It is not getting much more Spring-like in Ottawa these days and the dark and cold are pretty relentless: when I got up this morning it was -15C and it was ages before the sun came up. Rather than cycling outdoors, I have been going to the gym to lift weights (boring), treadmill running (boring, except when the belt goes too fast) and riding the time trial bike in the basement while watching racing DVDs. The latter is not so bad since I usually just spend an hour doing this, but I have really enjoyed watching the DVD of the 2003 version of one of my favourite races, Switzerland's Tour of Romandy.
This race, in the French-speaking part of the country, began in 1947 and runs through some glorious countryside. When living in Europe I followed this 5-stage race on television and always enjoyed it very much. And the parcours for the 2008 race has just been announced so as I whirl away in the basement I am riding, at least in spirit, through the wonderful hills of Springtime.
From http://www.cyclingnews.com/ today:
2007 Tour de Romandie announced
The itinerary of next year's Tour de Romandie has been unveiled by the event organisers. The 62nd edition of the ProTour stage race taking place in the French-speaking part of Switzerland will be run from April 29-May 4, 2008, and serve, as usual, as a final preparation for Giro d'Italia contenders. But next season, the Tour de Romandie outcome may be more open to climbers as there will be less overall time trial kilometres than this year, when Thomas Dekker of Team Rabobank scored the final victory.
The prologue held in the streets of Geneva will be extra-short, only 1900 metres, and the long time trial usually raced on the final day will take place on Friday, May 2 in Sion. In between, the Swiss mountains will surely do some damage and provide a worthy winner of the event.
The six stages outline as follows:
Tuesday, April 29 - prologue: Genève-Genève (1,9 km)
Wednesday, April 30 - Stage 1: Morges-Saignelégier (182,4 km)
Thursday, May 1 - Stage 2: Moutier-Fribourg (170 km)
Friday, May 2 - Stage 3: Sion-Sion (18,8 km ITT)
Saturday, May 3 - Stage 4: Sion-Zinal (126,5 km)
Sunday, May 4 - Stage 5: Le Bouveret-Lausanne (159,4 km)