There is no doubt many cycling fans enthusiastically follow the performance of the professional cyclists at the Tour de Suisse on television or on the roadside and wonder: “What does it take to be able to compete in such an energy-sapping tour? What is required in addition to athletic performance?»
Answers to these questions were provided by the NEW Tour de Suisse Challenge, held for the first time this year. For four or eight days, ambitious amateur cyclists participated in the Tour de Suisse on the original route. They rode the same stages on the same day as the Pros and stayed in the same accommodation. They experienced first-hand what it means to be a professional cyclist. As well as cramps, exhaustion and rain, the participants also enjoyed great emotions, breath-taking landscapes and encounters with the best professional cyclists on the planet. The trailer for the NEW Tour de Suisse Challenge 2022 provides an insight into the range of these emotions.
One individual who can confirm that the Tour de Suisse demands everything you have is Eric Gutglück, Editor of the German cycling magazine Roadbike. This year he rode the Queen Stage, crossing the Oberalp, Lukmanier and Gotthard passes. Gutglück remembers the hot Sunday in June: “When I arrived in Airolo, I was exhausted. The heat wore me down – I had nothing left to give”. Nevertheless, he heaved his way up to the Gotthard Pass with the Pro peloton quickly closing in on him. “I was so wasted that I didn’t want to risk the last run downhill. Instead, I looked for a spot sheltered from the wind and watched the rapid descent of the pros,” Gutglück said as he high-fived the other participants at the finish.
The struggle along the route is not the only factor that make the NEW Tour de Suisse Challenge a truly unique event. Participant Matthias particularly remembers the dinner seated next to World Champion Julian Alaphilippe: “It’s impressive how much spaghetti this skinny guy can eat. And the amount of olive oil he pours over it!” This proximity to the professionals is a highlight in its own right. Sitting in the same dining room, chatting after crossing the finish line or watching over the shoulders of the professional mechanics are some examples of this unique glimpse into the pros lives. True to the motto of the NEW Tour de Suisse Challenge “Ride like pros”.
After its premiere in 2021, the Tour de Suisse Challenge from 12-19 June 2022 is set to become even more professional. “Services will be added and the experience for participants will be further enhanced,” says Tour de Suisse Challenge Brand Manager Patrick Huber. Start numbers will remain limited to ensure continued safety and to preserve the exclusivity of the experience. Registration for the 2022 edition opens from today, 21 October 2021. The route, the road coaches and other exciting news about the Challenge will be announced gradually.