Saturday marks the start of the Tour de Suisse, a UCI WorldTour stage race considered to be a vital Tour de France warmup. This year organizers invited Canadian Pro Continental team SpiderTech powered by C10, the team’s greatest European opportunity so far.
Another Canadian inclusion is Michael Barry (Sky Procycling), who fully recovered from his broken femur and arm to place 12th on GC in last week’s Skoda Tour of Luxembourg.
SpiderTech manager Steve Bauer is sending four Canadians to Switzerland: Ryan Anderson, Will Routley, David Boily and Guillaume Boivin. Joining them will be Swiss rider Raymond Kunzli, Dane Brian Vandborg and American duo Lucas Euser and Caleb Fairly.
With Sky’s Bradley Wiggins and BMC’s Cadel Evans currently battling in the Dauphiné in France, other Tour de France contenders are set to do battle in Switzerland. Last year’s winner Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) hopes to continue his recovery from a broken leg. He recently place 6th in May’s Tour of California.
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Dutchman Robert Gesink (Rabobank) stole the show in California, so he’ll be looking to hone his fine form against the likes of Alejandro Valverde, Peter Sagan, Roman Kreuziger, Giro top-ten finisher Damiano Cunego, Igor Anton and local favourite Fabian Cancellara.
The Tour de Suisse kicks off Saturday with a 7.3-kilometre time trial in Lugano and ends June 17 on the summit of the Cat. 2 Sorenberg, culminating the queen stage of the race’s 76th edition.