It’s a little inefficient, but after the relocation from Ireland to Italy in the Giro no rider will be losing sleep. Yesterday was a TT in Worb and today the bunch leaves the town where they finished two days ago: Delémont.
Upon leaving the Jura Mountains the riders travel in a fairly straight line to the south. At halfway they pass they familiar town of Worb.
You don’t have to be clairvoyant to know a stage with arrival town Verbier is a fairly good bet to turn out to be the Queen Stage of the 2014 Tour de Suisse. The mountain village is nothing short of El Dorado for people who love off-piste skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking. Quite a few pro skiers live in the area, with all those steep slopes this is the perfect training ground for them. There’s over 200 kilometers of mountain bike tracks in the surroundings.
On the closing ascent to the ski resort, the riders negotiate 13 switchbacks. They rise from an altitude of 814 metres to 1,488 metres in 9.8 kilometers, meaning an average gradient of 6.9%.
In the 2012 edition the ride to Verbier was Rui Costa’s catch. The reigning World Champion took the GC that year, just like he did again last year.
Verbier hosted the Tour de France in 2009. Alberto Contador took control on that particular day, taking the stage win, the yellow jersey – not to mention leadership of Armstrong in the competitive Astana team.
The stage starts at 11:09 (CET) and the finish is expected around 17:05.
Tour de Suisse 2014 stage 8: Images
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