The women’s Tour de Suisse is new for 2021, here are 5 riders to keep an eye on throughout the race. A couple might be in the hunt for the GC, whereas others will be more focused on a stage win. The women’s Tour de Suisse takes place on Saturday 5th June and Sunday 6th June. Live coverage can be found on Eurosport Player/GCN between 12:15-14:40 on Saturday and 09:45-12:10 on Sunday (all times BST).
Brand is in great form after her stellar winter cyclocross season. It shouldn’t be a surprise that after winning everything (that’s not an exaggeration either!) off-road that she would find herself winning on the road too. She was on fire in the Thuringen Ladies Tour last week, taking 2 stage win and the overall victory too. The rolling terrain there was the perfect warm-up for Stage 1 here with its 3 ascents of a reasonable small climb. Expect an attack on the last ascent and a late break on Day 1. Brand was also useful in the sprints in Thuringen too and that bodes well for the pan-flat Stage 2 at the women’s Tour de Suisse.
She might not be a familiar name to a many fans of women’s road cycling but Neff is a 5-time mountain bike world champion. The Swiss rider has been known to do the odd road race though, most recently in 2019 when she was on the Trek-Segafredo roster. She took respectable 20-somethingth places at both Fleche Wallonne and Liege Bastogne Liege that year. Like Annika Langvad, the fleeting road appearances have usually yielded great results, like 3rd at 2016’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda. On home soil, you can expect Jolanda Neff to be a presence.
After a quiet Spring Classics part of the season, Harvey began to move through the gears with the hillier Spanish set of races in May. She took 6th at Emakumeen Nafarroako and 5th at GP Eibar too. Working for team leader Katarzyna Niewiadoma at Vuelta a Burgos, she still finished 19th Overall. The climb here might give Harvey a chance to be at the front of the race and recreate some of last year’s form that saw her finish 5th at the Giro Rosa. It will be all about Stage 1 though as the team have other options for an outright sprint on Stage 2.
Another rider on home soil, Noemi Rüegg impressed during the recent Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. She finished in the top-10 on the first 3 stages and finished 5th in GC on the final day. Only 20-years-old that meant she also took home the youth classification of the race. In theory a sprinter, she showed that can hang in there on the climbs. After Van Vleuten disappeared off the front in Stage 1, Rüegg was in the first group to make it to the finish line. In this form, she should be contesting Stage 1 and also be in the hunt on the flatter Stage 2 of the women’s Tour de Suisse as well.
It’s been a strange 2021 season for Bastianelli as she recovers from the Epstein-Barr illness she had in 2020. As we’ve seen with Mark Cavendish, the long-term recovery can be a frustrating process. The season started well with 6th at Omloop het Nieuwsblad, 9th at Nokere Koerse and 5th at Gent Wevelgem but they’re the only results of note so far. For a fit and healthy Bastianelli, this race would be right up her street and you’d expect a high GC placing over the two days. With those results earlier in the year we’ve seen it’s possible, so hopefully we see a resurgence.