Rigoberto Uran will continue his march toward the Giro d’Italia this week at the Tour de Romandie, leading an eight-rider Cannondale Pro Cycling roster that also includes Pierre Rolland, Davide Formolo and Ramunas Navardauskas.
A victory at this year’s Giro is the team’s major objective this season, and Uran said Romandie is a crucial step in preparation for the Italian Grand Tour.
“For me, Romandie is very important for the Giro d'Italia test,” said the 29-year-old Colombian. “We have a very strong team with Pierre [Rolland] and Talansky. For sure we have to do well and be ahead in Romandie.”
Slipstream Sports General Manager Jonathan Vaughters said Romandie will provide a chance for Uran to show himself ahead of the Giro, while Rolland continues his preparation for the Tour de France in July.
“There are plenty of opportunities for Rolland as he continues his progression toward the Tour de France,” Vaughters said.
The 2016 Tour de Romandie begins on Tuesday in La Chaux-de-Fonds with a 4km prologue time trial. It ends Sunday, May 1, in Geneva and includes two summit finishes and a 15.1km individual time trial.
While the parcours are certainly challenging, the weather, which is forecast to be cold and wet, will provide another test for the peloton.
“The weather’s going to play a big part in the race, unfortunately,” said Cannondale director Charly Wegelius. “And it’s a nasty part of the world when it gets bad weather. We’ll have to be sharp to stay out of trouble.”
Cannondale Pro Cycling for Tour de Romandie: Nate Brown, Joe Dombrowski, Davide Formolo, Moreno Moser, Ramunas Navardauskas, Pierre Rolland, Andrew Talansky, Rigoberto Uran