Fresh off Kanstantsin Siutsou's win at the Tour de Georgia and with less than two weeks to go until the Giro d'Italia, Team High Road is fine tuning its form for the Italian Grand Tour. "Romandie is like a dress rehearsal for the Giro, but a dress rehearsal where we want to win," said Team Manager Rolf Aldag.
"The opening prologue is very short and that's great for Bradley [Wiggins]. We know he can do well in those sorts of challenges. Then there are a couple of stages for the sprinters where Mark [Cavendish] will have a good opportunity. Basically, though, Romandie is a last chance for the team to go through their paces before heading off to the Tour of Italy."
Team High Road plans a line-up nearly identical to the one for the Giro d'Italia. "Romandie is a very complicated race because it's got everything a three-week major Tour has – mountains, flat stages, tough intermediate climbs – all packed into the space of a week," said Aldag. "Miss out on the right move at one point and you've probably not going to have a chance to get back into the action."
In particular, second-year pro Cavendish will get a chance to experience lengthy climbs in the high mountains. "Mark's already shown what he can do in the sprints, and he's got nothing to prove there at all. But Romandie is a chance for him to experience what it's like climbing for 15 kilometres in a 39 by 23 gear – before he does it all over again in the Tour of Italy."
High Road for the Tour of Romandie: Mark Cavendish, Scott Davis, Adam Hansen, Tony Martin, Marco Pinotti, Morris Possoni, Frantisek Rabon and Bradley Wiggins.
Saunier Duval - Scott for the Tour of Romandie: José Angel Gómez Marchante, Eros Capecchi, Rubens Bertogliati, Alberto Fernández de la Puebla, Josep Jufré, Manuele Mori, Ruben Lobato and Luciano André Pagliarini under Pietro Algeri.
Astana for the Tour de Romandie: Thomas Frei, Vladimir Gusev, Maxim Iglinskiy, Andreas Klöden, Julien Mazet, Steve Morabito, Dmitriy Muravyev and Sergey Yakovlev under D.S. Alain Gallopin.
Liquigas at Romandie: Daniele Bennati, Michael Albasini, Manuel Beltrán, Claudio Corioni, Murilo Antonio Fischer, Roman Kreuziger, Matej Mugerli and Ivan Santaromita.
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