Tour de Suisse 2021 – Stage 3 preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Tour de Suisse 2021 – Stage 3 preview

By David Hunter

Lachen > Pfaffnau 182km

The first potential sprint stage.

It’s not a nailed on sprint, there are some issues the sprint teams need to deal with. Firstly, we have a series of climbs at the start of the stage which is perfect for the breakaway riders. Then there is a relatively steep climb just inside 30km to go, and then rolling roads in the final 20km. Not easy for the sprint teams, but this is the Tour de Suisse, it never is.


Same as the opening two stages, get ready for lots of rain. This isn’t what the sprint teams will have hoped to hear, it makes their life much harder.

Key Points

The climbing starts after just 5km of the stage. The opening hill is 5km at 5.4%, this is followed by two more climbs before things can settle down. Some riders will sense a chance of forming a strong break.

This climb starts with 28km to go. This is the main test for the fast men, but it’s probably just too far from home for anyone to seriously raise the pace.

This is the final proper climb, it crests with 16km to go. It’s not long enough to cause any problems.


We have a final corner with 400m to go, which leads into an uphill finish. The gradients are quite low, nothing to worry the fast men.


The start is great for the breakaway. The rain is great for the breakaway. It looks like a good day for the breakaway. As the rain might not start until later in the stage, we should still see the sprint teams looking to control the early move, but that won’t be easy considering the start we have.

2500m of climbing isn’t hard, but the route has lots of hills, making chasing a little complicated. Once the rain falls, any type of advantage will be hard to bring back. Will Alpecin-Fenix try to control for van der Poel? They do look nice and strong, and always commit for their main man, but he has a stage so the pressure is off. Most of the sprinters are quite evenly matched, which team will commit men to the early chase?

The climbs aren’t hard enough for the GC riders, but teams might look to attack on the descents as is becoming the norm. Thanks to the weather, it really is a day where many things can happen. As the pace will be high on the climbs, due to the weather, the finish could be too hard for many of the fast men. If it does come back together, it won’t be a full sprint.


Edward Theuns – took a great win in the Tour of Hungary, he’s hungry for more. Eddie doesn’t mind shitty weather conditions, he normally copes well. This stage is one he’ll have targeted before the race, but will it end in a sprint? Trek-Segafredo don’t have the strongest team at the race, they won’t be able to chase the break own their own, they’ll need help.

Jake Stewart – as FDJ have Küng in the race lead, it makes life complicated for Stewart. They’ll need to chase the break, meaning the focus will be on Küng, leaving Stewart to fend for himself. This makes it very difficult for him to win the stage.

Christophe Laporte – the Frenchman has enjoyed a brilliant season, but he’d love to take his first world tour win. Cofidis have a weak squad at the race, they can’t chase down the break. Laporte will have to rely on others to do the chasing, leaving him to focus on his sprint.

Michael Matthews – BikeExchange did a great job today, but Matthews couldn’t cope on the climb. We’ll have to see if they again commit to riding all day, will they be worried that Matthews might not be the fastest rider come the finish?

Mathieu van der Poel – today was another example of just how brilliant he is. This looks like a traditional sprint stage, but the weather will make it more selective. We haven’t seen him sprinting for a while, don’t forget he’s actually very fast, even though he chooses not to do full bunch sprints. He’ll love the weather, he’ll love the stage to be too hard for the sprinters, but that’s up to his team.

Iván García Cortina – another who impressed today. Cortina was up there with the front group, but made a tactical mistake in the closing kilometres and his chance was gone. He’ll be hoping for another hard stage, if the group is down to 50 riders, he’ll be one of the fastest.

Silvan Dillier – breakaway hopeful number 1.

Simon Pellaud – breakaway hopeful number 2.

Nans Peters – breakaway hopeful number 3.

Thymen Arensman – breakaway hopeful number 4.

Prediction Time

Given the weather conditions, and the look of the stage, I’ll take a win for the breakaway. My heart says go Suisse, a win for Silvan Dillier.

David Hunter

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