Elia Viviani will make his final appearance before the first Grand Tour of the season, Giro d’Italia.
Boasting an impressive winners list which includes the likes of Gino Bartali, Hugo Koblet, Eddy Merckx or Bernard Hinault, the Tour de Romandie runs this year its 73rd edition, which is set to start in Neuchâtel with a rolling prologue and conclude five days later in Geneva, where a 16.9km-long ITT will crown the overall winner. In between, the peloton will tackle 16 classified climbs, including the Torgon – the race’s sole mountain top finish – which averages 6.8% over 10.5 kilometers and features on the penultimate day.
The Tour de Romandie, a race where Deceuninck – Quick-Step has won a total of six stages, is also where Elia Viviani will be making his first outing since bringing down the curtain over his Classics campaign at Gent-Wevelgem; the 30-year-old, victorious in four races so far this season, will be motivated to get into the limelight in what will be one of his last races in the prestigious Italian National Champion jersey.
Joining Viviani for the season’s 21st World Tour race of the year will be Eros Capecchi, neo-pro Remco Evenepoel – who turned heads earlier this month at the Tour of Turkey, where he finished just outside the overall podium – James Knox, Davide Martinelli, experienced lead-out man Fabio Sabatini and Le Samyn winner Florian Sénéchal.
“Next week’s race will be a hard one, bookended by time trials and with many hard climbs which will shape the general classification. On paper, one, maybe two stages, will end up in a bunch sprint, and if this will happen, then Elia – who can rely on a strong train – will be our man”, explained sports director Davide Bramati. “We also have two youngsters on the squad, Remco and James, who have impressed this season, finishing in the top 10 overall at World Tour events. We’re looking forward to having both back in action, without putting any pressure on them, just taking it day by day and see how it goes.”
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