The Racer Bikes Cup in Flims will serve as the final test for some racers before the European Championships next week in Israel, the national championships the following weekend and the World Cup in Champéry, Switzerland the weekend after that.
World Champion Nino Schurter will head a talented field. Schurter would like to win this race, which is close to his home. He's played a role in the course layout around the Prau la Selva sports center. The course includes steep climbs, flowing singletrack and "spectacular" downhills according to organizers.
"Thinking of the race in Flims, I'm particularly pleased, not only because it's my home race, but the course is modern one that's good for spectators, like a World Cup course," said Schurter. "It's a short, fast lap."
Schurter's toughest competition is expected to come from former overall World Cup winner, multiple-time Swiss champion and former marathon World Champion Christoph Sauser as well as the current world's best Under 23 rider Matthias Flückiger and his brother Lukas, who was third in last year's Swiss championship in Chur. Another racer to watch will be Martin Gujan.
Schurter, Lukas Flückiger and Christoph Sauser are currently ranked third, seventh and ninth in the world.
Recently crowned European marathon champion Esther Süss will be back to try to take her third win at the venue in the women's race. Following a last-minute cancellation of attendance by Irina Kalentieva, the woman most likely to challenge Süss is Marielle Saner-Guinchard, who suprised some with a third place in the Swiss road time trial championships last weekend. Kathrin Leumann will also be at the start with a shot at the victory.
Favorites in the Under 23 races include Matthias Flückiger, Patrick Gallati and Matthias Rupp for the men and Kathrin Stirnemann in the women's race.
The top juniors to attend are Patrick Luthi, Fabian Paumann and Roger Walder in the men's race and Linda Indergand and Jolanda Neff in the women's contest.
The elite, Under 23 and junior races will happen on Saturday, July 3.