• Rúben Silva

Tour de Suisse Stage 1 Preview

The Route

The race starts off with a 10 kilometer time-trial in Langnau. It's a relative loop circuit, the riders will go down and then up the same road towards the town and it's a parcours for specialists, pure power riders and will set the first leader of the race, and possibly some small gaps between the favourites.

The Weather

It's a weird situation, the stage is pretty much 50/50 in directions, and so wind speed won't affect anyone really as it's balanced. Still there isn't much of a wind change throughout the day, there's some rain forecast but far from heavy, so it will be a case of who can get lucky with the roads and at the same time take the risks, but the main thing will no doubt be the power in the legs for the long straights.

The Favourites

It's not such a technical time-trial so the power will be the most important, alongside luck with the weather. It's short enough to see some of the prologue specialists in contention and with a dab of luck taking it, so who can it be?

Well on the GC side there's the world champion Rohan Dennis, who's been far from his best so far this season but with his past he will still be at the start with big expectations on him, as will Geraint Thomas who will want a strong start to the race and to take time on his rivals already.

But there are some riders who are specialists in this distance, the Swiss champion Stefan Kung for a start, he's having a strong season and is a true powerhouse, and will be motivated as none other could be to take the win here in Langnau. The other is Maciej Bodnar, aboard a Specialized and with the way he rode in Hammer Limburg I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him take the win, Bora has been having quite the season and Bodnar looks in tremendous form, just right for a stage like this.

Jonathan Castroviejo is another one to take, Mitchelton duo Michael Hepburn and Alex Edmonson are also to take from such a fast route it will be, there's Yves Lampaert, Soren Kragh Andersen, Tom Bohli, Benjamin Thomas, Patrick Bevin, and I'll mention Fabio Felline as an outsider, far from his best but a good rider in short time-trials, specially those in the rain.

Prediction Time

Kung, Bodnar

Dennis, G.Thomas, SK.Andersen, Hepburn

Castroviejo, Lampaert, Bohli, B.Thomas, Bevin, Felline

After seeing him so strong in Hammer Limburg, as you probably got it by my way of writing, I really fancy his chances of taking it tomorrow. Bora since April is being the strongest team, and I see them keeping up racking the wins here, starting in the first stage, and Bodnar is yet to take a win this year.

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