Saturday, December 17, 2011


The Tour de Romandie 2012 will for the first time in my 12 visits cross into France with the third day starting there and continuing on to finish at Moutiers which the Tour de France has passed through on occasions . Whilst I can picture in my mind’s eye the start and finish towns I am wondering which climbs are en route ? Having cycled around Moutiers in training rides I am also mindful of passing through there when those clowns dressed as “ Kelme Racers ” butted into that Tour de France as it climbed to Courcheval nearly a decade ago , that sunny Sunday I climbed to the 1km mark before the Gendarmerie turned me back and so I arrived in Seez in time to watch the whole “ Soap Opera ” on the TV .

Below is a summary of the 2012 event lifted from Cycling News :

“ The 2012 Tour de Romandie starts with a prologue in Lausanne and ends nearly 700 kilometres later with a time trial in Crans-Montana. In between, the peloton will take on 13 ranked climbs in western Switzerland.
The race opens on April 24 with a 3.34 km prologue in Lausanne. Stage 1 the next day runs 184.5 km from Morges, on the shore of Lake Geneva, to La Chaux-de-Fonds. There are two Category 2 climbs and a Category 3 climb along the way, and the stage ends with a 67.7km loop course.
Stage two features for the first time a start in Montbéliard, France, and has a tricky end with a false flat 149km later in Moutier. The stage also has three Category 2 and 3 climbs. The third stage also throws in only Category 2 and 3 ranked mountains, as it goes 157.6 km from La Neuveville to Charmey.
The queen stage comes on the fourth stage, 184 km from Bulle to Sion. After crossing three category 1 and one category 2 climbs, the peloton will again face a circuit course at the finish.
The race ends with what it calls a “very difficult” time trial of 16.24 km around Crans-Montana. It features a climb halfway through which “will probably hurt the legs and be decisive” in determining the final overall winner.
All 18 WorldTour teams will be at the race, with a wildcard invitation going to “ Europcar” . A 20th team may be invited later. ”

The “ difficult ” ITT can’t be any tougher than the one that Lance won some years back when it started in Sion and finished on the summit village of Crans Montana Resort . I recall riding on the pavement alongside Lance as he spun the cranks to victory , even the short distance that I rode at a high tempo wasn’t enough to hold his pace as he climbed that steep pitched mountain so I don’t envy the racers the task this time around . Should it be warm then those racing will be glad that it is the final day !

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