[Underneath text was written before the start of the Tour de Suisse and has not been updated]
The 1st stage is a flat ITT 12.7 kilometres in which the first time gaps are opened up. Following a hilly stage on the second day the GC action intensifies in the race to Villars-sur-Ollon. Stage 3 serves the first uphill finish on an ascent of 11.1 kilometres with an average gradient of 7.6%.
The Villars-sur-Ollon stage opens a tryptych of mountain top finishes. The next stage goes to Leukerbad and one could argue that the finish climb adds up to 22 kilometres. Yet, it’s a test with a little bit of everything – steep uphill kickers, longer stretches at almost 8% and downhill sections as well. Perfect to launch an attack and shake things up, but it’s also possible that we’ll see a sprint of a select group in Leukerbad.
The Queen Stage is played out on the fifth day of action. It features an elevation gain of some 4,700 metres, while the tougehest test is the Abula Pass. The 17.4 kilometres climb at 6.8% precedes a 9.5 kilometres descent to the line.
That’s it in terms of GC stages in line, but there is still an important test on the menu. GC riders with time trialing skills will have the final say. The Tour de Suisse concludes with an undulating race against the clock of 25.7 kilometres long.
Rui Costa is the only former winner at the start. The Portuguese won the Tour de Suisse in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Last year’s winner Geraint Thomas is not defending his title.
Favourites Tour de Suisse 2023
**** Remco Evenepoel, Juan Ayuso, Wilco Kelderman
*** Gino Mäder, Sergio Higuita, Jay Vine, Romain Bardet
** Pello Bilbao, Ion Izagirre, Alexey Lutsenko, Tom Pidcock
* Rigoberto Uran, Jakob Fuglsang, Mattias Skjelmose, Felix Gall