The Tour de Suisse is the final World Tour event before the Tour de France and the Swiss event gets underway tomorrow, starting with a prologue in Cham and ending after 8 stages on Sunday 18 June.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will head into the climber friendly Tour de Suisse with a strong squad, ready to challenge for stage wins but also with one eye on a high GC placing. The 81st edition of the Tour de Suisse will start and end with races against the clock as the 6km prologue in Cham gets racing underway before the hilly stage 8 29km time trial wraps up the event. Stage 1, 2 and 7 are classified as the medium mountain stages and possibly the only real chance for the sprinters to duke it out in a mass sprint. Stages 3, 4, 5 and 6 take riders into the high mountains with only stage 5 not being a summit finish.
Our African Team will look to Merhawi Kudus and Lachlan Morton on the big climbing days and with the final time trial including a fair amount of climbing, a top GC result is on the cards for the duo as well. As one of the better climbers among the sprinters, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg also stands in good stead to challenge for stage wins on multiple days if ending in a small group sprint.
A versatile group of riders completes our roster with climbers like Mekseb Debesay and Ben King on hand to provide support in the mountains or even take their chance in the break. Jaco Venter and Nic Dougall will be vital in looking after our protected riders everyday at the key moments of every stage while Farrar will captain the troops this week on the road and provide invaluable support to Janse van Rensburg during the sprints.
Lineup: Merhawi Kudus, Lachlan Morton, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Ben King, Mekseb Debesay, Jaco Venter, Nic Dougall, Tyler Farrar
Oli Cookson – Sport Director
We have a varied team here with guys like Lachlan, Merhawi and Mekseb looking to go well in the mountains with Ben also available to provide good support. We also have a very strong team for the medium sprint stages with Reinardt and Tyler. As we do with most races, we look at each stages individually and decide where it is best to use our assets. A lot always depends on the other teams and how the GC shapes up but we will look to do well in both stages and on the GC.