Geneva to crown (a Colombian?) as Tour de Romandie winner

GENEVA, Switzerland – On Sunday 1 May, Colombian Nairo Quintana could be crowned the 2016 Tour de Romandie champion becoming only the second Latin American man in winning the Swiss cycling stage race.

Quintana took the lead in the second stage of the the Tour de Romandie, a UCI World Tour short stage race a couple of days back.

Former Tour de Romandie winner Chris Froome, who won stage four today 30 April in Sion, will be following Quintana (Movistar) closely.

The Movistar cyclist retained the leader’s yellow jersey after today’s race in Sion and is expected to ride into the city of Calvin early enough to keep the lead.

It is expected that the race will cross the finish line (in front of the Kempinski Hotel) by 14:30-14:45 on Sunday 1 May.

Quintana finished 8th in the 2015 Tour de Romandie and was crowned king of the mountain and named Best Young Rider in the 2013 Tour de France.

Only one Latin American biker has won the Romandie race since its inception, Sergio Botero, also Colombian broke the US-European dominance of the race in 2005.

In 2011, another Colombian made headlines in Switzerland but under very different circumstances.

Juan Mauricio Soler who was second in the Tour, lost control of his bike while riding at 80 km/h in descent.

Soler hit a spectator before crashing against a wall. The sportsman suffered life-threatening injuries that ended his career.

Quintana has vowed to take the lead tomorrow.

The shy 26-year-old Quintana has gained mythical status in his native Colombia where due to his humble origins first had to borrow a bike to compete. His win would be a national celebration.

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