A total of 23 teams will line up at the start of the men’s Tour de Suisse on 11th June 2023. Two Swiss teams from the UCI ProTeam level are included. The women’s race, which will be part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour for the first time this year, features 19 teams. Of these 10 teams have Women’s WorldTeam status.
All WorldTeams at the Start
As an important preparation for the Tour de France, the Tour de Suisse has been a permanent fixture in the cycling calendar for decades. “We are proud to be able to present the world’s best teams and with them the great personalities in road cycling to the public year after year,” says Tour Director Olivier Senn. On 11th June all 18 UCI WorldTeams will be at the start in Einsiedeln. The starting field will be completed with five ambitious UCI ProTeams, three of which have received an invitation as stipulated in the regulations. One of these teams is Team TotalEnergies, led by Peter Sagan. Sagan, who won in Grenchen last year, says about his upcoming final appearance: “The Tour de Suisse has been a fixed part of my racing calendar almost every year and is the perfect preparation for the second half of the season. It also has a special meaning for me when I can stand at the start as a record stage winner. It is sad that I am competing for the last time. I will enjoy every kilometre and give everything for myself and the team!”
Young Swiss Teams aim to upset the applecart
The two wildcard teams this year also have the status of UCI ProTeam. One of these wildcards is Tudor Pro Cycling Team, founded by Fabian Cancellara. “As a team with Swiss roots and major Swiss partners, we are incredibly proud to be part of the Tour de Suisse with the Tudor Pro Cycling Team. Our line-up will include some Swiss athletes and we will be sure to entertain spectators with an animated performance,” says team owner Cancellara.
The second wildcard goes to Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team. They are another team looking to shake up the field with young hopefuls. In Fabio Christen and Filippo Colombo, they have two promising young Swiss professionals under contract. As well they boast a very experienced technical advisor in Vincenzo Nibali. According to Mathias Frank, responsible for team selection in the Tour Management: “In the past, with the exception of the National Team, there was no Swiss team in the men’s event. The fact that we now have two Swiss teams at the start makes us very happy”.
There will be no National Team in the men’s starting field this year. Many Swiss riders have taken their place in the teams mentioned above, among others. An age limit of 25 years has also been set by the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) for the National Team. Swiss Cycling’s Head of Sports, Patrick Müller explains: “Due to this age restriction it would simply not be possible to field a competitive team in mid-June. We are on the other hand very happy that two Swiss professional teams will be at the start.”
Women’s Cycling with the World’s Best Teams
The Tour de Suisse Women, now held at the highest level, the UCI Women’s WorldTour, can count on 10 UCI Women’s WorldTeams participating. Among them are Team Movistar, home of Tour de France overall winner Annemiek van Vleuten and Team SD Worx with Switzerland’s Marlen Reusser, who is looking forward to the Tour de Suisse Women with great anticipation: “For me, the race is one of the season’s highlights”. Reusser, who is especially looking forward to the time trial in St. Gallen, continues: “We will definitely have a powerful team at the start and want to fight for victory in the overall classification.”
“The Tour de Suisse Women has the status of a UCI Women’s WorldTour race for the first time this year. This means we will see even more world-class teams and riders,” Tour Director Olivier Senn is delighted to report. In total 19 teams will be at the start of the women’s race from 17th June. The remaining places will be awarded to the best and most competitive UCI Women’s Continental Teams. “When allocating starting places, we pay particular attention to the previous year’s results and to Swiss cyclists within the teams,” Mathias Frank revealed.
Swiss Women Power
One would be forgiven for not guessing it from the team name but there will also be a professional team in the women’s field under Swiss auspices. Israel Premier Tech Roland, with Swiss rider Caroline Baur, is one of the 10 UCI Women’s WorldTeams and races under a Swiss licence. Baur is eagerly looking forward to the Tour de Suisse Women: “I am excited to be at the start of the Tour de Suisse with the only Swiss Women’s WorldTeam and I know that we can cause a stir”. “It is important for the advancement of women’s cycling in Switzerland to have a team at the highest level. This gives young Swiss female athletes an added perspective and additional motivation to continue developing,” Mathias Frank is convinced.
In Spring the UCI, the world governing body of cycling, will decide whether a National Team may participate in the Tour de Suisse Women in addition to the teams that have already been definitively selected.
A final start list will be published shortly before the Tour de Suisse as soon as the teams have made their selections.