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Tour de Suisse: Brunnen withdraws as host for start of stage 3

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The St Gotthard Pass featuring in the 2009 edition of the Tour de Suisse

The St Gotthard Pass featuring in the 2009 edition of the Tour de Suisse (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Tour de Suisse peloton makes its way from Innertkirchen to Buochs during stage 4

The Tour de Suisse peloton makes its way from Innertkirchen to Buochs during stage 4 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Bauke Mollema (Belkin) on the final podium

Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Bauke Mollema (Belkin) on the final podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) celebrates his Tour de Suisse stage win

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) celebrates his Tour de Suisse stage win (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr wins the stage 5

Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr wins the stage 5

Eight days out from the start of the 2015 Tour de Suisse, the race organisers have announced a new start for stage 3 of the race after the Brunnen organisation committee had "withdrawn from its commitment" following a rock slide that closed the road between Göschenen and Andermatt. The peloton was to ride along the road from Brunnen to Olivone, with its closure forcing the race organisers to re-route the stage, although they "made every effort to ensure it was possible to hold a celebration of cycling in Brunnen".

InfrontRingier Sports & Entertainment AG, the race organisers of the Tour de Suisse, added that the "only feasible alternative would be to transfer the riders by bus from Brunnen to Quinto, from where they will tackle the Gotthard Pass from the southern side via Tremola on 15 June 2015."

It was planned that the riders would sign on in Brunnen for stage 3 before the transfer to Quinto although a letter sent to InfrontRingier Sports & Entertainment AG by the Brunnen organisation committee stated "its unwillingness to hold the celebrations and rider sign-up".

InfrontRingier Sports & Entertainment AG expressed its regret with the decision made by the committee, adding its thanks to "those responsible in Quinto for their flexibility and helpfulness."

Quinto was the host of the first two stages in 2013 with Cameron Meyer winning the stage 1 time trial, followed by Bauke Mollema winning the stage to Crans-Montana the following day.

Three-time defending champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) has decided to skip the race this year and instead head to the Critérium du Dauphiné. Frenchmen Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) are expected to challenge for overall honours in a field that is likely to see Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step) go head-to-head in the sprints.

The 2015 edition of the race will start with a prologue in Risch-Rotkreuz on Saturday, June 13.