Tour de Suisse 2019: GC battle in mountainous last weekend

The final four days on the Tour de Suisse are the tonic to ignite the fireworks. A huge battle for the overall victory is to be expected in one of the most mountainous races in the world.

The first time gaps were opened up in the short ITT on the first day of action. That race was won by Rohan Dennis, but the Australian time trialist in unlikely to win the overall. The best GC contenders on day one were Geraint Thomas, Kasper Asgreen, Patrick Konrad, Egan Bernal, Marc Soler a Fabio Aru. Pre-race favourite Enric Mas lost 26 seconds to Thomas, while Simon Spilak didn’t fare too well either. The former winner lost 21 seconds.

Yet, with the mountainous last weekend ahead of us the first time gaps are really nothing, so everything is still possible. Even Wilco Kelderman, who crashed on day one, is not to be ruled out. Winning the race will be hard, but a podium spot is within reach.

So let’s take a look at the route in the final four days of the Tour de Suisse. The 6th stage serves the first summit finish of this edition. Following a lumpy first half of the race the second part is flat. That is, if you don’t take the last 10.8 kilometres into account. The Flumserberg is a steep climb as the average slope sits at 9%. Some riders are definitely going to crack on those demanding ramps.

With an elevation gain of more than 4,000 metres, the 7th stage will even be more trying. The route includes two huge passes. The first one is the 19.8 kilometres long Lukmanier, while the second one is also the final climb. The Gotthard Pass is a 13.5 kilometres toil at 7.1% with the last 8 kilometres on cobbles.

A chrono-specialists like Kelderman is likely to gain time on the pure climbers on the eight day of action. The pancake flat individual time trial of almost 20 kilometres precedes the decisive Queen Stage. The final route is hard enough to shake up the GC big time. Again over 4,000 vertical metres, while the riders tackle three massive passes – Furka (16.5 kilometres at 6.3%), Susten (17.4 kilometres at 7.5%), Grimsel (26 kilometres at 5.9%) – before they plunge down to the finish line. So that is a promising final test for the overall contenders in Switzerland.

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You’ll find additional information on the Tour de Suisse at the official website.

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