Tolhoek tenth in opening stage Ruta del Sol
Antwan Tolhoek has finished tenth in the first stage of the Ruta del Sol. The 15...
On Tuesday the Tour de Romandie will start in Oron. For many riders it’s a preparation race for upcoming grand tours, but the stage race through the French-speaking part of Switzerland is a race that certainly holds ambitions for Team Jumbo-Visma. The past two editions were won by Primoz Roglic.
The course in Switzerland is far from flat. On the first and last day the riders will battle against the clock on hilly terrain. The penultimate stage can be described as the queen stage. The riders will climb to over 2000 metres above sea level.
"The most important thing now is to get back into the rhythm of racing. I need to build up some confidence on the bike again."
For Tony Martin, the Tour de Romandie will be the first race after an elbow injury sustained in Paris-Nice. The time trialist is looking forward to finally being back in competition. “I am looking forward to it. I feel good after my injury. I am lucky that, despite my age, I still recover quickly from injuries. I am confident that my condition in general will be fine. The most important thing now is to get back into the rhythm of racing. I need to build up some confidence on the bike again. Of course I am careful, but I will give 100 percent in the coming week.”
A glance at the course awakens a good feeling in the Switzerland-based rider. “The route book shows that there will be two races against the clock. On the first day there is a prologue. In this stage I don’t expect much from myself. The Tour of Romandie ends with a 16 kilometres time trial. That is also the stage I am looking forward to the most. I see opportunities for myself here. I hope I can build up a good rhythm in the previous stages.”
“The Tour of Romandie always feels extra special to me. I have good memories of this race. I won a time trial there several times in the past. I also finished second in the overall classification nine years ago. It is a race that is always perfectly organised down to the last detail. In addition, we will be riding in beautiful surroundings. It is a race in the country where I live nowadays. I come to the start by train. It doesn’t feel like a home race, however, because it is about three hours away from where I live. Still, it feels more special than races in, say, France or Spain”, Martin says.
"I look forward to pinning a number on my back again."
He does not hide his ambitions for the coming period. “In the first place I am here to ride in service of Steven Kruijswijk. This race is part of my preparation for the Tour de France. I look forward to pinning a number on my back again.”