Now 90 years after its inceptionthe Tour de Suisse is as popular as ever. In the men’s race, the exceptional Belgian cyclist Wout van Aert leads a first class field of riders. The women’s race – with season high-flyer Demi Vollering – is part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour for the first time. And thanks to a lot of time trialling and even more altitude metres, Switzerland is looking strong.
Ten days before the start of the Tour de Suisse, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) points out as an absolute all-rounder on the start list. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), Biniam Girmay (Intermarché – Circus – Wanty) and the American Neilson Powless (EF Education – Easypost) would also be on the hunt for stage wins. Romain Bardet (Team DSM), Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) and Jakob Fuglsang (Isreal – Premier Tech) among others, also have their sights set on top results in the overall classification.
Two stages of the men’s Tour will be against the clock: the Tour de Suisse opens with a time trial in Einsiedeln and ends with one in St. Gallen. The two Thurgauer Stefans – Bissegger (EF Education – Easypost) and Küng (Groupama FDJ) – are specialists in this field and are keen to claim the Leader’s Jersey on June 11th. “The course in Einsiedeln suits me. My goal is to be on the top of the podium and to wear the yellow Leader’s Jersey after the race,” says Stefan Bissegger.
Many other Swiss competitors will be putting their best foot forward: “From a Swiss point of view I think Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) or Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) are capable of competing for the overall victory,” says David Loosli, Sports Director of the Tour de Suisse. Mauro Schmid (Soudal Quick-Step), Sébastien Reichenbach and Simon Pellaud (both Tudor Pro Cycling) are also possible candidates for Stage wins.
A Farewell for Peter Sagan and Michael Schär
In its 90th year (86th edition), the Tour de Suisse will bid farewell to two defining figures of the modern era. Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) holds the record of stage wins with 18 to his name. The 33-year-old Slovakian has announced his retirement from road cycling at the end of this season. Michael Schär (37, AG2R Citroen Team) from Lucerne is also riding his last season. The unmissable (1.98m tall) and universally appreciated peloton workhorse is looking forward to his final Tour de Suisse: “As a child I followed the Tour de Suisse from the roadside. Now at the end of my career to be able to ride another stage in my home region around Nottwil is something I’m especially looking forward to.”
Tour de Suisse Women: SD Worx versus the rest
The women’s Tour de Suisse is for the first time in the highest category (UCI Women’s World Tour). So far this season the Dutch team SD Worx is a power to be reckoned with. They already have 32 (!) victories to their credit. Swiss cyclist Marlen Reusser is right in the midst of it all and can look back on a very successful Spring herself. She makes no secret of her ambitions at the Tour de Suisse. “With the long time trial in St. Gallen and no really big mountains in the programme, Marlen has every reason to believe she can do well at the Tour de Suisse Women”, says David Loosli. At the Tour of the Basque Country in mid-May, Reusser proved that she can also compete for the overall victory in a Tour. In addition, team-mate and season dominator Demi Vollering, who calls the Basel region home, is considered a frontrunner for the overall victory.
The remaining teams will do everything they can to break the dominance of SD Worx. Possible candidates for this challenge are Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing), Liane Lippert (Movistar Team Women), Gaia Realini (Trek – Segafredo) oder Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ).
Swiss Cyclists with an Outside Chance
Of course other Swiss cyclists will also try to make the best of the home ground advantage, be it in a breakaway or perhaps a Stage win. Current Swiss Road Champion Caroline Baur (Israel Premier Tech Roland): “It will definitely be a special feeling to ride the Tour de Suisse Women in the Swiss Champion jersey, especially as it takes place in my training area. I’m looking forward to my home race and will certainly be on hand to support our climbers in their efforts to achieve a top result.”
Despite the absence of the National Team, other ambitious Swiss competitors, for example Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM Racing), Lea Fuchs (Born to Win – Zhiraf – G20) and Petra Stiasny (Fenix-Deceuninck) will be lining up at the start.
The final start lists for both races will be posted at https://www.tourdesuisse.ch/en/ the evening before the respective race begins.
A Competitive Route
In the men’s Tour de Suisse, the Queens Stage on June 15th from Fiesch to La Punt with the Furka, Oberalp and Albula passes will be a highlight. The Pros have to conquer more than 4,700 metres of altitude. In addition, they will already have two tough mountain finishes in Villars-sur-Ollon and Leukerbad in their legs. “As expected the Tour de Suisse features a lot of altitude gain. This year, with the two time trials on 11th June in Einsiedeln and 18th June in St. Gallen, the Rouleurs will also be in demand,” says the Sports Director, David Loosli.
In the women’s race, after the opening circuit stage, there will also be a battle against the clock on Stage Two. After that, the women will also sample Switzerland’s mountainous topography. David Loosli says: “During stages three and four, the climbing specialists are in their element. On the way to Ebnat-Kappel on the third day and on the circuit in the same region on the fourth day, there are many sharp climbs that are ideal for attacks”.
Each day, the last two hours of the men’s race and 90 minutes of the women’s race will be broadcast live on television both nationally (SRF, RTS, RSI) and internationally (Eurosport and others).
TdS FanZone by Primeo Energie
Launched last year the TdS FanZone is levelling up. Together with the developers of LivXp and main partner Primeo Energie, the campaign has been refined and enhanced to give fans even more digital access to the Tour de Suisse.
In addition to the chance to wave the chequered flag at a Stage, there are many other exciting activities to discover before, during and after the Tour de Suisse:
- Raffles of great prizes and experiences
- Auctions of unique collector’s items
- Live tracking of all stages during the Tour de Suisse 2023
- Video wall with exclusive Tour de Suisse content
- Wishlist of must-have experiences for the FanZone
A Public Festival for Everyone
The Tour de Suisse provides more than sporting highlights along the route for people of all ages. In addition to the popular advertising caravan which travels approximately an hour in advance of the peloton there is a daily Kids Race to ride on the finishing straight, as well as the Partner Village to explore in the finish area.