Tour de Suisse
The Tour de Suisse (Tour of Switzerland) is Switzerland's most important
cycling road race. It takes place annually in mid-June and after the three
major events, the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vueleta a Espana, ranks
as one of the most important stage races in cycle sport. The tour is part of
the UCI (International Cycling Union) ProTour which was founded in 2005. The
race is split into 10 to 12 stages including usually a prologue, several
very tough mountain stages and a time trial. Many racers use the event for
the final training session before the Tour de France, which traditionally
takes place two weeks later.
The first Tour de Suisse took place from 28 August to 2 September 1933. The winner of the 5-stage race was Austrian Max Bulla. Many famous riders have won the tour since then, several of them more than once. Italian Pasquale Fornara has won it four times (1952/54/57/58). Two Swiss cycle road-racing stars have each had three triumphs: Hugo Kobelt (1950/53/55) and Ferdy Kuebler (1942/48/51). Swiss Beat Breu has won it twice (1981/89) and two Germans have also won twice: Hennes Junkermann (1959/62) and Jan Ulrich (2004/06).