Simplon Pass removed from route of stage one as road deemed dangerous for racing

Snowfall on the Simplon Pass and concerns about the weather conditions have led the Tour de Romandie race organiser to severely shorten Wednesday’s opening road stage.

Originally a 199-kilometre trip from Ascona to Sion, taking in the 2,005-metre Simplon Pass mid-way, the stage will now feature only 88.6 kilometres and start from the original stage’s feed zone, at Brigerbad. The day will now feature just one classified climb, the second category Lens, which peaks around 20km from the finish line in Sion.

Due to the shortened distance, and the logistics of getting the riders and equipment to the new start venue, the stage will not kick off until 3.15pm local time.

Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) wears the leader’s jersey after winning the opening prologue on Tuesday. Last year’s Romandie winner, Chris Froome (Sky), finished 13th. Froome posted a photo of himself this morning in a team car travelling along the snow-lined roads.