Starting this Sunday, the Waadtländer hope will compete with the national team in the Tour de Suisse. The Morges rider, who returned from a concussion, is about to face his baptism of fire in the World Tour.
After the rain comes the nice weather, as the saying goes. Robin Froidevaux suffered a bad head fall on April 7th during stage 2 of the Circuit des Ardennes and has had a complicated two months due to concussion. But the 23-year-old is finally seeing the light at the end of a tunnel that leads to Küsnacht, the start and finish of Stage 1 of the Tour de Suisse (from this Sunday to next Sunday).
This Sunday, the Morgien returns to the competition in national jersey. Above all, on this occasion he will discover the highest level of world cycling. “I don’t feel too stressed,” slips the track driver. Of course I will carry the national jersey on my shoulders. But I won’t really be responsible because I’m not supposed to be at the level of the other World Tour riders. This race doesn’t really stress me. On the contrary, this experience is quite exciting. This allows me to get an idea of the level of the other runners and make progress by battling with the best.
Unfortunately for the one who competed in the last Tokyo Olympics, he does not approach the Swiss loop in optimal physical conditions. “I haven’t been able to compete since my fall, but I’ve prepared as well as I can,” says the Vaud native. After my accident I had to take a week off. Then, under more or less normal conditions, I was able to continue with the aim of taking part in the Tour de Romandie. I finally had to give it up because I still had a headache and my concussion wasn’t fully healed.
That package was particularly difficult to accept for Robin Froidevaux, who was preparing to compete in the first event of his World Tour career. Everything on “his” roads in Romandy.
“The disappointment was hard to stomach, he admits. When you fall on your head, the mind takes a hit, but mostly because of the shock. One of the symptoms of a concussion is that you become less emotionally stable, and you feel a roller coaster ride of emotions. But once the symptoms subsided and the head stabilized, things were much better. This allowed me to progress step by step before returning to normal intensities. I can train normally again for two or three weeks. It took a while but I’m back to 100% now.
The regular of the Tudor formation, who will switch to Continental Pro (2nd world class) next season, wants to take full advantage of the opportunity that Swiss Cycling offers him at this Tour of Switzerland.
“I’m pretty confident and I’m convinced that it will be a very interesting experience for my future,” he predicts. But between the fact that I’m coming back from an injury and the fact that I’ve never raced at this level before, it’s going to be difficult to get results. Rather, the aim will be to gain as much experience as possible, to present oneself internationally and to have fun. The Tour de Suisse is celebrated across the country. I can hardly imagine how many spectators will be on the side of the road. But what I do know is that it will be completely different from the races I’ve competed in before.
The multiple European track medalist (hopefully then in the elite) will also face a more demanding track than usual where opportunities to excel will be rare for the sprinters of which he is one.
Aim for outliers
“It looks really complicated given the track profile,” he smiles. So my role will mostly be to be a teammate with the climbers or try my luck on breakaways. The first five stages before entering the high mountain seem easier. But it’s still Switzerland, with bumps and elevations. So they are not that easy. I think the end of the Granges stage (Note: the third) is one of the less difficult ones, but everything will depend on how it rolls when crossing the Jura. The next one is said to be the easiest for sprinters, but there is a relatively steep climb just before the finish. So I expect more of a stage for the punchers.
After all, the Swiss team is traditionally active and enterprising, regardless of the field, when invited to the Tour de Suisse or the Tour de Romandie. Robin Froidevaux, Yannis Voisard coming from a very good Alpes Isère Tour and others will certainly do everything to ensure the show and give something back to the organizers.
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