Tour de Suisse 2018: Preview

mikel landa - Tour de Suisse 2018: PreviewBilled as the last big showdown before La Grande Boucle, the Tour de Suisse is seen as an ideal race to test the shape. Edition 82 sets off on Saturday, the 9th of June, while the race is going to finish on Sunday, the 17th of June. As always, the Tour de Suisse takes in a mix of time trials, hilly stages, and a few days of action in the high mountains. Yes, the race surely is a perfect test ahead of the Tour de France. (Slideshow route/profile)

The Tour de Suisse boasts an impressive line-up. The field features almost all stellar riders that will also make their appearance on July’s showdown. World class sprinters Fernando Gaviria, André Greipel, Alexander Kristoff and Arnaud Démare go head-to-head in the relatively flat stages. But, as races are never pan-flat in the Alpine country, Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews and Greg Van Avermaet will be eyeing up their chances , too. The major contenders in terms of GC are Richie Porte, Bauke Mollema, Wilco Kelderman, Ion Izagirre, Steven Kruijswijk and title defender Simon Spilak, while Movistar starts with a notably strong line-up as two of their three leaders in the upcoming Tour de France ride in Switzerland – Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana. The start list of the Tour de Suisse features 147 riders.

In recent years, the Tour de Suisse always ended two weeks before the start of La Grande Boucle, but it’s different this year. The two races are three weeks apart due to the FIFA World Cup in Russia, which makes the Tour de Suisse all the more interesting as a preparation race. After all, the riders will have one more week to recover.

The battle for the overall victory will come down to three mountain stages and two chrono races, so Richie Porte is a rider to watch as he is both a good climber and a strong time trialist. But obviously, the Tasmanian is just one of many favourites to win the 2018 Tour de Suisse. The first gaps will be opened up with the TTT on the first day of action and following two likely sprint stages the course takes a more mountainous shape from the 4th stage onward. In theory, stage 7 is the hardest race with a finale that’s tailor made for mountain goats. The final haul up to Arosa amounts to almost 30 kilometres, while the last day of action brings a flat ITT of 34 kilometres. Expect strong time trialists (Porte, Kelderman) to put 1 minute or more into the likes of Quintana.

Obviously, all GC contenders will want to win the nine-day Tour de Suisse, but first and foremost its their final test ahead of the Tour de France. The July showdown also features a TTT and an ITT, while it obviously takes in a vast amount of mountains, too. Check out the route of the upcoming Tour de France.

Looking forward to the Tour de France of 2018? Check out the actual cycling betting odds as given by 888sport.

Tour de Suisse 2018: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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