Europcar only wildcard invitation so far
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 eh race, with a wildcard invitation going to Europcar. A 20th team may be invited later.
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