Tour de Suisse 2021 (June 6-13)

One of the last bigger races this season that makes its return after a Covid-induced break last year. The route has suffered due to bad weather but it should still be a decent race.

Startlist at PCS (incomplete)

Route overview


Stage 1: Frauenfeld - Frauenfeld, 10.9k

Like in 2018, Frauenfeld hosts the start of the race, this time with a short, flat ITT. The route is pretty straightforward until the first time check and gets somewhat more technical after it.


Stage 2: Neuhausen am Rheinfall - Lachen, 178k
Hilly stage from the famous Rhine waterfall near the German border into the centre of the country. The final climb should shed all sprinters and might see GC action.


Ghöch:


Oberricken:


Litschstrasse:


Stage 3: Lachen - Pfaffnau, 182.1k
Probable sprint stage, in spite of the final climb containing a kilometer averaging almost 10%. The finish is as dangerous as it usually is at this race with a sharp left-hander at 250 meters to go.


Schindellegi (the uncategorised climb early on): first 7.8k of the profile below


Ohmstalerstrasse:


Stage 4: Sankt Urban - Gstaad, 171.0k
A finish on the landing strip in Gstaad, with an identical finale to the 2018 stage where Christopher Juul-Jensen, the last man standing from the early break narrowly held off a reduced peloton led in by Michael Matthews.


Saanenmöser:


Stage 5: Gstaad - Leukerbad, 175.2k
The only of the three mountain stages that hasn't been altered. In 2018, Diego Ulissi won the stage here in a sprint of the elites, fortunately the route looks at least somewhat harder this time around.

Col du Pillon:


Höhenweg: first 7.7k of the profile below until the junction towards Feschel


Leukerbad: final 11k of the the profile below from the junction towards Guttet


Stage 6: Andermatt - Disentis-Sedrun, 130.1k
Looks too easy for proper GC action. Breakaway day?

Gotthardpass: final 8.5k of the profile below


Lukmanierpass:


Descent + climb to Via Lucomagno (from right to left):


The final drag up to the finish line starting directly after the final GPM is the first 8.9k of the profile below, until Camischolas.


Final two stages in the next post due to the image limit.
 
Stage 7: Disentis-Sedrun - Andermatt, 23.2k
MTT plus descent, with the planned queen stage on Sunday being nerfed due to snow, this is the standout feature of the route.

Oberalppass: the final 11.9k of the profile below, from the point where the finish was one day before.


Descent (right to left):


Stage 8: Andermatt - Andermatt, 159.5 km
It could have been so good! What we get instead is the previous two stages switched together and reversed. No Tremola cobbles either :(


Oberalppass:


Lukmanierpass (the GPM is at the entrance of the tunnel at 2.2k):


Gotthardpass, highway style:
 
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Stage 7: Disentis-Sedrun - Andermatt, 23.2k
MTT plus descent, with the planned queen stage on Sunday being nerfed due to snow, this is the standout feature of the route.

Oberalppass: the final 11.9k of the profile below, from the point where the finish was one day before.


Descent (right to left):


Stage 8: Andermatt - Andermatt, 159.5 km
It could have been so good! What we get instead is the previous two stages switched together and reversed. No Tremola cobbles either :(


Oberalppass:


Lukmanierpass (the GPM is at the entrance of the tunnel at 2.2k):


Gotthardpass, highway style:
When you already know you're gonna make a huge mistake and know you must go back in the end.
 
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Okay, get over the fact that the scalp has been taken from this route... and enjoy the startlist! ;)

Van der Poel vs. Ala vs. Pidcock - no? Add Hirschi, Cosnefroy, Schachmann...
There are some interesting guys for this route.
Then some nice stories to follow: young Mauri, comeback-Dumoulin, fresh Chaves, new-someone Palzer...
They can't all disappoint?

And see Wout Poels get ready for his Tour win...
 
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Why only 8 days?

Sounds like a lot of words to hide that one day less race is simply cheaper to run
 
Would a September date for the Tour of Switzerland really be worse than last year's October date for the Giro d'Italia?

Currently the race has lost all of its former status. It used to be the 4th big Tour of cycling, running over 10-12 days. Nearly was on level with the Vuelta in the mid nineties. It all changed when Eurosport lost the pan-European TV rights and thus the race lost visibility.

Nowadays Dauphine clearly is the number 1 preparation race.
Back then, Eurosport would show Switzerland and the race had a legacy in his own rights. Riders like Tonkov, Hampsten, Garzelli would test their GT ability in Switzerland first. So did talents like Trumheller.

A swap to fall would allow the race to potentially drag a better field. With riders wanting to prepare for Lombardy, helpers using their shape to race a big tour for their own palmares, riders trying to save their season after poor results etc.

Also it would level out the calendar a bit. With the Vuelta a Espana, Tour of Switzerland & the Italian fall classics there would be a block of bigger races in the second half of the year. Allowing riders to explicitly focus on the fall and peak there.

It certainly would make cycling more thrilling if bit lesser riders use an anticyclical season & shape buildup to be more competitive. A Tour of Switzerland in September might tease more riders to do so.
 
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Would a September date for the Tour of Switzerland really be worse than last year's October date for the Giro d'Italia?

Currently the race has lost all of its former status. It just to be the 4th big Tour of cycling, running over 10-12 days. Nearly was on level with the Vuelta in the mid nineties. It all changed when Eurosport lost the pan-European TV rights and thus the race lost visibility.

Nowadays Dauphine clearly is the number 1 preparation race.
ack then, Eurosport would show Switzerland and the race had a legacy in his own rights. Riders like Tonkov, Hampsten, Garzelli would test their GT ability in Switzerland first. So did talents like Trumheller.

A swap to fall would allow the race to potentially drag a better field. With riders wanting to prepare for Lombardy, helpers using their shape to race a big tour on their own, riders trying to save their season after poor results etc.

Also it would level out the calendar a bit. With the Vuelta a Espana, Tour of Switzerland & the Italian fall classics there would be a block of bigger races in the second half of the year. Allowing riders to explicitly focus on the fall and peak there.
Not a bad idea, if you ask me. It's not like it is the only option for Tour prep with Route d'Occitanie and the Tour of Slovenia also running concurrently (AND the Tour of Belgium, it's a ridiculously busy week).
 
Would a September date for the Tour of Switzerland really be worse than last year's October date for the Giro d'Italia?

Currently the race has lost all of its former status. It used to be the 4th big Tour of cycling, running over 10-12 days. Nearly was on level with the Vuelta in the mid nineties. It all changed when Eurosport lost the pan-European TV rights and thus the race lost visibility.

Nowadays Dauphine clearly is the number 1 preparation race.
Back then, Eurosport would show Switzerland and the race had a legacy in his own rights. Riders like Tonkov, Hampsten, Garzelli would test their GT ability in Switzerland first. So did talents like Trumheller.

A swap to fall would allow the race to potentially drag a better field. With riders wanting to prepare for Lombardy, helpers using their shape to race a big tour for their own palmares, riders trying to save their season after poor results etc.

Also it would level out the calendar a bit. With the Vuelta a Espana, Tour of Switzerland & the Italian fall classics there would be a block of bigger races in the second half of the year. Allowing riders to explicitly focus on the fall and peak there.

It certainly would make cycling more thrilling if bit lesser riders use an anticyclical season & shape buildup to be more competitive. A Tour of Switzerland in September might tease more riders to do so.
Yeah, you’re right about the declining status: when I started following pro cycling in the 80’s, Championship of Zurich was a major classic and Suisse was definitely the +1 GT to the big 3.
 
Would a September date for the Tour of Switzerland really be worse than last year's October date for the Giro d'Italia?
A few years back I wanted to go on vacation in Grischun/Graubünden around the time of your proposed TdS start, but the weather forecast put me off. Maybe it's just the climate in Engadin/Pontresina, but it's already below freezing at night and doesn't get above +10 during the day at the very best (I think the highs were about +7 for the dates I was looking at). And Albula/Julier/Flüela are circa 500 meters further up.
 
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