The details for the 68th edition of the Tour de Romandie have been announced with a time trial around Ascona to kick-off proceedings in Switzerland. The race will then conclude five days later in Neuchâtel with another test against the clock. Stage three from Le Bouveret to Aigle is the queen stage with the peloton to tackle over three and half kilometers of climbing in just over 180km.
The race has proven to be a barometer for the Tour de France with the last three yellow jersey winners having tasted success in the Swiss event before triumphing in Paris. A stellar field is once again expected to contest the WorldTour event as it is an important cog in preparing for the Tour.
To begin the 2014 edition, riders will tackle a 5km prologue around Ascona. The following day will also begin in Ascona and will finish in Sion 203km later having crossed over French territory with a breakaway likely to have been in the lead.
Stage two from Sion to Montreux is one for the sprinters while stage three offers several possibilities of a winner with the overall set to become clear. Stage four takes the riders in a loop around Fribourg for 174km before the race heads slightly north for the final day and could throw up a surprise winner on the day
The final time trial over 18.5km around Neuchâtel is likely to decide the 2014 winner or cement the victors superiority over their rivals. Stages three and six will keep the gc riders on their toes but the possibility of escapees snaring the win along with largely short distances should ensure exciting and suspenseful racing.
At the launch of the race route in Fribourg, the organisers announced that the team presentation would take place the day before the prologue in Ascona.
Tour de Romandie 2014
Prologue: Ascona - Ascona, 5.57 km
Stage 1: Ascona - Sion, 203.6 km
Stage 2: Sion - Montreux, 166.5 km
Stage 3: Le Bouveret - Aigle, 180.2 km
Stage 4: Fribourg - Fribourg, 174 km
Stage 5: Neuchâtel - Neuchâtel, 18.5 km