Favorite analysis Giro di Romandie 2022: Geraint Thomas aims for an encore, but Bora is the team to beat with the Vlasov-Higuita duo

The Tour of Romandie 2022 is preparing for a week of great challenges. Scheduled from April 26th to May 1st the short Swiss stage race offers a series of moving stages that will leave little breath to the group. Set between the initial chronological prologue and the time trial that will decide the race, in fact, there will be many mountains that will entice the climbers present to do battle. This race will also offer the opportunity to test themselves for some of the expected protagonists of the next Giro d’Italia, which is now getting closer and closer. A Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) who appeared on the rise will try to defend the title he won last year, but there will certainly be challengers.

Recent roll of honor Tour of Romandie

2021 THOMAS Geraint
2020 Not disputed due to the Covid-19 pandemic
2019 ROGLIČ Primož
2018 ROGLIČ Primož
2017 DOORS Richie
2016 QUINTANA Nairo
2015 ZAKARIN Ilnur
2014 FROOME Chris
2013 FROOME Chris
2012 WIGGINS Bradley

Favorites Tour of Romandie 2022

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After many races this season in the service of his team, Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) seems ready now to be the protagonist in first person and try to repeat the success achieved a year ago on the Swiss roads. The Welshman will try to make a difference in the more than 20 timed kilometers planned and then defend himself in the mountains as he did a year ago. The defending champion will be surrounded by a young team, which has all the desire to show off but which also appears solid and ready to put itself at the service of its captain, with the talented Ethan Hayter who could also try to hold out on the most challenging climbs and make the rankings.

The team that Dave Brailsford’s men will have to watch out for is definitely Bora-hansgrohe led by Sergio Higuita And Aleksandr Vlasov. Both made an excellent first part of the season and also showed off in the Ardennes Classics, obtaining important placings, with the Russian in particular who has almost never come out of the top ten of the races in which he has participated so far. Precisely because of his solidity and continuity, Vlasov can perhaps be considered the main favorite of the Swiss race, in which he could try to play as a team with the Colombian, who won the Volta a Catalunya a month ago. In the German team there will also be Maximilian Schachmannwhich, however, will probably have more of a support role, given the health problems of the past weeks and its only four days of competition in this 2022.

Bahrain Victorious, which will be led by Damiano Caruso, recent winner of the Giro di Sicilia and also appeared in good condition at Liège, where he made himself available to the team. Together with him, the landlord could also be protagonists Gino Mäderwhich however at this start of the season did not appear particularly brilliant, e Dylan Teunswhich after the success at the Freccia Vallone could seek other glory in the various eventful stages that will face each other on Swiss soil.

Then, Jumbo-Visma, a formation that among others will line up at the start, will also have to be kept an eye on Steven Kruijswijk, Rohan Dennis And Sepp Kuss. This season none of the three have shown exceptional things so far, but they all have the characteristics to do well on a course like the Swiss one (in particular, the Dutchman), and if they find the right legs they can all turn out to be quite formidable riders. . Another interesting trio is that of Israel-Premier Tech, which for the general classification will be able to rely above all on Michael Woods, who a year ago won a stage here and came close to the podium. The 35-year-old will be able to count on the support of Jakob Fuglsangwhich after a complicated year is slowly returning to good levels, and up Chris Froomewho is certainly not the Froome of the good times but who could be useful to the cause of the Canadian.

Among the riders who can fight for a place on the podium, we cannot fail to mention Ben O’Connor (Ag2r Citröen) e Ion Izagirre (Cofidis), both of whom have already scored at the start of the season, where they have shown good continuity. The Australian probably needs to improve a little more in the time trial, but he can try to make a difference on the most demanding days, while the Spaniard hardly gets out of the top ten of short stage races like this one, especially if there are tests against time. . An exercise, the latter, where it has proved to be good too Mattia Cattaneo (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), which in these first months of 2022 has not been seen much but which should be in full preparation for the Giro d’Italia, so we can expect him among the possible protagonists.

Leading one of the other strongest teams on the scene, UAE Team Emirates, will be a young couple, the one made up of Juan Ayuso And Brandon McNulty. The Spaniard has already shown that he is ready for certain stages, so it is absolutely not to be excluded that he may get a good placement in this race, while the American, who can find favorable ground in the time trials, is a veteran of the covid, so his condition could not be at his best, but he too could still be a serious candidate for a level achievement. Among those whose condition is probably not yet 100 percent there is also Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), but the return to victory at the Tour of the Alps has certainly galvanized the transalpine, who will try to be a protagonist in one way or another, especially on the most demanding days. For the general classification, however, the transalpine team will be able to count on Michael Storerwho showed an excellent leg right at the Tour of the Alps, finishing the race in second place behind Romain Bardet.

Among those who can achieve a good placement in the general we can certainly also mention Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-EasyPost), which can count on the invaluable support of Neilson Powless, in turn a possible ranking man of the US team. They could eventually struggle to get into the top ten runners like Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Steff Cras (Lotto Soudal), Carlos Verona (Movistar) e Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM), while among the Azzurri, in addition to the aforementioned Caruso and Cattaneo, the youngsters could try to show off Kevin Colleoni (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) e Antonio Tiberi (Trek-Segafredo).

Bag of Favorites Tour of Romandie 2022

***** Aleksandr Vlasov
**** Geraint Thomas, Sergio Higuita
*** Ion Izagirre, Ben O’Connor, Damiano Caruso
** Mattia Cattaneo, Michael Woods, Brandon McNulty, Michael Storer
* Juan Ayuso, Steven Kruijswijk, Rigoberto Uran, Thibaut Pinot, Gino Mäder

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