By Peter Kogoy
“I've not raced for three weeks and I'm ready to have a crack,” Renshaw said today after he and the HTC-Highroad squad flew into Geneva for today's start of the Tour of Romandie.
Renshaw is using the week long eduro to shake out the cobwebs and as vital preparation for the Giro d'Italia, the first of the grand tours starting on May 7.
The Bathurst Bulldog will be joined at the tour of western Switzerland by Geelong team-mate Leigh Howard where Cadel Evans of BMC is one of the favourites for the overall.
It kicks off tonight (AEST) with a technically difficult 3.5km time trial prologue in Martigny.
HTC-Highroad management have high hopes of Howard taking the stage that features no less than six 90 degree corners and two nasty U-turns.
Sprinters like Renshaw get their chance of stage honours on tomorrow's opening road stage, a 172.6km run from Martigny to Leysin which takes riders around Lake Geneva and passes through the country's Gruyere cheese-making region.
Evans, who has set his sights on the Tour de France in July, is coming back after a three week lay-off from injury.
He's not raced since finishing eighth at the Tour of Catalonia on March 27.
BMC Racing spokesman Sean Weide says Evans has shaken off the niggles from hurting his right quadricep and is close to peak race fitness.
Another rider with big expectations is Giro winner Ivan Basso, who resumes racing after having pulled out of the Tour of the Basque Country due to illness.
One of the many highlights of this year's race is the mountain goats get their chance to impress in the Swiss Alps...
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