The fertile soil of eastern Switzerland is not just for good for apple trees. No, the 86th Tour de Suisse has also found fertile ground for the second weekend of racing in the Cantons of Thurgau and St. Gallen. The municipality of Tübach (SG) and the two towns of Weinfelden (TG) and St. Gallen will be the focus of worldwide cycling action from 17th-18th June 2023.
Winding from Tubach to Weinfelden
The Tour de Suisse is not new territory for either town. In 2005 an Individual Time Trial was staged in Weinfelden and Tübach hosted a Stage Start in 2011. “It is always nice for us when we can get previous venues excited about the Tour de Suisse again,” says Tour Director Olivier Senn.
Starting in Tübach the 7th Stage kicks off the final weekend of the men’s Tour de Suisse on 17th June. “The stage will be peppered with climbs. Particularly in the two half-cantons of Appenzell, the cyclists will have to master considerable metres of altitude. The final stretch towards Weinfelden will be a bit easier topographically, which might give the sprinters another chance to compete for a stage win,” says David Loosli, Weinfelden resident and Sports Director of the Tour de Suisse.
The third edition of the Tour de Suisse Women also starts in Weinfelden in the evening on the same Saturday. Route designer David Loosli is looking forward to an absolute spectacle: “In the evening there will be a circuit race in the Weinfelden region. It will be a fantastic experience for spectators along the course”. The women’s race is scheduled to start at 6pm.
The Sports Town of Weinfelden
Heading up the local Organising Committee in Weinfelden is Daniel Engeli. This is what he has to say regarding the commitment as a Tour de Suisse stage location: “We were asked at the end of 2022 whether the finish of the 7th Stage of the Men’s Tour as well as the start of the first stage of the Women’s Tour could take place in Weinfelden in 2023. Although the planning time for this international cycling event is extremely short, the sports town of Weinfelden accepted the challenge. We are delighted that Weinfelden will be the stage location of the Tour de Suisse on Saturday 17th June 2023 and we are confident of hosting a fantastic event”.
With around 12,000 residents Weinfelden is one of the larger towns in the Canton of Thurgau. It is situated in the gently rolling countryside between the Thur and Ottenberg valleys. Thanks to its central location Weinfelden is an excellent starting point for outings in the region and beyond.
Tour de Suisse Hub on St. Gallen Soil
Making up another part of the Eastern Switzerland trio is the municipality of Tübach. Organising Committee President and Mayor of Tübach, Michael Götte is excited: “The public interest in the Tour de Suisse was evident at the 2011 Stage Start, when hundreds of people from all over the lake region watched, admired and supported, despite the rain. We look forward to once again providing the population an unforgettable event in 2023.”
For a small community Tübach has a lot to offer and invites visitors to get to know the beautiful lake region a little better. The idyllic and modern village is only a few minutes away from Lake Constance and has everything it takes for a great quality of life. True to the motto “small but mighty”, the municipality has proven time and time again that they can create great things. Major events such as the 2018 Cantonal Wrestling Festival and the start of the 2011 Tour de Suisse Stage are such examples.
Together with Tübach, the city of St. Gallen forms the Tour de Suisse Hub St. Gallen. The cultural metropolis of St.Gallen charms with its picturesque old town and rich historical heritage: the Abbey District, complete with Baroque cathedral and world-famous Abbey Library, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is considered the city’s landmark. For those who enjoy cycling or e-biking through stunning landscapes, walking over bridges of various construction or leisurely strolls along enchanting lakeside promenades, the St.Gallen-Lake Constance region has numerous opportunities for healthy, sporting and active pursuits.
“The Tour de Suisse Hub St.Gallen is a unique opportunity to develop new incentives and projects related to cycling in Eastern Switzerland. In collaboration with the relevant stakeholders the aim is to achieve advances in the promotion of cycling and tourism. We have adopted a long-term approach and we are working simultaneously on a regional cycling development strategy. This event will be a celebration of cycling in Eastern Switzerland and will link to past glorious times – after all, this year we are also celebrating 40 years of the World Cycling Championships in Altenrhein, 40 years of the Lake Constance Cycle Path and indeed 50 years of the Lake Constance Cycle Marathon,” says Thomas Kirchhofer, Tourism Director of St. Gallen-Lake Constance Tourism.
Race Against the Clock in St. Gallen
“In St. Gallen we have a fantastic location for the finale of the men’s tour on Sunday 18th June 2023, and for what could be a decisive day in the women’s race,” says a delighted Olivier Senn. For both genders an Individual Time Trial, starting in the city of St. Gallen and finishing in the outlying town of Abtwil, is on the agenda. “The time trial runs through the middle of the city and is sure to draw many spectators to the roadside,” David Loosli is confident.
With approximately 25 kilometres and a hilly course profile, it will be a tough time trial for both the men and the women. A former professional cyclist himself, Loosli assesses the 8th Stage of the men’s race as follows: “There is the possibility to make up a lot of time in GC, but also the chance to lose it. And, in addition to the fight for the Tour podium, we anticipate an exciting battle for the stage win, which could turn out to be a duel between the Swiss time trial specialists”. In the women’s race, the overall classification could already take on decisive proportions as well. “The course length of about 25 kilometres is rather long by UCI Women’s World Tour standards. For the specialists it’s a golden opportunity to grab valuable time” predicts Loosli.
On Monday 19th June 2023, the women will start in St. Gallen for the 3rd Stage towards Ebnat-Kappel. The Toggenburg village will serve as the final Hub of the Tour de Suisse Women on Monday and Tuesday. With the three eastern Swiss stage locations for the conclusion of the men’s Tour de Suisse and the start of the women’s Tour de Suisse, all host locations for 2023 are now clear. The precise route of the entire Tour de Suisse will be announced at the end of March.