Tour de Suisse - an intense eight-day Pro WorldTour and cycling fest

6/6/2023 – Lauren Wolff

Tour de Suisse - an intense eight-day Pro WorldTour and cycling fest

The exciting Tour de Suisse, part of the UCI World Tour held from the 11th to the 20th of June, is an ideal test for the pro riders in the peloton to gauge their fitness before the Tour de France two weeks later. Over eight days, the riders will climb over 18,000m and race more than 1,000km, including two time-trial events in this 86th edition. Switzerland will host this prestigious event for the pro riders, as a challenging bucket list event for recreational cyclists in a unique format, a fun ride for kids, and a full-on cycling festival. Tour de Suisse is typically a tour of classic climbs and testing terrain for the pro riders to tackle over difficult distances, and we will also sample just a taste of a few of the stages virtually on ROUVY.

Important locations in the Tour de Suisse

The route begins in the centre of Switzerland with an individual Time Trial and then heads west to the mediaeval cities of Fribourg, Vaud and Valais. The queen stage, or the most demanding day is on Stage 5, over 211 km, and will include 4,700m of brutal climbing, and also:

  • Some of the most spectacular and beautiful parts of the Swiss Alps.
  • Featuring notorious and iconic climbs such as the Furka, Oberalp and Albula.
  • Requiring good descending skills from the riders.

Iconic climbs for the pros

You can read some interesting facts about the Albula Pass, an engineering marvel, before riding it yourself. The riders receive a double dose of the climb as they must also ride up the other side of the pass the following day in the 215 km Stage 6, the longest stage in the event. The route then goes eastwards for the concluding locations in Switzerland's Thurgau and St. Gallen regions. Test your indoor climbing skills on the Albula against the leaderboard on STRAVA.

The women’s Tour de Suisse makes history in 2023

The exciting women's four-day Tour de Suisse UCI pro-stage race, for the first time in its short history, will be held at the highest level UCI Women's World Tour. It follows after Stage 7 of the men's race and makes its way into the country's eastern region with a start in Weinfelden and a finish in the beautiful village of Ebnat-Kappel. The entire women's route will go through the Cantons of Thurgau and St. Gallen and won't include the Swiss Alps but will feature 5,000 metres of climbing over a challenging 327-kilometre course.

Ride a stage from the women’s Tour de Suisse on ROUVY Ride a stage from the women’s Tour de Suisse on ROUVY

Surviving World War 2 - the show must go on!

For many years the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia held the central stage with their well-known beginnings in 1902 and 1909, respectively. The inaugural edition of the Tour de Suisse, took place in 1933, organised by the Swiss Cyclists and MotorCyclists Federation to celebrate their 50th anniversary and support cyclists' sport and legitimacy on Swiss roads.

Initially, only Swiss pros participated in the 'Little Tour de Suisse' event. Half a million spectators arrived to cheer on the first edition of the 5 stage event, with 64 entrants and 46 finishers crossing the finish line in Zurich. At the time, WW2 participants entered the challenging race motivated by the fact that they could make a small living in tough economic times when they experienced persistent food rationing and shortages of cycling spare parts like bicycle tires. The attitude of the event organisers was that cycling event must go on despite the war.

Scene taken from the original Tour de Suisse in 1933 on gravel roads during WW2 Scene taken from the original Tour de Suisse in 1933 on gravel roads during WW2

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Legends of the TdS over time

In 1949 the organisers of the tour were thrilled to have the four greats of Fausto Coppi (historical footage), Gino Bartali, Hugo Koblet and Ferdy Kübler included in the start list. Other legends who have won stages in this event were Eddy Merckx in 1974 and Sean Kelly, Lance Armstrong and Jan Ulrich in the 1990s. Later, Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan (see video footage) made their mark. Sagan has won 17 stages since 2011, a record but never an overall win. He has also won the points classification every year since 2011, apart from 2016. No Swiss National Team will be in the men's starting field this year.

The Tour de Suisse winners jerseys The Tour de Suisse winners jerseys

The winners' jerseys will consist of the winner's yellow jersey, the King and Queen of the Mountains winner's jersey in red and the Sprinter's Points jersey in black. The best young professional rider's jersey is white. Leaders in the young rider classification are usually candidates for the yellow jersey in future grand tours.

Ride on terrains from the 2023 Tour de Suisse on profiles to suit everyone, from flat to hilly, taking in magnificent scenery along the way.

Einsiedeln - Start with a TT for the fast men

On this individual time trial course, the specialists will undoubtedly be pleased that they can apply the maximum power output for the duration. The start and finish location is in Einsiedeln, near the historic Einsiedeln Abbey, where the riders will complete this fast and flat time-trial course. Ride this TT route yourself around the picturesque lake and test your TT skills.

Tour de Suisse Stage 1 TT for the fast men on ROUVY Tour de Suisse Stage 1 TT for the fast men on ROUVY

Tour de Suisse Stage 1 TT on ROUVY Tour de Suisse Stage 1 TT on ROUVY

TdS 2023 Oberwil to Lieli - Stage 6 with a sting in the tail

Stage 6 over 215 km is one of the pros' toughest and longest days, and they must tackle the iconic Albula Pass before continuing on an up-and-down course until the finish. In this shortened route in ROUVY, you will venture through a mix of flat and rolling sections through beautiful and scenic rural and urban landscapes. Save something for the final 2.45 kilometres up to the finish - a small sting in the tail at 6% average.

TdS 2023 Oberwil to Lieli - Stage 6 TdS 2023 Oberwil to Lieli - Stage 6

TdS 2023 Oberwil to Lieli - Stage 6 TdS 2023 Oberwil to Lieli - Stage 6

TdS 2023 Weinfelden - the penultimate stage 7 for the men

Challenge yourself on a rolling route and segment of Stage 7 of the TdS with one short climb in the middle part finishing as the pros will do in Weinfelden. The course is a perfect and final route for the fast men in the peloton to show their speed and strength skills at the end to the finish. The route takes you along various urban and rural landscapes through peaceful meadows and beautiful lush green forests. The pros will end in Weinfelden taking in Appenzell and Lake Constance, a popular and scenic holiday destination.

Stage 7 for the pros in the Tour de Suisse on ROUVY Stage 7 for the pros in the Tour de Suisse on ROUVY

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Ebnat Kappel, a segment from the pro ladies TdS event

Cycle along this beautiful and varied route starting and finishing in Ebnat Knappel, forming part of the 100km 4th and final stage of the women's UCI event now held at the highest level UCI Women's World Tour. The course begins with some climbing in the first few kilometres and is followed by a fast, steep and exhilarating downhill, which flattens out to the finish. The course takes you through semi-urban and rural and magnificent countryside in a municipality in the Wahlkreis of Toggenburg in the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland. The pro ladies will end off on this challenging circuit course in the women's version of the stage race.

The women's TdS UCI race on Stage 4 on ROUVY The women's TdS UCI race on Stage 4 on ROUVY

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The women's TdS UCI race on Stage 4 on ROUVY The women's TdS UCI race on Stage 4 on ROUVY

Join the exciting annual Tour de Suisse Challenge and race event and bring the outside cycling experience inside and stand the chance to win one of five stunning real ROUVY jerseys in the lucky draw after the end of the challenge date. You can also race these routes on the same days as the pros do and feel the vibe of professional cycling in your own home.

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