Etixx – Quick-Step to Tour de Suisse
Eight riders will go to the final World Tour event of June, which this year celebrates its 80th edition.
Created in 1933 and raced over nine days, the Tour de Suisse earned a place in the cycling calendar as one of the most important stage races out there – a mix of flat, hilly and mountain days – which provides plenty of opportunities to shine to all riders. It won't be any different this season, when the Swiss event promises to be another spectacular affair, which should reach its climax on the summit finishes of Cari, Amden and Sölden, with the individual time trials of Baar (6.4 km) and Davos (16.8 km) very likely to spice things up in the general classification. Overall, the course will await the riders with nearly 20 000 meters of elevation and 16 categorized climbs.
After making his long-awaited return to the peloton last week, at Heistse Pijl, Fernando Gaviria will now head to the Tour de Suisse, his second World Tour stage race since turning pro, following March's Tirreno-Adriatico. Maximiliano Richeze, who helped Fernando get his maiden pro win earlier this year at the Tour de San Luis, will also be there, where together with Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert and Julien Vermote will form the Colombian's lead-out for the flat stages. Besides them, thanks to the presence of Rodrigo Contreras, Zdenek Stybar and Czech champion Petr Vakoč, the team will have some important cards to play when the terrain will become undulating.
"Bookended once again by time trials, the Tour de Suisse is going to be a challenging and exciting race, especially as many riders will try to lay the foundation for the Tour de France. Concerning us, we hope to rise again to the expectations and be among the protagonists, as was the case in almost all the races we did this year. We don't have a designated leader, but what we do have is a strong and united team, in which every rider is ready to work hard and fight for his teammate's success, so we hope to add to the eight victories we already have in Suisse since 2003", said sport director Davide Bramati, who'll lead Etixx – Quick-Step from the car, together with Rik Van Slycke and Wilfried Peeters.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele