The 2014 Tour de Suisse will conclude with two tough mountain stages to Verbier and Saas-Fee. Race organisers IMG confirmed the 2014 stage towns on Wednesday, although the full details of the route will not be formally unveiled until February of next year.
The Tour de Suisse will get underway with a short time trial in Bellinzona, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, before heading north to Sarnen the next day, and then winding anti-clockwise around the country via Heiden, Ossingen, Büren an der Aare and Delémont.
The greatest shake-up of the race ought to come in the final three days, however. Stage 7, starting and finishing in Worb, looks likely to be a time trial, and that will precede a testing weekend in the high mountains.
First up is a summit finish at Vebier, where Alberto Contador famously laid the foundations for overall victory at the 2009 Tour de France. The 8.8km climb has an averages gradient of 7.5% and last featured at the Tour de Suisse in 2012, when Rui Costa claimed the win en route to final overall victory. The Portuguese rider went on to win a second successive Tour de Suisse last June.
The final stage promises to be tougher again, bringing the peloton through mountainous terrain of the Valais region from Martigny to a summit finish at Saas-Fee, where Francesco Casagrande took stage victory in the 2003 edition of the race.
2014 Tour de Suisse route:
Stage 1, June 14: Bellinzona – Bellinzona (Individual time trial)
Stage 2, June 15: Bellinzona – Sarnen
Stage 3, June 16: Sarnen – Heiden
Stage 4, June 17: Heiden – Ossingen
Stage 5, June 18: Ossingen – Büren an der Aare
Stage 6, June 19: Büren an der Aare – Delémont
Stage 7, June 20: Worb – Worb
Stage 8, June 21: Delémont – Verbier
Stage 9, June 22: Martigny – Saas-Fee