Tour de Suisse 2024 is all about the Mountains

The route of the 87th Tour de Suisse will definitely put all riders to the test. Climbers are in for a treat with four mountain finishes and a mountain time trial. The route of the women’s race is equally challenging with plenty of altitude to conquer in the hilly Romandie region.

This year, the riders must complete 950 kilometres and almost 19,000 metres in altitude. While most of the elevation meters are concentrated in the second half of the week, the time trialists, sprinters and classics specialists will be on show in the first half of the race. Tour Director Olivier Senn says of this year’s route: “Only the best climbers will have a shot at overall victory. Stage wins on the other hand will be up for grabs for different types of riders”.

From Vaduz to Villars-sur-Ollon
After the very short time trial prologue of just under five kilometres on Sunday 9th June, the peloton leaves Vaduz the next day and returns to Switzerland with the stage towards Regensdorf. The Zurich region is also the focus of the action on Tuesday 11th June, starting in Steinmaur and finishing in Rüschlikon. After these two potential sprint finish stages, the fast men in the peloton will have to grit their teeth. Four mountain finishes follow in succession. Stage 4 finishes on the legendary Gotthard Pass, which is approached from the north side through the Schöllenen Gorge and via Andermatt. The fifth stage is a pure Ticino stage taking the peloton up to the mountain village of Carì not once but twice. On Friday 14th June, the Nufenen Pass awaits and with it the roof of this year’s Tour de Suisse. “The sixth stage from Locarno to Blatten-Belalp can be described as the Queen stage,” says David Loosli. With a good 150 kilometres to cover there is a total of over 3,500 metres in altitude and a final ascent to Blatten on the agenda.

Villars-sur-Ollon hosts the closing weekend. A mountainous circuit leads over the Col de la Croix on Saturday. This lap with the tough final climb to Villars-sur-Ollon will be tackled twice and marks the fourth mountain finish in a row. “However, the Tour de Suisse 2024 will probably only be decided in the mountain time trial from Aigle to Villars-sur-Ollon,” says David Loosli. Almost 900 metres ascent in just 15 kilometres is a tough final ask.

Tour de Suisse Women entirely in French-speaking Switzerland
The 4th edition of the Tour de Suisse Women covers 330 kilometres and just over 6,600 metres in altitude. The final two stages of the men’s race form the start for the women. The circuit around Villars-sur-Ollon is contested once but it is a tough one of around 60 kilometres with over 1,500 meters in altitude. The next day will see the mountain time trial from Aigle to Villars-sur-Ollon, which is identical to the men’s stage. “This year, the Tour de Suisse Women will be tougher than ever before,” says Olivier Senn confidently. “The fight for the general classification is on from the very first kilometre and the cyclists will need to dig deep,” continues Senn.

On Monday 17th June, Stage 3 starts in Vevey on Lake Geneva and ends in Champagne on Lake Neuchâtel. What sounds like a scenic ride however is actually tough work with almost 2,000 metres of climbing ending in a challenging final lap around Champagne. This last stage of the women’s race could be one for the sprinters, as most of the climbing takes place in the first half of the route. Time will tell whether there will be any late attacks on the GC during the 128-kilometre lap, which starts and finishes in Champagne. “The entire route of the Tour de Suisse Women promises animated competition and the potential for various stage winners,” says David Loosli.