By Antonio J. Salmerón
With just two stages to go in the Tour de Romandie, the overall classification is separated by just 16 seconds among the top twenty riders. Caisse d'Epargne has two riders in this group - Francisco Perez, currently 9th and ten seconds behind leader Paolo Savoldelli, and Joaquím Rodriguez in 15th, a further three seconds in arrears.
Team director Eusebio Unzue was optimistic going into stage four. "The stage that will take place tomorrow is going to be the queen stage of this Tour of Romandy", explained Unzue, "With four first category passes, and the finish located at the top of the last climb, the stage will obviously be decisive for the final general classification. We also will have to reckon with the final time trial on Sunday.
"Our team, with Joaquím Rodríguez, Fran Pérez and David López, can rely on three riders in good condition and able to fight for the stage win as well as for the overall ranking, also if the task will not be easy because there are many candidates."
Perez told Cyclingnews that he was unsure how his legs would handle Saturday's race. "I had good legs in the first stage, but at the moment, I do not how I am. The stage will be very hard, with many climbs and many rivals", the Spanish rider said.
Joaquím Rodriguez feels confident following his third place on stage one. "I feel very well, but the race will be very hard at the end, especially if it is raining. I will try to attack on the last climb to win the stage. In order to make the podium, it will be also necessary to gain time on the time trial specialists. Now, the race is open."