Enthusiastic spectators followed this year’s Swiss national tour of the superlatives. In addition, the splendid weather on most days of the race, spectacular stages, great performances by the Swiss racers and the open exchange of shots for the overall classification left almost nothing to be desired.
At the traditional media conference before the start of the final stage in Schaffhausen, the organizers of InfrontRingier drew a very positive conclusion before the assembled media. Once again, the tour organizers succeeded in creating a course that was exciting until the very end. “We have done a lot of things right this year,” said CEO Olivier Senn. “The numerous satisfied partners and guests also show us that we are on the right track to inspire the population even more”.
1,162 kilometres and 17,490 metres of altitude difference awaited the 176 cycling pros at the 81st edition of the Tour de Suisse. In hot summer weather about 100’000 visitors enjoyed the first race weekend in Cham. “The many cheering fans along the race track up to the mountain price on the Horben were overwhelming”, Olivier Senn described. Cham and the local OK of the HUB Zug proved impressively on the starting weekend that a commitment to a region over several years can generate great enthusiasm for cycling and is sustainable. Extremely high visitor numbers were also registered at other starting and finishing points. For example, the start in Locarno offered an impressive backdrop.
A Tour de Suisse of superlatives
Not only the impressive crowds of spectators at the start weekend provided material for superlatives: Already during the prologue time trial at the start of the Tour de Suisse, the Australian Rohan Dennis (BMC) achieved an hourly average of 56.25 km/h, which had never been achieved before in a comparable time trial. The climb to the Albula Pass last Thursday during the royal stage from Locarno to La Punt was also conquered faster for the last time in 2006.
World Champion Peter Sagen took his victories 14 and 15 at the Tour de Suisse in the sprint in Cevio (5th stage) and in Schaffhausen (8th stage), thus further extending his record of stage victories. In addition, the seventh stage led to the Tiefenbach Glacier above Sölden, with an altitude of 2,780 metres above sea level, an altitude unrivalled on the Tour de Suisse. On the same seventh stage, for the first time in the history of cycling, the racers passed through a 1.7 km long tunnel shortly before the finish, which ended at the foot of the Tiefenbach glacier. This extraordinary mountain arrival will certainly remain in the memory of some racers.
Extended coverage on TV and other media
The live reporting on the SRG’s German-language channel, which was expanded for this year, contributed to a noticeably higher perception of the Tour de Suisse. “We always offered a hand to get the Radstars into the SRF studio in a timely manner,” explained Olivier Senn. Thus the audience received first-hand information within a short time. “It would be nice if SRG would continue this attractive live format.”
Increased interest was also noticeable from the international media and TV stations in 2017. In addition, the evaluations of the media monitoring show that print and online reporting increased significantly this year. Last but not least, the Tour de Suisse’s social media channels are now well established in the cycling community and are used extensively.
No major incidents
No major incidents were recorded by the organisation until Sunday noon, 18.6. Wherever something happened, we reacted quickly and professionally and provided immediate aid. The cooperation with the local organizing committees also worked very well this year.
Date of execution 2018
The date of the Tour de Suisse 2018 has not yet been fixed. The UCI currently has an application for an advance postponement pending. InfrontRingier expects a response by 22 June 2017 and will communicate the date of the event afterwards. For the 2018 event, the following stage locations have already been determined in alphabetical order: Arosa, Frauenfeld, Gansingen, Gommiswald, Leukerbad and – brand new – Oberstammheim. Frauenfeld will host the starting weekend. Further stage locations will be communicated step by step after the contract has been signed and the concrete route will be presented around the end of February 2018.
The Tour Directorate would like to thank everyone involved in the success of the Tour de Suisse and looks forward to the 82nd edition of the Swiss National Tour in 2018.
Media Office Tour de Suisse: Jolanda van de Graaf (Tel. +41 (0)79 222 07 69, media(at)tds.ch)