(Image credit: Tour de Suisse)

Sunday 18 June – Stage 8: Sankt Gallen – Abtwil (25.7km – Individual time trial). Altitude gain 415m

Ayuso wins Abtwil time trial. The Tour de Suisse 2023 goes to Skjelmose Jensen

In the final time trial of the Swiss race, the young UAE rider won ahead of Remco Evenepoel and Mattias Skjelmose Jensen. The latter is the first Dane to win the Tour de Suisse

Image Credit: © wesportfr

The 26-kilometre time trial from Sankt Gallen to Abtwil put an end to the Tour de Suisse 2023, which was saddened by the tragic death of Gino Mäder. After two days spent with a sense of impotence and disbelief, we try to return, as far as possible, to normality, in the hope that accidents such as these will be avoided forever on the roads, and not just in racing.

The 26-kilometre time trial from Sankt Gallen to Abtwil put an end to the Tour de Suisse 2023, which was saddened by the tragic death of Gino Mäder. After two days spent with a sense of impotence and disbelief, we try to return, as far as possible, to normality, in the hope that accidents such as these will be avoided forever on the roads, and not just in racing.
Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Trek Segafredo), Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick Step) and Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates), all good if not very good time trialists and all within 46 seconds on the eve of the final stage, were essentially playing for the final victory, taking for granted the exclusion from the top positions of Felix Gall (Team AG2R Citroën), well placed in the general classification but not exactly at ease in the race against the clock. Despite starting well and setting the best first intermediate time after just over 10km, Evenepoel was caught and passed by Ayuso in the next two. The Spaniard, who at this point is more than an alternative to Tadej Pogacar at the next Tour de France, won with a time of 32 minutes and 25 seconds, 8 seconds better than Evenepoel and 9 seconds better than Skjelmose Jensen, who had the hands stopped at 32 minutes and 34 seconds. Closing out the top five were Stefan Bissegger (EF Education EasyPost) in fourth, 23 seconds behind Ayuso, and Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma) in fifth, 28 seconds behind Ayuso. It has to be said that Van Aert still appeared a little behind in condition compared to what Mathieu van der Poel showed at the Tour of Belgium, and bearing in mind that the two of them start in pole position to wear the first yellow jersey in Bilbao on 1 July.
Returning to today’s time trial, the top ten was completed by sixth place for Kasper Asgreen (Soudal Quick Step) and then up to tenth place for Mattia Cattaneo (Soudal Quick Step), Matteo Sobrero (Jayco AlUla), Finn Fisher-Black (UAE Team Emirates) and Neilson Powless (EF Education EasyPost), all five with a delay from Skjelmose Jensen of between 36 and 46 seconds. Skjelmose Jensen won the Tour de Suisse 2023 nine seconds ahead of Ayuso and 45 seconds ahead of Evenepoel. The Trek Segafredo rider is the first Dane to win the major Swiss race and the youngest podium in history in a WT race, he born in 2000 like Evenepoel and Ayuso even younger having been born in 2002.
As for the other classifications, Wout Van Aert won the points classification, Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto Dstny) the one of the gpm, Skjelmose Jensen the one of the best young rider and finally AG2R Citroën won the team classification.
After a very intense half of June with the Tour of Switzerland, Tour of Slovenia, Tour of Belgium and Route d’Occitanie all packed into eight days, the coming week will be characterised as usual by the various national road cycling championships, which will act as an appetiser to the Tour de France and which we will follow with passion but also with the memory of Gino Mäder in our hearts and minds. Full results here

The Tour de Suisse comes to a close with a time trial which is rather long, but also decidedly sharper than the opening stage. The entire route is dotted with descents and short climbs, but of particular note is the almost 2km stretch at 8%, followed by a further 3.5km of steep climbs to the Aetschberg just over 3km from the finish, almost all of it downhill.


The Tour de Suisse 2023 will present the traditional eight-stage race and the route follows the tradition of the last few years, with the absence of stages for pure sprinters, at least three stages aimed at climbers and a couple of time trials to adjust the general classification.

Sunday 11 June – Stage 1: Einsiedeln – Einsiedeln (12.7 km – Individual time trial). Altitude gain 76m

Image Credit: Cicloweb.it

The Groupama-FDJ cronoman finally took an important success, leaving the favourite duo behind. Stefan Küng wins in Einsiedeln in the opening time trial of the Tour of Switzerland 2023. The Swiss rider once again showed his quality in the time trial over the 12.5 km today and won in 13’31” (average 56.3 km/h), also taking the race leader’s jersey. Limited gaps between the general classification top men. For Küng it was the 19th career victory in this speciality and the 27th overall.
Immediately behind today’s winner was a convincing Remco Evenepoel (Soudal – Quick Step), who proved to be in good shape after retiring due to Covid at the Giro d’Italia, with a 6″ delay. Belgian Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) finished in third place, 10″ behind the winner. Fourth was American Magnus Sheffield (INEOS Grenadiers) at 11″, fifth was Danish Johan Price-Pejtersen (Bahrain – Victorious) at 17″ and sixth was Danish Mattias Skjelmose (Trek – Segafredo) at 19″.
Closing out the top ten are Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost), seventh at 20″ from Kung, Italian Matteo Sobrero (Team Jayco AlUla), eighth at 20″, Dane Kasper Asgreen (Soudal – Quick Step), ninth at 23″ and Spaniard Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates), tenth at 25″.
As for the other big names, finishing just outside the top was Australian Jay Vine (UAE Team Emirates), 12th at 27″ from the summit, and Kazakh Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan Team), 16th at 29″, while finishing the race with more delay was Spaniard Pello Bilbao (Bahrain – Victorious), 23rd at 37″, Frenchman Romain Bardet (Team DSM), 25th at 39″, Colombian Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-EasyPost), 35th at 44″, and American Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost), 43rd at 46″. At home in Italy, in addition to an excellent Sobrero’s eighth place, Mattia Cattaneo (Soudal – Quick Step) came 15th, 28″ behind Küng. Full results here

The race kicks off with a largely flat 12.7 kilometres time trial on the banks of the Sihlsee. It is a test rather suited to specialists, with no major obstacles, in which gaps in the general classification between the main favourites can already be seen. Bookmakers Favourites: EVENEPOEL R. 2, VAN AERT W. 3, BISSEGGER S. 4, KUNG S. 6.

Monday 12 June – Stage 2: Beromünster – Nottwil (173.7km). Altitude gain 1890m

An undulating stage, but one of the easiest of this Tour de Suisse. After a rather demanding first 70 kilometres, the course is more linear with no major altimetrical difficulties. The last GPM of Oberarig (3.1 km at 5.3%) is located 23 km from the finish and should not frighten the fast wheels. Bookmaker favourites: T Merlier 2, W Van Aert 3, A Demare 6, J Meeus 7, K Groves 7, B Girmay 9.

Tuesday 13 June – Stage three: Tafers – Villars-sur-Ollon (143.8km). Altitude gain 2677m

The big mountains begin immediately, with a short stage which should focus on the demanding final climb of Villars-sur-Ollon. The first difficulty will be the Col des Mosses, a 13.5km climb at an average gradient of 4% which alternates between false-floors and more demanding gradient (6/7%). A long descent leads to Aigle where, almost immediately, it will be back to climbing for the final 11 km, which have an average gradient of just under 8%. A real climb, hardened by some double-digit sections, especially in the first part, that could dig important gaps if tackled with the right attitude.

Wednesday 14 June – Stage 4: Monthey – Leukerbad (152.5km). Altitude gain 2790m

Second day in the mountains, which this time presents a decidedly less predictable route where the men in the rankings are called upon not to wait until the very last kilometres. The first 70 kilometres to the foot of the climb to Crans-Montana, 14.5 km with an average gradient of 6.7% (the first 8 are tougher with an average gradient of almost 8%), are practically a billiard table. There won’t be much time to breathe in the remaining 55 kilometres, as once the descent to Sierre is over, it’s straight back up to Varen (4.2 km at 4.4%) before reaching the grand finale with less than 10 km of valley floor. The ascent to Leukerbad is opened by the 8km Erschmatt climb at 8.4%, with constant gradients of 9/10 % in the middle section, so it is definitely a climb well suited to forcing and digging out large gaps. Unlike in 2021, it will first turn left to reach the GPM of Höhenweg with another 6.5 km of climbing divided into two sections (2.5 km at 8% and 3 km at 6%) where you can further make a difference. There are less than 4 km to go from the GPM, divided between the descent and the last km uphill again (max 9%).

Thursday 15 June – Stage 5: Fiesch – La Punt (211.0 km). altitude gain 4710m

Ayuso wins. Gino Mäder airlifted after crashing down ravine

Giro di Svizzera

Juan Ayuso signed a true masterpiece in the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse, the queen stage that led from Fiesch and La Punt for 211 km. On the climb of the Albulapass, the Spaniard of the UAE Emirates made the difference, then launched himself into a descent that took him to the finish line.
At 54 seconds from the winner came Matthias Skjelmose in second place, who sprinted clear of the top group and, thanks to the bonus, regained the yellow jersey, snatching it from Austrian Felix Gall.
Even today world champion Remco Evenepoel conceded a few seconds to his rivals for the final victory: the general classification is still very short when there are three cups to go.
The very dangerous descent saw the serious crash of Swiss rider Gino Mäder, which required lengthy treatment on the spot before the rider could be airlifted to hospital. The 26-year-old from Zurich flew more than 30 metres under the road surface, ending up in a ravine at the bottom of a slope. Magnus Sheffield from the USA also fell at the same spot and was forced to retire, but seems to have suffered less serious consequences. Sheffield crashed ahead of Evenepoel and Skjlemose and after the race the world champion had no kind words for the organisers. Full Results here

Although this is a stage that is destined to be decided on the final climb, it is basically a 211 km long stage with three passages above 2000 metres, practically retracing the route of the famous Glacier Express. The start is practically already uphill, then some 20 km of valley floor leads to the foot of the Furka (16.5 km at 6.4%, with some sections in double figures), the highest point of this Tour de Suisse at 2436 metres. Descent over Realp and Andermat and then it’s back up to Oberalp, with the GPM placed after almost 11 km at 5.6% (the climb ends earlier, however, after 9 km at 6.6%). At this point of this stage, the is a very long Oberalp descent followed by dozens of kilometres of valley floor. You will arrive at the foot of the Albula with a lot of fatigue in your legs, accumulated both in this stage and in the previous two. The moment when the false-flat finally gives way to the climb is more or less 18 km from the GPM, which is reached with an average gradient of 6.7%, a climb broken into three sections: first a couple of km at 10%, then 4 km at 8.8%, and finally 7 km at 7.3%. Not to be forgotten is the altitude factor, as the climb exceeds 2300 metres. The summit is only 9.8 kilometres away from the finish line, with the latter placed literally at the end of the descent, after only 400 metres of flat terrain.

Friday 16 June – Stage 6: La Punt – Oberwil-Lieli (215.3 km). Altitude gain 3295m


The Tour of Switzerland stops and decides to pay tribute to Gino Mäder. Race director Olivier Senn announced the decision taken by the organisation after the tragic death of the Bahrain Victorious rider.
The riders will pedal the last 20 kilometres of the sixth stage all together, lined up, in memory of the friend who is no longer with us.

It is not a true mountain stage, but at the start the Alps present the bill again, making it a wearisome and decidedly treacherous day. It is a pitfall stage which you arrive at with your tanks decidedly depleted and which could in its own way create further movement in the classification. At the start, the race climbs back up to Albula from the opposite side of the mountain to the previous day (8.5 km at 6.5%, with the first 6 at 9%). Long descent and then up to Lenzerheide (14 km at 5%) with the GPM placed at the end of the most demanding section (6.2 km at 8%), shortly after the village of Lenz. At the end of the descent into Chur the route becomes quieter, with the next 90km being almost entirely flat, apart from the ascent of Kerenzerberg (6.7km at 4.6%, with figures distorted by a downhill section, with the first section of around 4km at 6.8%). The route becomes really treacherous again in the last 60 kilometres, which are almost devoid of flat terrain and are characterised by a succession of short but steep climbs. The first of these, located 53 km from the finish line, is also the toughest (about 2.5 km at 10%); worthy of note in the finale is the GPM of Islisberg (about 1600 metres at an average of 8% with peaks at 15%) and the climb that leads to the finish in about 2.5 km at 6/7%.


The team of Swiss cyclist Gino Mader, who died after crashing on stage five of the Tour de Suisse, have withdrawn from the race. Team Bahrain Victorious said they had taken the decision “following the tragic loss” of the 26-year-old. Mader was involved in a high-speed crash with American Magnus Sheffield, 21, on Thursday on the descent of the Albula Pass and fell into a ravine. He was airlifted to hospital in Chur, but passed away on Friday morning.

Saturday 17 June – Stage 7: Tübach – Weinfelden (183.5 km). Altitude gain 2517m

Remco, the power of a loving gesture

Evenepoel takes the seventh stage of the Tour de Suisse by force and at the finish he makes an heartfelt dedication to the late Gino Mäder

Image Credit: @ © Soudal-Quick Step – GettySport

Yesterday’s stage was cancelled in order to honour the memory of Gino Mäder. For the same reason, the organisers of the Tour of Switzerland, in agreement with the teams and the parents of the late cyclist, decided to go ahead with the Swiss race. And so it resumed today with the seventh stage from Tübach to Weinfelden, on the same route but with a different programme than previously planned. All in an attempt to pay tribute in the best possible way to a team-mate, a colleague, a friend like Mäder.
The time for the general classification will be taken with 25 kilometres to go, before the final ascent of Ottenberg, after which we will only race for daily success. In addition, no bonus seconds will be given at either the intermediate sprint or the finish, while points for the other classifications will be awarded as planned.
Thirty-seven riders decided to leave the Tour: in addition to, of course, Bahrain Victorious, Tudor Pro Cycling and Intermarché Circus Wanty also withdrew in their entirety, in addition to several other riders, Swiss and non-Swiss. Nothing happened for the first 150km of the 183.5km stage, with leader Mattias Skjelmose’s Trek-Segafredo leading the way. So it came down to the -25km mark, when the time was neutralised, with the peloton in column controlled by the GC teams. Of note in this early part of the race was the single sprint of the Dutchman Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto-Dstny), who gained points on Oberegg, thus securing the success in the climber’s classification.
Then, at the foot of the short Ottenberg (2.6 km at 7.9%), the skirmish began with Neilson Powless (EF Education First-EasyPost) and closing in on the American were Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Tom Pidcock (INEOS-Grenadiers), with UAE Emirates keeping up the pace on the climb.
At minus 17, Remco Evenepoel made a peremptory sprint as soon as the road was clear, escaping the control of the leading group who were in fact unable to react. The Belgian phenom won by a minute over the pursuers, who were ruled in the sprint by Van Aert ahead of Coquard.
Already at the Flamme Rouge, Evenepoel wanted to show everyone why he cared so much about this success and to pick it up in that way, thus clearly distancing everyone even though it did not help the general classification: a kiss to the sky and a dedication to Gino Mäder. Then, at the finish line, his hand on his chest again and a finger upwards, to honour his sadly departed colleague. A feat sought after for a heartfelt gesture.

Sunday 18 June – Stage 8: Sankt Gallen – Abtwil (25.7km – Individual time trial). Altitude gain 415m

The Tour de Suisse comes to a close with a time trial which is rather long, but also decidedly sharper than the opening stage. The entire route is dotted with descents and short climbs, but of particular note is the almost 2km stretch at 8%, followed by a further 3.5km of steep climbs to the Aetschberg just over 3km from the finish, almost all of it downhill.

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