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Tour de Suisse - Cycling: Preview

The 85th Tour de Suisse begins on Sunday, with the likes of Remco Evenepoel, Daniel Martinez and Geraint Thomas among those aiming to impress.

Alongside the ongoing Criterium du Dauphine, the race acts as one of the significant form-testers ahead of the Tour de France.

Rolling out less than three weeks before the Grand Depart in Copenhagen, this year's event runs from 12th June to 19th June and promises plenty of excitement.

Starting with a four-lap 177.6km route around Kusnacht in the canton of Zurich, the race concludes across the border with next Sunday's 25.6km individual time-trial in the Lichtenstein capital of Vaduz.

However, the race's defining days are likely to be on Stages Six and Seven in the real mountains of the Alps.

What: Tour de Suisse

Where: Switzerland

When: 12th June-19th June

How to watch: Discovery+ and GCN+

Odds: Remco Evenepoel 9/4, Daniel Martinez 11/4, Alexander Vlasov 7/2, Gino Mader 11/1, Adam Yates 8/1

Remco takes on the world

With a time-trial to finish, QuickStep-AlphaVinyl starlet Evenepoel leads the market. At 22, the Belgian is still to prove himself in the mountains, but fourth in the Tour of Basque Country and a win at Liege-Bastogne-Liege suggests he is starting to find something.

A Tour de France debut is still a year away, but the talent is there to make a splash here and few would put it past him as he continues to plot for a real go at the overall at the Vuelta a Espana.

In his path stand a strong-looking Ineos Grenadiers. While bereft of reigning champion Richard Carapaz following his podium at the Giro d'Italia, they still boast Martinez, Adam Yates and Thomas amongst their number.

Martinez won in the Basque Country, while Yates was fourth at Paris-Nice. Thomas' form remains limited in 2022, but he did finish second in Switzerland in 2015 and at 18/1 might be worth a look.

Could Kuss cause an upset?

Martinez appears the strongest of the Ineos trio and with a host of Jumbo-Visma's big guns at the Dauphine, Ineos won't have to deal with the Dutch squad's dominance at the front of the peloton.

In a roundabout way that could open the door for Jumbo's American climber Sepp Kuss, who is out there at 66/1, but who will have Rohan Dennis with him to power up the mountains and provide another GC option.

Home hope Gino Mader will be fancied after Bahrain-Victorious helped him to second in Switzerland's other great one-week race, the Tour de Romandie. However, could he again fall short to Aleksandr Vlasov?

The 26-year-old's closing time-trial victory in Romandie saw him snatch that victory from Mader and Dennis and he'll be hoping that history can repeat itself come next Sunday in Vaduz, with Vlasov 5/6 in his overall match-up with Martinez.

Stage One shootout

Rather than the usual prologue to get the race going, the four laps of Kusnacht provide a chance for a sprint but with a string of category three climbs, it may also suit the breakaway.

Evenepoel is 9/2 to start the race with a bang and his Liege win shows he knows he can get the job done on a one-off basis.

However, with the overall undoubtedly his main aim, the youngster might be keen to hide his true form and that could open up Stage One for a puncheur such as UAE Team Emirates' Marc Hirschi.

The Swiss has fallen off a bit since his breakthrough year in 2020, but is a home rider with a point to prove and is 13/2 to take just his second win of the year.

Similarly, Team BikeExchange-Jayco's Michael Matthews has won stages at this race in both 2015 and 2017 and is 10/1 for an opening win, while with his team's focus on the GC, Ineos' Tom Pidcock will be given free rein at 14/1.

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