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Tour de Suisse Women 2023 Race Preview

Tour de Suisse Women History

The Tour des Suisse Women has quickly moved up the ranks since its re-introduction to the calendar. Opening up as a 2.1 in 2021, it was a 2.Pro in 2022 and now part of the Women’s WorldTour in 2023. It had been a 20-year wait from the last original edition in 2001 and the return in 2021. The two races were linked by the presence of Olga Zabelinskaya, the Russian-born Uzbek taking part in both sides of the gap. 

Last year’s edition was a close call, with Lucinda Brand and Kristen Faulkner facing off in a battle that went down to the final corner of the stage race. Lucinda Brand had attacked the descent before the final climb and pulled out a gap with Jolanda Neff with some impressive cornering. Faulkner reeled her back in up the climb, however, so the two riders were neck and neck going through a small underpass. Faulkner slid out however on the exit of the corner, a victim of the rain that had fallen. The exciting racing certainly helped the Tour de Suisse Women gain a good reputation.

This year’s race sees a short opening stage, similar to the one that encouraged splits and attacks last year before a long, hilly TT on stage 2. There’s no summit finish this year but instead, we’ll see plenty of lumps and hills to crest on the final 2 stages. Both stages offer a launchpad for late attacks.

Previous Winners

Lucinda Brand
Lizzie Deignan
Not held

Tour de Suisse Women 2023 Profiles

Stage 1 Profile

Stage 2 Profile (TT)

Stage 3 Profile

Stage 4 Profile

TV Coverage

Saturday 17th June 2023 to Tuesday 20th June 2023

Live on Eurosport/GCN

Stage 1: 17:20-20:15
Stage 2: 09:30-12:00
Stage 3: 14:20-16:40
Stage 4: 14:20-16:15

All times in BST

Twitter: #TourDeSuisseWomen or #TDS2023

Startlist: FirstCycling

Tour de Suisse Women 2023 Contenders

The obvious favourite will be Demi Vollering as SD Worx look to continue their winning streak. After win after win, their streak is now up to 18 races won in a row, borderline unheard of even in say the peak Marianne Vos era. Stage 1 feels like it will be tough for them to win without a Kopecky or Wiebes here but the hilly TT should see Vollering get a GC lead she won’t relinquish on the final 2 days. Marlen Reusser will also look to do well on home roads and obviously will be considered a favourite for the Tour de Suisse Women’s time trial stage. The hill there will be tough but we saw at the European Championships last year that it might not be all that much of an issue. A strong TT could set up a GC charge.

Juliette Labous had a solid Vuelta Femenina finishing 7th in GC in Spain. Her only other top-10 in 2023 though is at the Tour of Flanders back in April. It feels like she’s gearing up for another Giro Donne/Tour de France Femmes GC hunt, which worked out rather well for her last year. She’s a good TT rider and the lack of a major climb should keep her time gaps close to the predicted SD Worx stars.

Movistar’s Liane Lippert hasn’t been seen with a number on her back for a month, since finishing 7th at Itzulia Women. With no Van Vleuten here, Lippert will get the nod for the GC hopes but a podium spot feels like the best possible result thanks to the TT. It’s tough to see her coming out on top against SD Worx but she’s in a good spot against other riders.
No Lippert in the end for Movistar, so it looks like maybe another chance for Katrine Aalerud to lead some GC hopes. It’ll be tough with the TT but the Norwegian is in strong form after winning the Vuelta a Andalucia 2 weeks ago. She didn’t win a stage there but finished no lower than 8th across the 5 stages and will be one to watch. Teammate Arlenis Sierra will be in the stage hunt as well but hasn’t raced in nearly 2 months since Liege-Bastogne-Liege. If she can recreate her form to 4th place at Alfredo Binda, she will be a threat on 3 stages at the Tour de Suisse Women.

Trek’s Gaia Realini will be considered a threat on paper but the TT here won’t help her GC hopes. So we’ll have to see what Trek can do with her on stages instead. With no summit finish, they will have to roll the dice and go long and the biggest climb on Stage 4 might set something up. It’s a longshot for a win at this year’s Tour de Suisse Women but the team might be able to conjure something up. Instead, it’s probably Elisa Longo Borghini who has the best all-round threat for the GC. Strong against the clock, she can also do well on the individual stages here, especially if she’s in the form to tackle the Giro in a few weeks. Lizzie Deignan will be a fun wildcard for the stages after a strong weekend at RideLondon Classique. She’s recently had an illness however, so may not quite be at her best.

The retirement tour pushes on for Marta Bastianelli who was 4th last weekend at the Flanders Diamond Tour. She’s good enough to be a threat on most of these stages but Stage 1’s short fast stage should represent the best chance for the Italian to pick up a Women’s WorldTour win before the Giro Donne finale. Teammate Olivia Baril will be the GC hope but won’t be able to challenge the SD Worx favourites thanks to that TT. She’s got a good shout for a stage win though and has good recent form. 4th in GC at Itzulia Women on her adopted home roads of the Basque County and a second win in a row at the GP Ciudad de Eibar too. The rolling terrain served up here should suit.

With a different parcours to last year, it’s tough to see a strong GC threat coming from Clara Koppenburg, who may have to be hunting stages. The TT here won’t suit at all and so time will be lost to other riders. Stage 4’s lumps help suit the best but this one might just work out as a tune-up for the Giro Donne at the end of the month.

Kasia Niewiadoma
Kasia Niewiadoma

Another rider we’ve not seen race for a month is Kasia Niewiadoma. The Pole had a strong Itzulia Women where she finished 3rd in GC. The Tour de Suisse Women will be an ideal race to help prepare for the Giro Donne and Tour de France Femmes but the TT won’t help the aspirations of victory. Like many others, she will be chasing for podium spots behind the dominant SD Worx. Expect to see Elise Chabbey do well on home roads, surprisingly it’s rare to see a good time trial from such a strong rider, but the other 3 stages look perfect for her to have another raid on the QoM jersey in a major race. There’s also Ricarda Bauernfeind who should be a threat. She was taken ill at the Thüringen Ladies Tour and had to leave that race early. Her TT might be interesting to see where it puts her going into the other stages but it’s possible to see her match her 5th in GC at the Vuelta Femenina.

Jumbo-Visma will bring a duo threat in Eva van Agt and Amber Kraak. The pair probably won’t be particularly highly rated but have been solid in the last month. Van Agt was 9th at Itzulia Women which included plenty of tough punchy climbing. Amber Kraak was 11th there as well and was consistent throughout the Vuelta Femenina to finish just out the top 20 as a domestique. We know that Jumbo-Visma can time trial well as a team, they won the opener in the Vuelta after all, maybe it carries through individually and gets either rider sneakily high on GC by the end of the Tour de Suisse Women.

Israel Premier-Tech will have the twin threat of Claire Steels and Anna Kiesenhofer. The Brit is likely to be up there on stages but lose time to rivals on the TT. There’s still enough there to maybe fit in the top-10 GC however. Anna Kiesenhofer represents an interesting shout for the time trial. Because it’s not simply a flat out and back TT, we might see the Austrian do quite well.

Lotte Claes continues to impress at the moment after 4th in GC at Vuelta Andalucia and 10th at the abortive Tour des Pyrénées. She might struggle to make the top-10 GC here, the WWT opposition and tougher racing might push her to only a top-20 spot. The Belgian is still going to be an interesting rider to watch and surely has done enough already this year to get snapped up by a stronger team for 2024.

Tour de Suisse Women 2023 Outsiders

Adele Normand
Adele Normand

There’s a chance that Petra Stiasny can pull off another strong result at home like her finish at the Tour de Romandie last year. However, the lack of a major summit finish probably hampers a repeat and the time trial has the potential to see the Swiss rider lose a bunch of time. There will still be an outside chance at a good stage result.

Megan Armitage and Dani de Francesco will be the best threats for Arkea here. Armitage was 13th in GC at the Thüringen Ladies Tour, just missing out a few times on winning breaks as she gamefully tried to close the gap between the bunch and leaders. The Vuelta Extremadura winner has had a good season that also includes 4th at GP Féminin de Chambéry. Teammate Dani de Francesco has been a little bit quieter in recent weeks and you have to go back to early and mid-May for good results at the Bretagne Ladies Tour and 8th at GP de Plumelec-Morbihan. She can be a threat in the rolling stages that make up the last 2 days here.

Ruby Roseman-Gannon had a great Thüringen Ladies Tour where the Aussie finished 4th in GC and no longer than 6th on any stage. If it wasn’t for SD Worx, she probably would’ve taken a stage win at some point. Going back to her 5th place at Dwars door Vlaanderen, we know that she has a quick finish after a hilly race and that might come in handy here for strong stage finishes.

Team Grand-Est Komugi rider Ségolène Thomas will be a threat on individual stages. She was 10th at Alpes Gresivaudan and was in the front group at the Tour des Pyrénées until a moment of distraction saw her touch wheels and come down. A WWT race might be that extra step which is too tough but the French rider is one to watch.

Top 3 Prediction