By Jonny Long
The third stage of the Tour de Romandie 2019 has been reduced by 70km due to poor weather conditions.
Temperatures have plummeted to near freezing on the Col de Mosses, as well as high winds and a threat of snow forcing race organisers to reduce the route to 107.6km.
This key mountain stage will now be decided by the summit finish at Torgon, a 10.5km first category climb with an average gradient of 6.8 per cent. The race will miss out the Col des Mosses where, the Tour de Romandie said in a statement, the temperature "will be 2°C but with an apparent temperature of -2°C."
A profile map of the original route shows a number of categorised climbs have been taken out of the race schedule. The second category Sorens and Saanenenmöser, as well as the first category Jaunpass and Col des Mosses.
Instead, the riders will ascend the third category Prévonloup and both routes keep the final Torgon climb to the finish line.
The start of the race has also been pushed back to 1.35pm BST. The organisers have released a statement, which read: "Since yesterday, the two potential replacement routes had already been marked out in case the weather risks were confirmed, so the peloton will be guided by the same signage and the municipalities on the route were informed of the possible passage of the Tour de Romandie."
The UCI's extreme weather protocol was implemented after consultation between the teams, commissaires, and the CPA (Cyclistes Professionnels Associés).
Sunday's final stage four is a 16.9km time trial in Geneva, with Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) currently mounting a successful defence of his title, holding the overall race lead with a six second advantage over the winner of stage three David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ). Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) sits a eight seconds behind in third. Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) is currently fifth, 20 seconds down on Roglič.
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