The 78th Tour du Suisse will start on Saturday with a 9.4km prologue around the town of Bellinzona. After receiving a wild card entry to this World Tour race earlier in the year, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are excited to finally grab hold of the many opportunities that await them over the duration of the tour. 9 days of racing against the worlds best riders who will be in peak physical condition ahead of the upcoming Tour de France, will be the main challenge at hand.
Along with the challenge of the sporting perspective at the Tour du Suisse, another challenging aspect of professional cycling lies ahead for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung. Logistically, running a cycling team can be extremely difficult especially when you are racing everyday for 3 weeks, as in a grand tour. After being invited to the Vuelta a Espana this year, the Tour du Suisse will provide MTN-Qhubeka with the perfect opportunity to use the 9 days of racing in Switzerland as a full dress-rehearsal before its Spanish rendezvous in August. We are expecting every bit of our infrastructure to be tested as the Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung roadshow goes on display worldwide.
While trying to run a program that is smooth and efficient is a top priority at the Tour du Suisse, it is not the only goal the team hopes to achieve. We will start with high ambitions, looking to target key stages and also a high finish on the General Classification. After climbing exceptionally well at the recent Tour of Norway, Gerald Ciolek provides us with a very strong card to play on the opening 5 road stages. Daniel Teklehaimanot also showed his form is on the rise by taking 3rd at the final Tour du Luxembourg stage last week, both riders will look to target stage results. Linus Gerdemann gives Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung a real chance at a high placing on the overall classification particularly when you look at the fire power surrounding the German tour rider.
We also caught up with our rising star and South African champion, Louis Meintjes, as he gave us his thoughts on his participation in the Tour du Suisse (link also below).
Our South African viewers will also be pleased to know that Supersport will be broadcasting the Tour du Suisse daily with the entire schedule below.
Sat 14 Jun Stage 1 – Bellinzona – Bellinzona (Individual Time Trial) Switzerland 17:10 – 19:00 (Delayed) SS5/5A/5N HD5/HD2A
Sun 15 Jun Stage 2 – Bellinzona – Sarnen Switzerland 17:20 – 19:00 (Delayed) SS5/5A/5N HD5/HD2A
Mon 16 Jun Stage 3 – Sarnen – Heiden Switzerland 15:30 – 17:30 SS5/5A/5N HD5/HD2A
Tue 17 Jun Stage 4 – Heiden – Ossingen Switzerland 15:30 – 17:30 SS5/5A/5N HD5/HD2A
Wed 18 Jun Stage 5 – Ossingen – Büren A.D. Aare Switzerland 15:30 – 17:30 SS5/5A/5N HD5/HD2A
Thu 19 Jun Stage 6 – Büren A.D. Aare – Delémont Switzerland 15:30 – 17:30 SS7 /7N HD7
Fri 20 Jun Stage 7 – Worb – Worb (Individual Time Trial) Switzerland 15:30 – 17:30 SS7 /7N HD7
Sat 21 Jun Stage 8 – Delémont – Verbier Switzerland 15:30 – 17:30 SS6 / 6A HD6/HD1A
Sun 22 Jun Stage 9 – Martigny – Saas-Fee Switzerland 15:50 – 17:50 SS5/5A/5N HD5/HD2A