Tour de Romandie 2014: preview

Defending champion Chris Froome returns to action with Team Sky

World champion Rui Costa is still searching for his first victory in the rainbow jersey, and will enter Romandie recovery from a crash at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Nevertheless, the Portuguese ace is pencilled in as team leader for Lampre-Merida for the race as he prepares to defend his Tour de Suisse title and then ride the Tour de France in the coming months. A disappointing Ardennes Classics campaign followed the Tour of the Basque Country where he never looked in contention either, but previously Costa had been in good shape as the season ramps up.

Rui Costa is still chasing a first win in the rainbow jersey after crashing out of Liege-Bastogne-Liege (pic: Sirotti)

If he is to reach those peaks again, the Tour de Romandie seems a good place for him to start, however – particularly after finishing third in the colours of Movistar last time out. Five second places so far this season – split across the Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice – show he has been close to top form and, as Portuguese time trial champion, he has shown he can also produce against the clock. Stage three suits his attacking nature – similar to what he showed at last year’s Tour de France – and if he can recapture that sort of form, a podium place at least is certainly within his reach.

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