I already shamelessly dubbed my cycling adventures in France ‘Tour de France‘ and those in Italy ‘Giro d’Italia‘, so it should not come as a surprise that, now I have planned an adventure in Switzerland, I will dub it the ‘Tour de Suisse’.
In 2015, I already had a taste of what Switzerland has to offer, when I concluded my Giro d’Italia of that year with an entirely Swiss epilogue.
That stage brought me the Gotthard (old Tremola road), the Furka and the Grimsel and I was so impressed by the landscape and the overwhelming views, that I promised I would be back one day.
So, in August this year, Paula once again supported me in yet another crazy quest and on this page you can read about / find links to how it was planned and how it turned out…
… Is half the fun 🙂
So, I was busy constructing a stage road book that ended up in the shredder, or much of it anyway.
I’d been struggling with my health since mid December the year before. A complicated hernia and then some complications as a result of that, kept me off the bike for nearly three months.
When I resumed training, I was dealing with more side-effects and I was not even sure I would get back in shape to bring this Tour de Suisse to a good end.
As usual, I intended to die trying, but Paula already gave me an advance warning that she’d be keeping an eye on me.
It’s always wise to listen to her, but when it comes to cycling, I hardly ever do…
(Below is was what I originally had in mind for both parts – the reports tell a somewhat different story, althoug in the end, I managed almost everything I had in mind, just not the way I “planned” it 😎)
Planning – Silvaplana
My Tour de Suisse 2019 will start with a prologue including the San Bernardino and the Splügenpass.
This will bring us to Silvaplana, where we will stay for a week in a nice apartment.
Silvaplana is at the foot of the Julierpass, which connects to the Albulapass on the other end, down in Albula.
A bit further north from Silvaplana, you can also get up the Albulapass from La Punt. Before getting there, you pass the start of the climb up the Berninapass, near Samedan.
Further north past La Punt, you get to Zernez, which is at the base of the Ofenpass, connecting to the Umbrail – and Stelvio – in Santa Maria (Val Müstair).
And from Zernez, it’s only a stone’s throw to Susch, at the foot of the Flüelapass. The other end starts in Davos, which is easily reached from Albula.
Not to mention that Silvaplana is basically on the Swiss – Italian border. Besides the Stelvio via the Umbrail, it’s not impossible I will have a go at the Mortirolo and Gavia.
As you can see, there’s enough to be done in the area…
Planning – Sedrun
After a transfer with an intermediate stage over the Splügenpass from the south, we will settle down in Sedrun.
Sedrun is located between Andermatt and Disentis, halfway up the Oberalppass from the east.
As base camp for this second part of the Tour de Suisse, we have booked an apartment already.
Disentis is also at the foot of the Lukmanierpass or Passo Lucomagno.
And Andermatt is probably the Swiss equivalent of Corvara or Cortina d’Ampezzo, I guess.
From there, you can climb the Furka and Gotthard, although that climb is not nearly as beautiful from that end as it is from Airolo.
Airolo is also the start of the Nufenenpass, which connects to the Furka / Grimsel from the south-west in Ulrichen, the combination with the Furka enabling a round trip.
North of Andermatt, you get to Göschenen, for the climb up to the Göscheneralpsee, which is a dead end.
Just past that, the climb up the Sustenpass starts in Wassen – from the other end, it starts in Inertkirchen, very near to where I got of the bike at the end of my Giro in 2015.
Also going that direction, you can create a nice round trip with both the Grimsel and Furka.
Finally, a bit further north of Andermatt, you can get up the Klausenpass from the town of Altdorf.
I’m sure that also in this area, I will find more fun than I can handle 🙂