70th TdR: a royal anniversary
The 70th Tour de Romandie had the royal anniversary it was expecting! Both in terms of the final podium—with Nairo Quintana (Movistar) winning ahead of Thibaut Pinot (Française des Jeux) and Jon Izaguirre (Movistar), who became the second victorious Columbian to make a mark after Santiago Botero in 2005—and of the figures in the peloton who came out on top. The yearly line-up of the stage winners is one of the most prestigious in history: Ion Izaguirre (Prologue), Marcel Kittel (1st stage), Nairo Quintana (Morgins), Thibaut Pinot (Sion), Chris Froome (Villars) and Michael Albasini (Geneva).
“Naironman” seized control in the 2nd stage leading to Morgins and Pinot won the time trial in Sion, confirming he’ll be a major contender for the Tour de France, while Chris Froome put on a show on the wet and cold road to Villars and won the stage! And on Sunday, slipping into a ten-man breakaway that held strong right to the end, Michael Albasini rocked Switzerland again, picking up his 6th stage win in three years!
Visit of the Minister and global impact
This 70th edition, honoured by the presence of the Swiss Minister for Sport Guy Parmelin and one of his predecessors Adolf Ogi, confirmed its status as a key event in the season, providing a wealth of indications for the Tour de France. Thibaut Pinot was thus able to verify the worth of his Valais “lieutenants” Steve Morabito and Sebastien Reichenbach in the mountain stages.
The impact of the Tour de Romandie, broadcast on 170 TV channels, has resounded stronger and further. All the way to South America, reflecting its winner (Quintana has half a million fans on Facebook!). The same goes for social networks, where the Snapchat account, launched as the icing on the cake for this edition, even caught the eye of RTS. And on this subject, we can’t wait to see the viewing figures for the Queen Stage. With Chris Froome’s exploits in Dantean weather conditions, it feels like there’s a record in the air!
So, without hesitation and with great joy, we say roll on 25 April 2017!