22. Tour de Suisse & the Women's Tour
June 24 | In the final regular episode of the Telegraph Cycling Podcast before the Tour de France, Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe discuss the Tour de Suisse, the Women’s Tour and the Route du Sud.
For the Tour favourites last week’s stage races were the last major tests before they gather in Utrecht for the Grand Départ. Alberto Contador took his Giro-winning form into the Pyrenees, winning the Route du Sud ahead of Nairo Quintana.
In Switzerland, meanwhile, Simon Spilak was the winner with Geraint Thomas second. Thomas will go to the Tour to support Team Sky leader Chris Froome as he bids for his second victory. Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali is the reigning champion and the other member, along with Contador and Quintana, of cycling’s current ‘Big Four.’ They are the favourite for the Tour, though in Switzerland the great French hope, Thibaut Pinot, showed great form and maturity and he will be aiming for stage wins, and possibly the podium, in July.
Lionel reports back from the second Women’s Tour, which was won by Germany’s Lisa Brennauer with young Brit Hannah Barnes winning the final stage. The first stage was overshadowed by a bad crash after the finish line for Lizzie Armitstead, who collided with the photographers. There have been other near-misses and we ask: was this an accident waiting to happen?