Remco Evenepoel will lead the Wolfpack at the eight-day race.

Taking place between 12-19 June, this 85th edition of the event won by the likes of Hugo Koblet, Ferdi Kübler, Eddy Merckx or Sean Kelly promises to be one of the toughest stage races of the year, boasting over 20 000 vertical meters spread over eight hard days.

Küsnacht, which for six years served as residence to Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Thomas Mann, welcomes the riders on Sunday for a stage featuring six classified climbs that should whittle down the peloton and give to the puncheurs the opportunity to fight for the race’s first yellow jersey. More serious ascents will test the GC contenders on the roads to Aesch, followed twenty-four hours later by a hilly leg to Grenchen, on a terrain ideal for a breakaway.

On paper, stage 4 should be tailored for the sprinters, but there’s a catch in the form of a second-category climb topping just 15 kilometers from the line, which could make a selection in the bunch and spell the end of the fast men’s hopes of victory in Brunnen. The up-and-down second part of the Novazzono stage, culminating in an uphill finish, shouldn’t bring too many changes in the standings, especially as the favourites will have their sights on the tough back-to-back mountain summits to Moosalp and Malbun, respectively.

Despite all these demanding climbs coming towards the end of the week, the general classification fight will not end there, but on the very last day of the competition, when a rolling 25.6km individual time trial in Vaduz, where precious time can be won or lost, will bring down the curtain over the last World Tour race before the Tour de France.

Victorious last month at the Tour of Norway, where he won half of the race’s six stages as well as the white jersey, Remco Evenepoel will lead Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at the Tour de Suisse, where he will be joined by 2021 De Ronde Champion Kasper Asgreen, Tim “El Tractor” Declercq, James Knox, Fausto Masnada, Ilan Van Wilder and Louis Vervaeke.

“We can go for a stage win with this solid and motivated squad, but also for a nice result in the GC. Suisse is one of the hardest races of the season, with a strong field and very high level, so we’ll see what Remco can do there. We are happy to have Fausto and Ilan back after their health problems, together with the other guys they bring a lot of support and experience, and can help us go for our goals”, said sports director Wilfried Peeters.


Photo credit: ©Dario Belingheri / Getty Images

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