The Tour de Romandie. Romandie being the traditional name for the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
Romandie is probably less mountainous than what you’d expect from a Swiss race, but it’s still usually an entertaining affair. As has often been the case, the course has four mass-start stages sandwiched between two time trials: the race opens on Tuesday with a short, urban prologue in Lausanne, and it wraps up on Sunday with a challenging uphill ITT above Aigle, the small town where the UCI is headquartered. In between, stages from 1 to 3 take place in the hilly countryside between Lac Leman and Lac Neuchâtel; stage 4 is the only proper mountain stage, and it also features an uphill finish- a fairly long climb with accessible gradients and some downhill sections in between.
There are not a lot of riders using this race as preparation for the Giro- if a riders is doing well at Romandie, chances are they’ll be past their peak by the time the corsa rosa’s third week rolls out. Contenders for the 2022 edition include O’Connor, Caruso, Higuita and Geraint Thomas, who won in 2021 despite achieving the remarkable feat of crashing while going uphill- just G things. It was the Welsh rider’s first win since the 2018 Tour!