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2012 Tour de Romandie stage race, preview guide.
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Filled in: Cycling News, Featured | 24/4/2012 at 5:21pm

2012 Tour de Romandie stage race.

The 66th edition is a six-day race over some 696kms, without any significantly tough mountain climbs, and featuring a standard format which starts with a 3.3km prologue, and ends with a 16.5km time trial.
 
B Wiggins  2.80

Finished in 62nd place here, on GC, last year, some 7mins outside the winner. So far this season; 3rd on GC in Volta ao Algarve, and 1st on GC in Paris-Nice, most recently. Suited by the climbs and parcours. Odds way too short. No value. Worth the risk. Overlook.
 
C Evans  7.50

He is the defending champion, but has also won this race in 2006. Suffered a sinus infection earlier this month, and is talking down his chances. Will test himself over some of the obstacles, but is expecting a training ride of stages, at this stage. Class rider. Warrants respect. Take on trust, at this stage, however.
 
A Kloden  19.00

Finished in 18th place on GC in Paris-Nice. Stage race rider without much form to be impressed about. Odds way unders. Ignore.
 
D Menchov  19.00

14th here, last year. Old-timer who is suited by the climbs and parcours. Finished 4th on GC in Vuelta a Andalucia, and 11th on GC in Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. Hard to have. Odds too short. Discount.
 
R Kreuziger  19.00

63rd here, last year. 1st here, 2009. Good form coming into this with a 6th place finish on GC in Giro del Trentino, recently. Before that, an excellent performance in Tirreno-Adriatico when 3rd on GC. Odds are unders. Worthy of some consideration to be amongst the GC contenders. 
 
T Van Garderen  23.00

Rode strongly for team-mate Gilbert in the recent Liege-Bastogne-Liege one day classic, and here might be given freedom to attack by BMC team management, and so will be out to impress as a future Tour contender. Presents as a fair EACH-WAY proposition. Watch closely.

R Hesjedal  23.00

Good Ardennes Classics form (15-21-9), and before those last three rides, a fair 19th place finish on GC in Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco. Odds short. Worthy of some consideration. 
 
J Coppel  26.00

Under-rated Frenchman who can ride better than his 11th place finish on GC in Paris-Nice. Before that a 3rd on GC in Vuelta a Andalucia. Consider closely for a podium position. Good EACH-WAY prospects. Fair value. Consider very closely.
 
J Fuglsang  26.00

Talented Dane who hasn’t done much so far this season, but is suited by this parcours, and should not be discounted. A genuine top-10 contender. Keep safe. 
 
R Porte  26.00

121st here, last year. 10th here, 2010. Has already finished in 1st place on GC in Volta ao Algarve. Take on trust. 
 
B Mollema  36.00

Excellent Ardennes Classics form (10-7-6), and before those last three rides, a 3rd place finish on GC in Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco. Worthy of close consideration for a podium position. 
 
S Szmyd  36.00

A 3rd place finish on GC in the recent Giro del Trentino, brings this stage race rider from Poland into calculations for an improved performance on his 30th place finish here, last year. Odds too short, however. Take on trust.
 
G E Larsson  36.00

Unlikely to trouble the fancied riders, here. Ignore.
 
L Westra  36.00

22nd here, last year. So far this season an excellent 2nd place finish on GC in Paris-Nice, then another 2nd on GC in Driedaagse van De Panne. Should not be discounted as a genuine chance to get on the podium. Fair value. Consider.

M Rogers  36.00

3rd here on GC, in 2010. Started the season with an excellent 4th place finish on GC in his home tour, Tour Down Under. Then a 3rd on GC in Critérium International, followed by a 21st place finish on GC in Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco. Excellent value. Expect bold showing. Good EACH-WAY bet.
 
C Froome  41.00

15th here, last year. Will look to assert himself over Wiggins as Team Sky’s leader ahead of the Grand Tours. Excellent value. One of the main contenders. Danger. Best bet. 
 
R Costa  51.00

Good Ardnnes form, (19-18-17) most recently. Before that a 15th place finish on GC in Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco, and a 5th on GC in Volta ao Algarve. One to not discount lightly, at this stage. Odds unders. Consider.
 
V Kiryienka  51.00

14th on GC in Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco, then some form recently in the Ardennes Classics’ (27-50-40). Take on trust. 
 
L L Sanchez  51.00

56th here, last year. 17th on GC in Paris-Nice. Not at this stage. Overlook.
 
T Machado  51.00

Started his season in impressive fashion with a 3rd place finish in the Tour Down Under. Then followed that up with a 6th on GC in his home tour, Volta ao Algarve, and then a 5th on GC in Vuelta Castilla y Leon. Hard to have, hard to discount. Take on trust.

S Spilak  51.00

1st here, in 2010. 21st here, last year. So far this season, a solid 10th place finish on GC in Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco, and an excellent 4th on GC in Paris-Nice, before that. Cannot be discounted. Consider closely.  
 
J Brajkovic  51.00

7th here, last year, only 52secs behind the winner. Excellent value. However, question marks exist over his fitness, and this may be too early for a podium performance, at this stage. Take on trust.
 
D Martin  51.00

An honest contender who seems to have put away his early-season (spring)allergies. A 4th place finish on GC in Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, then good form in the final Ardennes Classics’ with a 6th in La Fleche Wallone, and a 5th in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, last start. Suited by the type of climbs he’ll find here and the parcours, and the odds offer good value for an EACH-WAY result. Should be considered as one of the main contenders. Watch closely. 

P Rolland  51.00

83rd here, last year. Promising rider with a 4th place finish on GC in Etoile de Bessèges, so far this season. Has been sharpened-up for this with a strong 12th place showing in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, last start. Presents as a genuine contender who has been aimed at this race. Do not discount. Good value. Warrants respect
 
G Thomas  61.00 

88th here, last year, some 14mins behind the winner. Ignore.

R Nocentini  61.00
 
Started the season with a 9th place finish on GC in Tour Méditerranéen, then a 4th on GC in Tirreno-Adriatico and a 5th place finish on GC in Critérium International. More recently, showed excellent form in the Ardennes Classics’ (9-12-11). An honest performer who should be amongst the main contenders. Consider closely for an EACH-WAY performace.

J Hoogerland  81.00

Started the season with a 9th on GC in Volta ao Algarve, then a 7th on GC in Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia, and a 5th on GC in Tirreno-Adriatico. Followed that up with a solid 20th in Milan-SanRemo, and has been toughened-up for this race with another solid performance to finish in 22nd place in Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Presents as a fit, tough-as-nails rider who will give an honest account of himself, here. Consider very closely.

K Seeldrayers  81.00

94th here, last year. Take on trust. 
 
C Vandevelde  81.00

13th here, 2010. Old-timer with little form to speak about. Ignore.
 
I Basso  101.00

31st here, last year, some 3mins behind the winner. Old-timer with little form to speak about. Ignore.
 
J J Cobo  101.00 

Talented Spanish rider, who prefers conditions to be hot, and the riding to be tough. Too early in the season for a podium position. Overlook.
 
C A Sorensen  101.00

86th here, last year. So far this season he finished in 21st place on GC in Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, in which he held 1st place in the Mountains classification. Then, a 17th place finish in the GP Miguel Indurain. Good climber who will be suited by the parcours. Prefer to see, at this stage, though. Discount.

My selections:

1.) C Froome.
2.) P Rolland.
3.) J Coppel.
Rougie:) J Hoogerland. 
 

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