The Tour de Suisse gets underway this Saturday. This years edition of the race will feature more climbing in the later stages of the race. This will sit well for many of the riders that are in Tour de France preparation, as the race is now less than a month away. Despite this race not having as many big names as the Criterium du Dauphine does, it still promises to be an exciting nine days of racing.
Tour de Suisse Riders To Watch
#1 Tejay Van Garderen (BMC)
The BMC team leader for this race is the favorite to win the general classification. Van Garderen raced the Dauphine in preparation for the Tour de France last year, and finished second to Chris Froome. The parcours at the race will fit him well, as the last few stages feature lots of climbs.
Van Garderen hasn’t had the most eye catching season so far. His best general classification finish was fifth at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. The most recent result for him was a 10th place finish at the Tour de Romandie. That that race was now over a month ago. The Tour de Suisse will give us a good look at how his form is coming along.
Geraint Thomas (SKY)
It will be yet another appearance for Thomas at the Tour de Suisse. He was runner-up at last years edition of the race, and this year he will be going for it all once again. He and Van Garderen will undoubtedly be battling it out in the mountains in the latter stages of the race for the yellow jersey.
So far this year the Welshman has produced fantastic results. In February he won the Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta, and then in March he won Paris-Nice. Both of those wins have been a testament to the Sky riders bright future. A small setback did occur at the Tour de Romandie at the end of April. Where he finished well off the pace. Thomas appears to be refocused now, and could be very well be wearing the yellow jersey on the podium, on the final day.
#3 Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)
The world champion is always a rider to watch. He won the green jersey at last years Tour de Suisse, and then went on to win the jersey at the Tour de France a month later. The same result will be expected this year for Sagan, who should be able to claim at least one stage victory in the nine stage race.
It has already been a successful for season for Sagan. At the end of March he won Gent-Wevelgem, and then a week later won the Ronde van Vlaanderen. He has also won the green points jersey at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Amgen Tour of California.
Sagan has been most recently mixing in some mountain biking with his road training. The Slovakian has been given a spot on the mountain bike team for the upcoming Olympics in August. He swapped his road race spot to obtain the spot on the mountain bike team.
#4 Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin)
Barguil will be a contender for the podium this year. The french rider will be in the thick of things in the mountains, and will be one of the better young riders at this race. This will serve as a good test for him ahead of another Tour de France appearance in July.
It’s been a quiet season for Barguil, which was due to the horrific crash that he was involved in at a pre-season training camp in Spain. He has completed one stage race thus far, and has been involved in multiple one day races this spring; including a sixth place finish at Liege-Bastogne-Liege
#5 Michael Matthews (Orica-Greenedge)
The Australian sprinter will be looking for a stage win at some point during the race. He will have to earn it, with Sagan and Fernando Gavira (Ettix-Quick-Step) present at the race. This will be a good preparation race for him as he eyes stage wins at the Tour de France.
Matthews has already claimed one green jersey this season. He won it at Paris-Nice in March, and then followed that performance up by winning the Vuelta a Ciclista a La Roja a month later in April. Expect him to be very competitive in this race as he gets the go head-to-head with Sagan in multiple stages.