2023 Tour de Romandie Overall Preview

Why anyone would think a race with six stages needs two time trials is beyond me, but hey, it’s time for Tour de Romandie. It’s a race that used to be a big deal for those going to the Giro, but no more. Now it’s full of those who don’t go to the Giro, this year it doesn’t have the big GC superstars, the race is open and should be a good one to watch.

It begins with a prologue, mainly so people get mixed up with calling stage 1, stage 2. This one is 6.8km in length and barely contains a corner, it’s all about horsepower.

About as easy a stage gets in this part of the world. It’s one for the sprinters, and we do have a few at this race. Cavendish, Gaviria, Nizzolo, Hayter, Vernon, Dainese and Menten will be fighting for the win.

This stage has the same finale as the one Roglič won in stage 1 back in 2019. You might remember Colbrelli hauling himself over the cat 2 climb but was distanced on the cat 3 effort. It’s a tough finish, the sprinters won’t survive, so the break will have a sniff of a win depending on who’s in the move. Either that or the GC guys will have some fun.

18.7km ITT with a climb of 5km at 5.1%. This should be a fight between Cavagna, Hayter, Foss and maybe a GC rider who’s going well.

The Queen stage with a finish at Thyon 2000. With over 4100m of climbing, this is a huge day in the saddle. Last time we were here, Michael Woods took the win after Geraint Thomas crashed in the home straight.

Could be a rare day for the breakaway as the climb in the middle of the stage is too hard for the fast men.


Sergio Higuita – just one win for him this season, which was a sprint in the Basque Country, and his form in the Ardennes was a big concern. He’s good enough on his TT bike to stay in contention for the win, but he needs to be better than he’s been in recent weeks.

Gino Mäder – a rider who normally excels on home roads. This year he was very strong in Paris-Nice, and he’ll see the TT as a big chance of taking time on his rivals. He’s also a brilliant climber and after going close to winning last year, he’ll be super motivated to go one better and take home the crown.

Ion Izagirre – was excellent in the Basque Country, but these days he seems to struggle away from his homeland. The TT should be good for him, but can he follow the best up the climbs?

Matteo Jorgenson – what a season he’s having. He won the Tour of Oman, was 8th in Paris-Nice, and followed that up with 4th in E3 and 9th in Flanders. He’s not raced an ITT since last year, but it’s a discipline he’s pretty good at. He’ll sense a chance of taking time on some of the pure climbers and then seeing how well he goes in the Queen stage. Given his form, a win wouldn’t be a surprise. There’s a lot of talk about where he’ll end up next year, but he remains focused on the here and now.

Tobias Foss – the TT will allow him to get a lead over some of his rivals, but will he be able to follow the best in the mountains? If you look at his record over the last couple of years, the answer must be no. However, with the Giro fast approaching, surely, he’s in good shape and he’ll hope to be challenging for the win.

Kévin Vauquelin – I’m a big fan. He climbs well and he’s got a good TT, but competing at this level is something he’s not done yet, but it should be the next step in his progression. A top 10 would be a big result for him.

Simon Yates – so far this year, he’s been good, but not great. The route is good for him, his TT is much improved, and he should be able to take time on most of his rivals, then he heads to the mountains to see if he can win the title. He’ll likely start as the favourite.

Romain Bardet – the TT will cost him, but current form looks good, hopefully he’s in the mix on the Queen stage.

Adam Yates – crashed hard in Catalunya but still managed to do a solid job in the mountains. Every year since 2019 he’s won a stage race, and he’s not won yet this year. Like most, the TT will be a big moment for him. This was an area he improved while at Ineos, but will that continue at UAE? The Queen stage should be a good one for him.

Michael Woods – the TT means he won’t win the title, but he should be challenging for the top 5-10.

Louis Meintjes – after finishing well in Giro di Sicilia, he comes here with confidence. He’s another who’ll suffer in the TT but should be capable of a good result in the Queen stage.

Prediction Time

The ITT is going to be very important, anyone wanting to win the race will need to be competitive. I think we’ll see a small group of favourites quite close after this and then Thyon 2000 will decide the winner.

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I’ll take a win for Matteo Jorgenson.