Goodmorning. The antibiotics are working and I’m feeling fresh enough to do a preview for Tour de Suisse as well. Let’s get right into it.
Starting already today. A circuit race close to Zürich with the last climb finishing close to the finish. A minor GC day.
A stage where they are going more down than up! The last climb they do is 6.3 km at 6.3%. It should think out the bunch significantly. We will see if anyone attacks over the top or the fast men can hold it together to the line.
The stage has most of its 3100 climbing meters in the first half of the stage. We will have to see if the breakaway can fool the sprinters.
One climb at the start and one at the finish. On paper, this really suits the breakaway. I am not sure how many teams with a sprinter will be interested in going up a 2.75 km climb at 8.9% and hope there will not be attacks.
It looks like something they have stolen from Tirreno – Adriatico. It should be a GC day with some time gaps. If it rains, it can be a very gruesome day for some riders.
First big mountain test. Nufenepass and Moosalp. Both are very demanding. 18 km at 7.5% – out of this world.
Second big mountain stage. Malbun looks like another very demanding mountain.
For the next days to come, the weather looks awfully nice.
INEOS – with a big trio. I think Martinez and A. Yates are the two best riders of the three. This is a very important race for them both. Can any of the two get to be the sole leader of the Tour de France if they ride a dominant Tour de Suisse? I guess that is some motivation to have. It is the first race for them both in a while but normally they are very strong after a training session. I would assume they both need around 1m30s on Remco before the last day.
Evenepoel – he just did a fantastic job in Norway on Gaustatoppen, a climb very similar to the final one on stage 7. It was a different level. He will have to seek out on the stages where INEOS will have a hard time following him – stage 5 in particular. As mentioned, I think if he is within a minute of one of the two from INEOS before the TT, he stands a good chance. Will he be that? I’m uncertain, but the performance in Norway was scary.
Vlasov – has had a very good year, and I do hope to see him continue his good run. He had a very long spring but has had six weeks since his last race. Is that enough to recover and regain form? I think he might be a few percent off his best, but I do not know for sure. His improvement against the clock will be a big bonus, but I think he will find some difficulties on stage 6.
Mäder – the home race for him. Fifth in la Vuelta last year and second in Romandie this year, he is starting to find a bit of consistency. He won the Queen stage here last year, it seems like this race is always a goal for him. I expect a good result, a top-10 minimum.
Carthy – Let’s see what he can do two weeks after the Giro d’Italia. He certainly finished on a high note there.
Israel-PT – Woods and Fuglsang, will lose an awful lot of time against the clock. I expect them to fight for stage wins.
Kuss – he will pose a threat in the mountains but will lose time against the clock too.
Who will win?
I think INEOS will win. I will go for Martinez as I think Remco will challenge them on a lot of different terrains. Here, I see Martinez as more versatile than Yates.