Israel – Premier Tech will line up for Tour de Romandie with a strong team eager to put their mark on the Suisse WorldTour stage race this week.
The six days of racing offer multiple chances for the team on all kinds of terrain. The opening prologue is a short and technical one, while stage 1 is up and down all day with nearly no meters of flat road. The following two days could either be for a breakaway or end in a sprint within a reduced peloton.
Looking at the general classification, the final two days are the most crucial ones. Stage 4 finishes with a long climb of nearly 30 kilometers, while the last day of racing is a 15-kilometer individual time trial, including the challenging 10-kilometer ascent towards Villars. Nothing will be settled before the last rider crosses the finishing line on Sunday.
After several strong performances in last year’s race, with Michael Woods’ victory on the queen stage as the highlight, IPT sports director Zak Dempster explains that the goal is to take the race head on and fight for victory every day.
“We are bringing a good team to this race and I really think that we have a rider capable of winning almost every day this week”, Dempster says. “Things have been complicated for us this year but the past is the past and we are here to race – and to race hard. The main objective is to win and we have multiple options for both stage wins and the general classification.”
Fresh off making the top-10 in both Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège last week, Woods says he can’t wait to get started racing.
“My legs feel really good and I’m excited to get started with Tour de Romandie”, the 35-year-old Canadian tells. “Firstly, I’ll be looking for stage wins and then we will see about the GC. I know the finish on stage 1 quite well, as I was fourth there in 2019, and the mountain stages suit me well too. Having Jakob [Fuglsang] and Paddy [Bevin] here takes a bit of the pressure off me but it also means we can race more aggressively. With a bit of luck, I think we can do great things this week.”
Lineup: Patrick Bevin, Alex Cataford, Chris Froome, Jakob Fuglsang, Krists Neilands, Corbin Strong, Michael Woods.
Sports directors: Zak Dempster, Nicki Sørensen, Dirk Demol.