Tour de Suisse 2018 – Overall Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Tour de Suisse 2018 – Overall Preview

By David Hunter

Off to Switzerland we go.


Stage 1

The race doesn’t start with the usual prologue, instead, we have am 18km TTT. I blame the Tour de France!

Stage 2

Standard Suisse stage, with a hilly lap circuit.

Stage 3

Another lap circuit. A few more hills. Standard Suisse stage, this one has an uphill sprint.

Stage 4

A strange one, with a cat 2 climb cresting with 8km remaining. The descent is easy, so it should be a reduced sprint.

Stage 5

The first mountaintop finish, but it isn’t very difficult.

Stage 6

Another strange stage, with the two HC climbs coming in the opening two thirds of the stage. Despite that, it could have a big influence on GC, but I doubt it.

Stage 7

Another mountaintop finish with a disappointing average gradient. The climb is long enough to cause problems, but the average is only 4.1%. I’m left feeling rather disappointed, as all the action will be saved for the final 5km.

Stage 8

The easiest sprint stage of the race.

Stage 9

A flat 34km ITT to finish the race. Given the easier than usual mountain stages, this should decide the GC.

Things To Watch

No Big Mountains – I’m really disappointed in the route. We have two mountaintop finishes, but neither or these climbs are steep enough for me. The organisers knew they would attract more of the Tour riders this year, and they’ve made the course a little easier because of this. This will hand the title to the climber who can TT the best.

The Sprint Battles – this does excite me. We have Sagan, Matthews, Gaviria, Démare, Albasini, Van Avermaet, Cort, Colbrelli, Degenkolb, Greipel and Kristoff. This will make the sprint stages incredibly fun to watch and an important pre-Tour test. Gaviria was the best in California, if he does it again in Switzerland, the others will be worried about July.


Richie Porte – starts as the overwhelming favourite. Despite a lack of racing, he performed well in Romandie and he’ll be much stronger here. The best TT rider of the climbers, he just has to ride a defensive day in the mountains and then TT his way to victory. It sounds easy for Richie, especially when his team will probably win the TTT and he has Van Garderen to help in the mountain stages.

Wilco Kelderman – this is his first race since abandoning Tirreno, that’s been a long lay off. No doubt Kelderman will be a little rusty, but I still expect him to challenge for the top 5.

Jakob Fuglsang – his stage win in Romandie was a good reward for his early season form. The Dane has looked impressive all the way through 2018 and will line up at this race hoping for a top 5 spot. Astana have very poor TT equipment, which rules him out of challenging for the win.

Ion Izagirre – the Basque rider has been knocking on the door this season, but the win has failed to materialise. 4th in Paris-Nice was good, 3rd in Itzulia was strong, but Izagirre will be hoping to challenge for the win in Switzerland. His TT is good, but not as good as Porte’s, we’ll have to see how he tries to win this race.

Bauke Mollema – solid top 10.

Movistar – they have Quintana and Landa, but the TT kilometres will kill both of them. They could try something crazy on stage 6, but I think both riders will be happy to fine tune form ahead of the Tour de France.

Steven Kruijswijk – was impressive in Romandie, producing a great mountain TT and then helping Rolgic to the overall win. We’ve been waiting for him to find his 2016 Giro form and I’m hoping the moment is coming soon. The flat TT isn’t ideal for him, but he’s still a better chrono rider than many of his mountain rivals. He’s the dark horse for the podium.

Rui Costa – loves riding in Switzerland. Was impressive in Romandie, but frustrated to finish 4th and miss out on a stage win. Costa is a little different to the other challengers, he’s not a realistic contender for the Tour de France. This means the former world champion can afford to start the race at peak form, something his rivals won’t. He could take a stage win, but the flat TT will end any hope of taking the overall title.

Prediction Time

A very easy/boring victory for Richie Porte.

David Hunter

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