BREAKING: Tour de Suisse queen stage might turn into a 30-kilometer mountain sprint

The Tour de Suisse 2024 promises one of its hardest editions in recent history with total of five consecutive mountain finishes. The pride of organizers was the sixth stage from Locarno to Blatten, crossing the special prize and highest point on the route - the Nufenen Pass. However adverse weather (snow) will not allow for the mountain pass to be used next Friday.

The organizing party informs about this on Tour de Suisse Twitter: "The queen stage of the Tour de Suisse is scheduled for Friday, 14 June 2024. This stage was originally supposed to lead from Locarno via the Nufenen Pass into Valais to Blatten-Belalp. However, the Nufenen Pass is still impassable due to large amounts of snow. This means that the queen stage will not cross the Nufenen Pass as planned."

What are the other options of organizers then? "The Tour de Suisse management is currently clarifying two alternative routes with the authorities of the cantons of Valais, Ticino and Uri. Option A: Start in Locarno and head towards Valais via the Gotthard and Furka Passes. Option B: Start in Ulrichen and shorten the stage."

The first option sounds like a very intimidating alternative to the original route, replacing the long but steady Nufenen pass (22 km a 6%) with two shorter, but arguably even harder pass: Gotthard Pass (17 km a 7%) and Furka Pass (12 km a 7.5%). Furka Pass was climbed from the other side in last year edition's fifth stage. The one that went down in the history books as a dark moment for cycling.

On the other hand a shortened stage from Ulrichen would turn what was projected as a queen stage into a relatively boring mountain sprint, with just 30 kilometers mostly downhill to Breiten, where riders would turn right for the final ascent. As a fan of cycling, I hope the option A will pull through.

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Cycling Tour de Suisse

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