hard to beat.

Another favourite will be Phonak's Alex Zülle, who was runner up last year behind Frigo and took some very good stage wins. Zülle has the home ground advantage, and is motivated to do well after a less than perfect start to the year with a team change from Coast to Phonak. Also competing is Vini Caldirola's Stefano Garzelli, runner up at the Giro del Trentino last Sunday and a big favourite for the Giro d'Italia.

Apart from the two time trials, the biggest challenges for the riders are in stages three and four, which both finish uphill. Stage 3 from Moudon to Loèche-les-Bains ends on a category 1, 1411m climb, and will no doubt be decisive for the final GC.

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