Tour de Suisse 2021 – Stage 1 preview

By David Hunter

Frauenfeld 11km ITT

We begin with a TT.

11km of flat awaits the riders, that will help to blow the cobwebs away. The opening 4km is quite technical, it has lots of twists and turns, before a much easier final 7km. For me it gives non-specialists some hope as they could make some time in the technical section, but the specialists will love the long straights in the second half of the route.

Weather

Another TT where rain could be a big factor. Not all the forecasts agree, but there is a fair chance of rain throughout the day. Teams will be studying the forecast, looking to get the best time slot possible for their big riders.

Contenders

Stefan Küng – he’d love to win on home soil. Küng is very good on his TT bike, but he always seems to come up against stronger riders. On his day he can win, but that day doesn’t come around as often as he’d like.

Benjamin Thomas – a hugely consistent TT rider. His big focus is on the track and the Olympics, but he’ll still have a good crack at this one. He’ll be challenging for the top 5, maybe the podium on a very good day.

Stefan Bissegger – the new kid on the block. His form on the TT bike has been excellent this season, he has really upped his game. The route looks good for him, he’ll start as one of the big favourites.

Julian Alaphilippe – he’s been working hard on his TT bike; I’m expecting a top 10 result.

Tom Dumoulin – it’s great to see him back on the bike, but after a long period out it should take him some time to reach his top level.

Rohan Dennis – his last two TT wins have been hugely impressive; he seems to be back to his very best. After what seemed like quite a long period of struggling to find his best form, he seems to be riding better than ever before. The route is perfect for him, as is the distance, he’ll be a hard man to beat.

Michael Matthews – this is a good route for him, he should enjoy the technical start. He might fade a little in the second half, but he’s a good candidate for the podium.

Søren Kragh – a bit of a specialist over this distance, but he normally prefers a few climbs.

Mattia Cattaneo – so consistent on his TT bike. As usual he’ll be challenging for the top 10.

Prediction Time

The rain makes this a lottery, I’ll go for Stefan Bissegger.

David Hunter

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