Tour de Suisse 2017 – Stage 1 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Tour de Suisse 2017 – Stage 1 Preview

By David Hunter

Cham – Cham 6km ITT

The race begins with a short time trial.

The riders face an untechnical blast around Cham. The route only has four corners, making this one for the powerful riders. Those that can maintain the highest speed, for six minutes, will walk away with the win.

Weather

Should be sunny with a consistent wind. It looks like all riders will have equal conditions.

Contenders

Greg Van Avermaet – one of my favourite riders on the planet! After tremendous early part of the season, where he won Omloop, E3, GW and Paris-Roubaix, GVA took a break after Liege. He returned to racing at the Tour of Luxembourg, winning two stages and the GC. His 2017 level is even higher than his level in 2016 and that is saying something. Could this be his first ITT win?

Peter Sagan – fresh from a successful Tour of California, the world champion will sense an opportunity of taking the stage and race lead. This is a race he has a tremendous record in, winning 13 stages since 2011. One of those wins was a prologue in 2012, beating a flying Fabian Cancellara. The length is perfect for Sagan, but he would prefer a few more corners.

Alex Dowsett – Movistar always seem to make the podium in TTs, it doesn’t matter what length they are. The Brit was 2nd in the Romandie prologue, a good indication of what he can do over a similar distance. This season he also won the 6.8km ITT in Pays De La Loire, he has good form for this stage. He starts the stage as one of the favourites.

Michael Albasini – the Swiss star is always brilliant on home soil. He will sense a chance of taking the race lead, and holding onto it for a few days. He has the power required to hold a high number of watts over 6km. Certainly one of the big favourites.

Yves Lampaert – after a strong showing in the Hammer Series, I expect a fast ride by the Belgian. He’s enjoying a strong season, especially his big win in Dwars Door Vlaanderen. After riding his first grand tour at the Vuelta, he is down to make his Tour de France debut. That is a huge vote of confidence for this talented rider.

Tom Dumoulin – we will have to see how much energy he has left after a brilliant Giro. On a normal day, he would fully expect to be one of the fastest over 6km, but will his legs say yes?

Rohan Dennis – he had to abandon the Giro, after an early crash. With his goals now readjusted, he arrives in Switzerland with his eyes on a few of the stages. He won the 10km ITT in Tirreno, a good sign for this stage. The lack of corners in this circuit is perfect for him, he doesn’t have to worry about accelerating out of them. He’s the rider that everyone will be scared of.

Michael Matthews – winner of the 2016 Paris-Nice prologue. The Aussie has been in fine form this season and he’s been looking very impressive on his TT bike. Like many of the powerful riders, he will love the look of this course. Has a good chance of taking the win.

Matthias Brandle – easily won the recent 13.4km ITT in the Tour of Belgium. Despite his track record, it was actually his first TT win, apart from his national championship. Confidence is very important to a rider like Brandle, expect him to go well.

Fabio Felline – the winner of the Romandie prologue has to start as one of the favourites. His ride that day was hugely impressive and he possesses the power to do well on this course. He hasn’t raced since Romandie, but that shouldn’t be an issue over 6km.

Paddy Bevin – a name that might surprise you. The Kiwi did finish 3rd in the 2016 Paris-Nice prologue, a good indicator that he could go well here. His recent form has been impressive, he finished 6th in the Tour of Norway.

Prediction Time

This is going to be very close! With no real points to slow down, it’s all about holding max speed for as long possible. It is also important to hit your max speed as quickly as you can, that could favour some sprinters. I think I’m going to go for Peter Sagan. He loves this race and goes well in short TTs.

*Overall Preview

David Hunter

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