Stage 1 of next year's Tour de Romandie will use much of the course for the UCI Road World Championships men's road race from Aigle to Martigny, the organisers of the six-day Swiss stage race have announced.
Following a prologue time trial around Oron on April 28, the riders will start stage 1 the next day in Aigle, which is also the start of the men's Worlds road race on September 27. The stage will make its way south to the city of Martigny, where riders will, according to a press release, complete "several loops" of the 20km finishing circuit, which half-way round includes the climb of the Côte de la Petite Forclaz, just outside Martigny, which is four kilometres long, with an average gradient of 10.2 per cent, and a maximum of 14.5 per cent.
During the Worlds road race, the circuit will be ridden seven times by the elite men, following an extra section of the course towards Sion, to the north-east of Martigny, making for a total distance of 244km, although the Tour de Romandie stage won't tackle that Sion section, and will be considerably shorter.
Following the Worlds dress rehearsal on April 29, stage 2 will take the riders from La Neuveville to Saint-Imier, and stage 3 will be based on circuits around Estavayer.
Stage 4 is being touted as the WorldTour race's 'queen stage', starting in Sion and with a summit finish at the Thyon 2000 ski resort. The race will then finish on May 3 – having clocked up a race-record elevation gain of 13,080 metres – with an individual time trial in Fribourg.
The winner of the last two editions of the race, Jumbo-Visma's Primoz Roglic, should also be a contender – riding for Slovenia – over the tough Worlds course in September, and should be one of a number of top climbers to opt for next year's tough Tour de Romandie ahead of what is also a hilly Olympic road-race course in Tokyo in July.
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