Tour de Romandie (prologue)
Costa (5th) and Valverde (8th) make it into top-ten at hard prologue won by Chris Froome (SKY) – Szmyd, Plaza also within best 15
It was a fine effort from the Movistar Team riders in the prologue of the 2013 Tour de Romandie, a 7.4km mixed time trial from Le Châble to Mayens de Bruson, a Cat. 3 climb of three and a half kilometers and slopes up to 10% following four k’s of flat and small bumps. Alejandro Valverde and Rui Costa, the two designated, GC riders from the telephone squad for the Helvetic stagerace, produced a great result as they made it into a top-level first page of the leaderboard, commanded by Briton Chris Froome (SKY).
The Portuguese rider was 5th over the line, 16 seconds behind Froome and just one over the Spaniard, who claimed the 8th best time as Sylwester Szmyd and Rubén Plaza also backed the Blues’ great hopes for the race taking 14th and 15th respectively. The expectations must be fulfilled into the five remaining stages, with the weekend set to be decisive with the Queen stage towards Les Diablerets and the ITT showdown in Geneva; before that, three rolling stages await, including Wednesday’s day one to Renens (176km) after the Col de Mollendruz (Cat. 2) just about 40k from the finish.