70th Tour de Suisse

Next year's Tour de Suisse will mark the 70th time that the Swiss national tour has been held, and between June 10 and 18, it will run over nine stages and 1438 km. The Tour de Suisse will visit all four regions of Switzerland, but will not venture outside the country next year.

The race starts in the north of the country in Baden on Saturday, June 10, with a 154 km stage that also finishes in Baden. The next three stages remain in the north, visiting Bremgarten, Einsiedeln, Arlesheim, Niederbipp, and La Chaux-de-Fonds, and all should be suited to the sprinters or rouleur-style breakaways.

Then things get tough. As is typical of the Tour de France, the general classification will be decided in the second half of the race. Stage 5 between La Chaux-de-Fonds and Leukerbad is 210 km, and is followed by another 210 km stage between Fiesch and La Punt. That includes the Furka, Oberalp and Albula passes, and will cause the first real selection of the Tour de Suisse. The seventh stage between St. Moritz and Ascona is even longer at 233 km, and features the Julier and Lukmanier passes.

The mountains don't stop though, as the eighth stage starting and finishing in Ambri will test the riders with the Lukmanier, Oberalp, Gotthard passes, but over a shorter distance of 155 km. The last day of the TdS is a 30 km time trial between Kerzers and Bern.

The Tour de Suisse isn't part of the Grand Tours versus UCI battle that is currently raging, and therefore is likely to be the top tour on the ProTour calendar.

The stages

Stage 1 - June 10: Baden - Baden, 154 km
Stage 2 - June 11: Bremgarten - Einsiedeln, 165 km
Stage 3 - June 12: Einsiedeln - Arlesheim, 160 km
Stage 4 - June 13: Niederbipp - La Chaux-de-Fonds, 151 km
Stage 5 - June 14: La Chaux-de-Fonds - Leukerbad, 210 km
Stage 6 - June 15: Fiesch - La Punt, 210 km
Stage 7 - June 16: St. Moritz - Ascona, 233 km
Stage 8 - June 17: Ambri - Ambri, 155 km
Stage 9 - June 18: Kerzers - Bern, 30 km

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