Tour de Suisse 2019 Report – Part 2

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Last week, I realised I did not write a post stage report on the second week of my Tour de Suisse 2019.

Well, here it is…

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We moved our base camp from Silvaplana to Sedrun on Saturday – I had an intermediate stage planned, but decided to drop that and have a rest day instead.

Also during the second week, things didn’t go exactly as planned, plus the weather was really bad, most of the time.

I managed to cycle every pass I wanted, except the Nufenen, which was closed due to land slides.

I already knew beforehand that my road book was something I was most likely not going to stick to anyway, but I didn’t anticipate that a medical discomfort would be mostly responsible for that…

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Tour de Suisse 2019 Stages – Part 2

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In a previous post, I have described the area around Andermatt, our second base camp for my Tour de Suisse 2019.

This post provides more details on the possible stages and alternatives I have in mind and which I will probably not ride.

Although not for lack of trying, but just because most of my trip ideas are insane, given that I would like to ride every day and I’m not a world tour pro rider…

(Plus, I will have a week’s worth of ass-whooping climbs in my legs by the time we settle in Sedrun)

Another factor is, that there are many climbs, most of them with at least two alternative routes to cycle them, and I have only so many days during either part of my Tour de Suisse.

So, each stage below is described including alternatives – if you’d rather not read all of that, just wait for my post stage reports later on 🙂

Read moreTour de Suisse 2019 Stages – Part 2

Tour de Suisse 2019 Sketches – Part 2

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Now that our short trip to sunny Egypt has ended and May is coming to a close, the start of my Tour de Suisse 2019 is only two months away.

Although I’m back to a regular – much less intense destructive than in 2018 – training routine, I’m still a long way from anything near my ‘normal’ form.

On average, my power numbers are 30 Watts lower than they used to be before my injuries forced me to take a 3-month break.

With the help of Pav from Direct Power Coaching, or Spokes Fit as they are now rebranded, I successfully rebooted, following two training plans.

During that reboot, I reconnected with Xert and I’m now using their ‘adaptive training advisor’ to get me further back on track. I’ll try and write a post on Xert in the near future.

Anyway, the apartments for the Tour de Suisse have been booked, Chesa Bellaval in Silvaplana and Casa Nacla in Sedrun/Surrein.

Both apartments are chosen based on their strategic location, while still staying within a more or less ‘sane’ budget for the tour.

From either place, a score of cols is available for me to break my legs on…

In this post, I’m covering part 2, the week in Sedrun.

Read moreTour de Suisse 2019 Sketches – Part 2

Cols of the Swiss Stage

Tour de Suisse logo smallIn June last year, at the end of my Giro d’Italia 2015, I rode an entirely ‘Swiss Stage’ including the Gotthard (Tremola road), the Furka and the Grimsel.

You can read a report on that stage here – it offered some of the most stunning views I have encountered so far and I am determined to get back there for more, during a longer stay.

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Furka Pass


With a summit at 2,429 meters (CBB: 2,431 and summit sign: 2,436), the Furka Pass ranks as 4th highest pass in Switzerland. The pass connects the cantons of Valais and Uri.

It’s part of the most famous routes – or round trips – of the Alps. It can be combined with the Grimsel pass – which it ‘meets’ in Gletsch – and Susten passes (north loop), or the Grimsel, Nufenen and Gotthard passes (south loop). More info on the various loops on the pages of the Alpenbrevet.

I cycled the Furka from Realp as part of the ‘Swiss Stage’ at the end of my Giro d’Italia 2015 – report here, pictures here (Google+).

Realp

Furka Realp profileAs I came descending of the Gotthard pass, I turned towards Realp in Hospental.

The ‘Furkastrasse’ starts there and the flat section of about 5 kilometers offers some stunning views of the surrounding mountains and gives you a bit of (extra) recovery – or can be used as a warming up – before the climb starts.

The official part of it, is 12.3 kilometers long, with an elevation of 893 meters, or 7.3%.

As soon as you leave Realp, you’ll be passing the 2,000 meter mark within 6 kilometers, averaging 8.4%, but with several stretches well over 10%.

Some 2 kilometers in, you’ll pass the ‘Bond Street’ sign: it’s the spot where Bond was shot at in the movie Goldfinger and it offers a nice view over Realp and the valley behind it.

After the first demanding half, you’ll have some 3 relatively easy kilometers at 6%, a short steep section, followed by the last third of the climb.

As this is a near ‘straight’ up until about 500 meters from the summit, you’ll quickly curse at the wind if it’s not in your favor. I know I did…

There’s a nice restaurant called Furkablick just before the summit; the restaurant at the summit was deserted when I was there and it looked ‘out of business’.

The one that is open, does honor it’s name, because if you can sit outside, the view is fabulous.

The Col Collective have produced a video with a loop over the Furka, Nufenen and then the Gotthard – you can view that here.

Oberwald

Furka Oberwald profileFrom the west, the ascend of the Furka is 16.5 kilometers long, with 1,063 meters of elevation gain (6.4%).

Just because it’s 4 kilometers longer, it’s ranked as slightly more difficult than the ascend from Realp.

I beg to differ, but to be honest: I didn’t climb the whole thing, just the part up to Gletsch. And because the wind was howling at – and against – me most of the second half of that 6.2 kilometer stretch it has in common with the Grimsel, I didn’t particularly enjoy it anyway.

Still, the views along the river/stream Rhône and the train track – I even saw a train going up – are breathtaking, as you can see the Grimsel switching left to right above you.

However, the views get even more breathtaking when you get higher up…

From Gletsch, you’ll climb in a near straight line – at just over 6% average – to the other side of the valley, where the steeper (8.3%) hairpin section takes you past the hotel Belvedere.

This might well be a place you’d want to spend some time, if only to take a picture of the jaw dropping view on both the Furka and the Grimsel.

After the hairpin section, another more or less easier straight at a 3% average takes you to the summit.

As mentioned above, the restaurant located there seemed out of business, but just a little further, the Furkablick restaurant is serving refreshments with a view 🙂