The race office has been Stephan Wüthrich’s territory since the turn of the millennium. He and his team also take on additional tasks at the award ceremony, produce the official race bulletin and ensure its distribution to the cycling teams.
There is practically no organizational interface that does not run via Stephan Wüthrich’s online tool. Accreditation, the allocation of parking permits and even hospitality ticketing are also part of his system. The former computer scientist and today’s PR specialist knows his self-written program inside out. This is why he is occupied with Tour de Suisse themes practically all year round. “From January it will become more intense, from May even hectic,” laughs Stephan Wüthrich.
The native of Wichtrach in Bern (between Bern and Thun) has no background in cycling, but joined the Tour de Suisse via the then sponsor PostFinance. “I am attracted by the diverse tasks, the improvisation in addition to the sophisticated planning – and of course the work in a well-rehearsed team.” For ten days every year he breathes a totally different air.
Stephan Wüthrich recruits his six team members himself. It is important that they remain calm in the heat of the moment. “It can get hectic when you’re on target.” His team is responsible for ensuring that the stage winner, the leader and the category leaders arrive in time for the award ceremony. When exhaustion and emotions come together, you are very close to the drivers and their carers. “There are many unforgettable moments.”
Behind the podium Stephan Wüthrich coordinates by radio. Because his people have a lot more responsibilities. The leader jerseys are printed immediately after the finish line, four so-called chaperons accompany the riders designated by the referees to the doping control, others guard the bikes of the professionals. Back at the race office, the team members compile the official race bulletin, which must be published online as soon as possible, sent by e-mail to all accredited persons and the cycling teams, and brought in printed form to the UCI referees in the hotels.
Stephan Wüthrich doesn’t always notice much about the race itself at the Tour de Suisse. “As non-cycling athletes, I am fascinated by the extraordinary performances of the professionals every year.” Stephan Wüthrich enjoys the mountain stages most. “The impressive landscape, the sportive effort, the enthusiastic audience and the fine glass of wine in the evening before a quiet night in the mountains, what more could you want?