Opens Saturday the 82nd Tour of Switzerland with an 18 kilometer long team time trial in Freuenfeld. The Swiss preparatory race for the Tour de France is looking for a successor for Simon Spilak. For that race seem to Richie Porte and Nairo Quintana the big contenders. Also world champion Peter Sagan will resume the competition in Switzerland.
Along with the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Tour of Switzerland, the price in terms of form towards the Tour de France still to tighten. Yet according to statistics only a small chance that the winner in Switzerland soon in Paris at the top of the podium. The last double worked was Lance Armstrong in 2001, but his results from that period are deleted. Then we have to go back to 1974, when Eddy Merckx both the Tour of Switzerland, which France won.
Striking statistics that clearly have no impact on the minds of Richie Porte and Nairo Quintana. The two spearheads of BMC and Movistar to see the Tour of Switzerland as the ideal last step towards success in the Tour. Both the Australian as the Colombian, have silently prepared for the Tour. Porte was at the end of april is still third in the Tour de Romandie, and then came no more into action. Quintana disappeared on turn two full two months out of competition. His last koersdag dating from 7 april, the last stage in the Tour of the Basque country. As major challengers to the two favourites, we can, among others, the names Jacob Fuglsang (Astana), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Wilco Kelderman (Team-Sunweb) and Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) note.
Also two-time winner (2015, 2017) Simon Spilak of the party. A third victory would be the rider of Kautsha on one victory of the Italian record-holder Pasquale Fornara. Who won the Tour of Switzerland four times in the fifties. The only one who Fornara would be able to keep up is Rui Costa. The Portuguese won from 2012 to 2014 three times in a row, but was not selected by his team to Team Emirates. In addition to Spilak, Roman Kreuziger is the only former winner (2008) that Saturday at the start.
The course in Switzerland is less heavy than that of the Dauphiné, but with two sprints uphill, and a lot of tijdritkilometers will be a ronderenner undoubtedly the longest at the end of pull. On the opening day to get the riders in a team time trial abilities. With its 18-kilometre team time trial was a bit shorter than the 34-kilometer-long trial on day four of the Tour. Also on the final day, there is still an individual time trial of 34 kilometres of planned. Furthermore, the fifth and seventh stage, each with an arrival uphill, the rankings determine.
No Tour of Switzerland without a lot of Belgian contribution. After Switzerland, with 23 victories and Italy with 19 victories, Belgium has eight pieces with the most victories in the bag. On the Belgian side, this year especially look forward to the performance of Greg Van Avermaet and Philippe Gilbert. The two experienced Belgians reason recently the Hammer Series, and will be in Switzerland no doubt want to try them for the next Round of France ritwinstwaardig. Lotto Soudal colours with five riders, the most black-yellow-red. Tim Wellens is pushed forward and gets compatriots Bjorg Lambrecht, Nikolas Maes, Maxime Monfort and Jasper De Buyst on his side. Quick-Step Floors will Gilbert the company of Iljo Keisse, Tim Declercq, and Yves Lampaert. With Sep Vanmarcke (Education First), Maarten Wynants (LottoNL-Jumbo), Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R), Julien Vermote (Dimension Data), Edward Theuns (Team Sunweb), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Steff Cras (Katusha), there are also seven individuals at the start.