Tour de Suisse last stop for Tour de France contenders

Schleck to defend on formidable parcours

With the Tour de France looming larger and larger on the cycling horizon, the Tour de Suisse represents the last major stage race for the overall Tour contenders and sprinters to get an important block of racing in their legs.

This year’s race is the 75th edition of the Tour de Suisse, with the race route visiting every part of the country between June 11-19. Two stages also finish in Liechtenstein and Austria. The 1236km of racing is spread across the nine days, with three mountain finishes, an opening time 7.3km trial in Lugano on Saturday and a final 32.1km time trial around Schaffhousen in the north of the country.

Last year Frank Schleck snatched overall victory with an inspired performance in the final 26.9 kilometre time trial in Liestal.

He was only 13th behind Tony Martin on the day but earned enough time on a fading Robert Gesink to move past him in the overall classification and so pull on the final yellow jersey. Lance Armstrong also finished strongly moving up to second overall and so take the last major result of his career. Jakob Fuglsang finished third. Gesink dropped to fifth.

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The start of the 75th Tour de Suisse takes place as last year in the Ticino, the “veranda” of Switzerland. It is on the route that has proved in 2010 that opened the 75th TdS, by racing against the clock. Only the start was slightly modified. This step is selective, with a rise of 2 km long. On the territory of the city of Lugano, riders must defend every second, even on the descent.

Stage 2

After starting in Airolo, the roof of TdS 2011 already waiting riders. The Nufenen (2478 m above nm) is followed by a long descent through the Canton of Valais. A loop Sierre allow riders to prepare for the ascent leading to consequent AMONINES. A brief descent before tackling the steep slope of the last two kilometers leading to Vermala / Crans-Montana. To have a say in the overall standings, it will be soon on Pentecost Sunday to compete with the best.

Stage 3

It can be said of this stage: a brief, but painful. After the departure of Brig-Glis, running up the Rhone valley to the Col du Grimsel. After the descent and passage of Innertkirchen, Grosse Scheidegg sports enthusiasts. The laborious and technically difficult descent will no doubt provide a fantastic show. Grindelwald, riders arrive without doubt one by one or in small groups. This step will delight as the mountain stage!

Stage 4

After starting in Grindelwald, the Tour first encounter relatively easy terrain, crossing Interlaken along Lake Thun. Through Uetendorf, Riggisberg Niederwangen on fairly hilly terrain, the route leads to Huttwil through Aarberg Bätterkinden, Langenthal. An attractive extra lap of 25 km awaits the riders. Perhaps the first chance for the sprinters.

Stage 5

Huttwil, the road leads through Pfaffnau, Oftringen, Aarau and neck Staffelegg. The plot is rather simple, via Bad Zurzach, Eglisau Andelfingen in Canton Thurgau. After the passage of Frauenfeld, the sprinters face a few small obstacles if they want to dispute the victory on the rise from the finish after a lap-Tägerschen additional Tobel.

Stage 6

After starting Tobel-Tägerschen, riders pass through to the Zurich Oberland Kaltbrunn, Schänis – Kerenzerberg and passing along Lake Walen. Via Sargans, Bad Ragaz and Luzisteig, the road leading to the Principality of Liechtenstein. The hardest kilometers of the 75th Tour de Suisse will be for riders rising Triesenberg, leading to Malbun. For featherweight!

Stage 7

The longest stage of the 75th TdS begins in flat stage. The route follows the valley of the Rhine, through Landquart, Chur, before the doors of our main sponsor Würth, then Bonaduz Thusis to Tiefencastel. Here begins the long climb to the Col de Davos Flüela. After a steep descent, the road crossing the Engadine is mostly sloped. A Martina, crossing the Austrian border, the riders face the rising Norbertshöhe. Nauders in Ried, riders will once again prepare for a major battle. We must not underestimate the final climb by Ladis Fiss Serfaus to. This step is meeting the riders complete.

Stage 8

This step starts with an attractive Tübach lap of 40 km. Along Lake Constance, the route then passes through Kreuzlingen. Along the Rhine, on mostly flat terrain, we go and Stein am Rhein Diessenhofen. After crossing Schaffhausen, a special attraction TdS awaits the passage of the Rhine Falls. Thence following the crossing of the Klettgau Hallauerberg. Maybe Will we still attend to the stage of Schaffhausen Breite a sprint for the win this coveted stage.

Stage 9

Cons at this time-trial through the selective Reiat, riders must once again give the maximum. After starting in the Old Town of Schaffhausen, the route passes through Dörflingen Thayngen and near the German border. The main obstacle is Opfertshofner high-level racing against the clock. From there, keep the tempo high as possible to Schaffhausen. At Schaffhausen, the leading rider of the race will again support strongly on the pedals if he wants to win the overall standings of the 75th TdS.

Side note: Google Translate was used for the descriptions.

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