2023 Tour de Suisse Stage 6 Preview

La Punt > Oberwil 216km

I write this preview with a heavy heart, Gino Mäder crashed hard today and needed to be resuscitated before being taken to hospital by helicopter. At this point, that is all I know, it’s a stark reminder of the dangers cyclists put themselves in for our entertainment. Gino is a lovely young man; I’m hoping to can pull through this and come out the other side.

After today’s win for Ayuso, he’s right back in the GC picture, this stage does offer a small chance for GC riders to take some time, but it’s going to be hard. The organisers have been forced into changing the route due to a landslide, out go the first two climbs and we now have a much shorter/easier stage.


Sunny and warm once back in the valley.

Key Climbs

This is the unclassified climb, Schwändistrasse, it marks the start of the finale of the race, from the crest there’s 53km to go.

The Islisberg climb starts with just 10km to go, it’s a steep one.

This is the rise to the finish, it’s not easy. If the day ends in some type of sprint, the winner will need a big punch.


The new stage is much easier for a GC team to control, but do any of them want to?

The break will go on the flat, after three consecutive mountain stages, I still expect the strong riders to be in it. The likes of Pidcock and Van Aert will still fancy their chances of making the move, especially if it’s big, but there’s no guarantee. We’ve all witnessed stages like this before, everyone talks about a big break and due to a crazy fight, it ends up being a small break. If it happens, someone will come forward to control and set up a GC day. 

The final 55km of the stage is very hard, constantly up and down. There might not be any mountains, but the terrain lends itself to attacking racing. With the GC still tight, and a Remco style TT on Sunday, it would be wise for Ayuso and Skjelmose to see if they can squeeze out a few more seconds, but Remco isn’t too bad on short hills, dropping him won’t be easy.


Wout Van Aert – tried his luck today but couldn’t follow on the final climb. He’s likely to roll the dice again in this stage, especially as the finale is much better for him. He’s got the climbing ability to stay near the front on the first climb, then it’s about picking his moment and hoping to force a good break away from the peloton. The final 10km is very good for him, no one will want to take him to the line.

Tom Pidcock – he’s not climbing as well as hoped, but it’s unlikely to stay that way. Pidcock will hope to improve and be able to challenge for a stage win on Friday or Saturday. He’s another this stage suits, but he needs to climb well in the opening hour, or he won’t be able to jump in the break.

Søren Kragh – came here to earn his spot in the Tour team, the next two stages are days he’s marked in red. The opening climb won’t be easy for the Dane, but he can haul himself over mountains when he needs to. If he gets in the break, he’ll fancy his chances.

Max Schachmann – it’s great to see him back on form after struggling with injury and illness for a long time. He’s almost 7 minutes down on GC, no one will mind if he’s in the break. It’s almost two years since his last win, this could be the day.

Rui Costa – looked very strong today, the best of the breakaway, but Ayuso spoiled his day. With form like this, he’s a danger man for this stage, but the finale isn’t perfect for him considering those already mentioned.

Marc Hirschi – couldn’t cope today, but this is another day. The finale is much better for him compared to today, he’ll hope UAE allow him freedom, but he might be needed to stay with Ayuso.

Juan Ayuso – if it somehow turns out to be a GC day, the Spaniard will be a hard man to beat. He’s very explosive and will look to drop his rivals in the final 10km.

Mattias Skjelmose – it’s great to see him back in yellow, he’s got a wonderful chance of winning the Tour de Suisse. He’ll come under pressure in this stage, he needs a good performance from his team. Just like Ayuso, he’s very fast in a sprint, splitting the two of them won’t be easy.

Prediction Time

Embed from Getty Images

A breakaway win for Wout Van Aert.