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TOUR DE SUISSE

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
03.03.2016 @ 13:26 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The 80th edition of the Tour de Suisse crosses all four language regions of Switzerland and will be a tour for friends of spectacular Alpine sections and mountain-top finishes. Over nine stages the riders will cover a total of 1,220.1 kilometres and climb 19,622 metres. There will be 16 mountain prizes awarded by Davos Klosters powered by P&I, 7 of which are of the highest category HC (Hors Catégorie).

 

"The Tour de Suisse 2016 is a tough challenge." David Loosli ought to know. In his role as Sport Director, he's the one who put together the anniversary route. The 2016 tour is tailor-made for mountain specialists. Even so, in Central Switzerland, in the Frick Valley and in the French-speaking area of Switzerland there is also plenty of scope for the strong sprinters. Ex-professional cyclist Loosli promises, "We guarantee spectators at the roadside and TV-viewers alike a spectacle full of variety, with impressive pictures and enthralling sporting action." The live TV transmission starts every day at 3.50 p.m. and the finish is set for approx. 5.20 p.m. 

 

Lining up for the start in Central Switzerland once again

This year's starting hub of Baar was last a stage location in 2001. The three-day Baar Volksfest kicks off on the evening of Friday 10 June with the presentation of the teams. The TdS village, Bike Expo und Kids World offer attractions for large and small alike, alongside the bike races. Saturday's prologue in the centre of Baar over a distance of 6.4 km could be perfect for those with an explosive technique. It is quite possible that Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) will use this prologue time trial to go for his 11th stage win on what is to be his final Tour de Suisse.

 

A fast circuit (187.6 km / 2,124 metres of elevation gain), ridden four times, defines the second stage on Sunday 12 June. The route takes the riders from Baar via Allenwinden, Menzingen and Schönenberg, up to the Hirzel. After a fast descent, they leave the roundabout in Sihlbrugg heading for Ebertswil and Kappel am Albis, and then via Steinhausen back to Baar. The riders Martin Elmiger, Marcel Aregger (both IAM Cycling Team), Gregory Rast (Trek-Segafredo) and Luxembourg National Champion Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quickstep) all live in the Canton of Zug and should know every bump in the road by heart.

 

First of all… Sprint finishes in the Frick Valley and in French-speaking Switzerland

The third stage (185.1 km / 1,918 metres of elevation gain) starts in Grosswangen next to Sursee. After an extended lap around Lake Sempach, the tour with all its entourage heads off in the direction of Northwest Switzerland. After passing through Grosswangen for the second time, the riders pass the cycling strongholds of Pfaffnau and Roggliswil, the towns of Zofingen and Olten, cross over the Hauenstein climb to reach Sissach and the stage finish in Rheinfelden, where they ride two additional laps of 27 km.

 

On Tuesday morning the riders set out from Rheinfelden on the fourth stage (193 km, 1,912 metres of elevation gain) to West Switzerland. Via the Breithöchi, the peloton then travels to Balsthal and along the Jura via Solothurn, Büren an der Aare, Ins and Grandson, to the stage finish in Champagne. After an additional lap of 20 km, taking the riders through Grandson again, there will be a champagne atmosphere at the finish when the sprint trains launch their fastest rider in the centre of the town.

 

And then… mountains - mountains - mountains

The fifth stage (126.4 km / 3,386 metres of elevation gain) starts on Wednesday 15 June in the town of Brig/Glis in the canton of Valais, from where the Tour crosses the 2,436 m Furka Pass and the 2,102 m Gotthard Pass into the canton of Ticino. From Faido the riders face a climb of almost another 900 metres to get to the mountain-top finish in Carí.

 

Between Weesen and Amden, ten kilometres further up the road, lies – surprisingly - the Klausen Pass! From the outset it was quite clear that the sixth stage (162.8 km / 3,045 metres of elevation gain) would take the form of a big loop. The riders start from Lake Walen, first heading west to Pfäffikon (SZ), from where they enter the canton of Uri via Sattel, Schwyz and Brunnen. From Bürglen the riders climb 1,442 metres in one go to the Klausen Pass at 1,952 metres. After the descent through the canton of Glarus, they start the final ten-kilometre climb between Weesen and Amden, rising around 850 metres. The mountain finish is in Arvenbüel above Amden.

 

Back to the everlasting ice of the Rettenbach glacier

The seventh stage (224.3 km / 4,294 metres of elevation gain) on Friday 17 June starts in Arbon on Lake Constance. What seems so pleasant to begin with, turns into the longest stage of the Tour de Suisse 2016 and reaches the highest point of the anniversary edition at 2,669 metres on the Rettenbach glacier. Via the Bregenz Forest and the Hochtannberg Pass, once again the Tour does not take the most direct route to Sölden. The riders will have to be able to pace themselves because after Sölden they face the 11.4 km glacier road, rising steeply by 1,234 metres to the Rettenbach glacier (2,669 metres).

 

Grande finale in the new finish hub, Davos Klosters

A technically demanding time trial over 16.8 km (rising by 262 metres) should put the overall leader and his pursuers under pressure on the second to last day of the Tour de Suisse. The start is on the promenade in Davos. The finish is in Talstrasse, just outside the Ice Stadium, where the TdS village with the Show Truck, the Bike Expo and the Kids World will provide a fairground mood.

 

The final stage of the Tour de Suisse (117.7 km / 2,633 metres of elevation gain) offers no chance of a breather, in fact quite the opposite. There are still two passes, Albula and Flüela, facing the riders on Sunday 19 June. At 117.7 km, the final stage is one of the shorter ones but it has plenty to offer. It is quite possible that the overall win in the anniversary edition could still be lost on the steep climb to the Flüela Pass.

The detailed stage timings are now available to download here.

 

TdS Challenge in Baar, Sölden and Davos

Once again amateur cyclists will be able compare themselves directly with the professionals. The amateur cyclists will ride the (partially shortened) original route with appropriate course marshalling a few hours ahead of the professionals. The winners' award ceremony will be held on the genuine Tour de Suisse podium.

 

An individual time trial, the “Cornèrcard Cancellara Challenge”, will be held on the route of the prologue on Saturday 11 June. The “Morgarten Memorial” will take place on Sunday 12.June on the circuit in Baar. The “Ötztal Challenge” leads from the outdoor park “Area 47” (Ötztal train station) over 51km, climbing 1,250 metres up to the Rettenbach glacier. The crowning glory is “Cornèrcard Alpine Circle” in Davos Klosters, which takes the amateur riders over the Albula Pass and the Flüela Pass. Would-be entrants still have the chance to register.

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