Tour de Suisse offers a course for the climbers

Includes a climb up to the Rettenbach Glacier

The 2015 Tour de Suisse offers 15,606 metres of elevation and a visit to the Rettenbach Glacier on the queen stage. The race covers 1,320 kilometres in nine stages from June 13-25, as the "perfect race preparation for the Tour de France for aspiring riders."

Race organizers presented the course for this year on Monday. It will open with a 5.1km time trial in Risch-Rotkreuz. Climbing will start the next day, as stage 2 covers 174.5km and 1,547 metres climbing with start and finish in Rotkreuz.

There is even more climbing on tap in stage 3 from Brunnen to Olivone (174.5km, 2,547m), with the final climb coming only 6km before the finish line.

The sprinters will finally have their chance on the fourth stage, Flims to Schwarzenbach SG (193.2 km, 1,960 m). There are four climbs along the way but the race passes the Schwarzenbach Castle, in the hands of Saxo Bank's owners, three times – and will be an inspiration for Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan to sprint his way to victory.

Stage 5 is the queen stage, and the longest stage in 20 years, covering 237.3km from Unterterzen/Flumserberg to Sölden / Rettenbach Glacier. It also includes 4,112 climbing metres. The stage cuts through Liechtenstein on its way to Austria. The final 15km to the glacier are “a continuous climb up a 12 to 14 per cent gradient.”

There is only one ranked climb on the sixth stage, 193.1km from Wil SG to Biel/Bienne but there are constant up and down sections – perhaps the perfect chance for a break group to stay away. The next stage from Biel/Bienne to Düdingen, 164.6km, has four climbs near the finish.

The race moves to Bern for the last two stages. Stage 8 consists of four laps of a 38.4km circuit course, with one climb per lap. The city will also host the closing 38.4km time trial the next day.

Last year, Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) took the overall win on the final stage. Matthias Frank was second and Bauke Mollema was third.

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