Tour de Suisse 2024: contenders and prediction

The final WorldTour race before the Tour de France at the end of June

The Tour de Suisse, starting on June 9, 2024, is the last WorldTour race ahead of the Tour de France at the end of the month. Many of the riders will be using this week-long race to warm up their legs and size themselves up against some of their rivals, who will also be on the start line in Italy in a few weeks. The Tour de Suisse is a demanding race with plenty of uphill terrain, making it a fruitful playground for the pure climbers of the bunch. The 2024 edition features four back-to-back mountain stages backloaded in the second half of the week, one short time trial, two hilly stages and one mountain time trial as the grand finale. 

A good result in this race will bolster the confidence of those heading to the Tour. However, many of the young riders making their way to Switzerland will not be going to France, so this will therefore be a prime opportunity for them to showcase their talents and there are plenty of exceptional up-and-coming riders in this edition of the race. So, we are expecting fireworks, not just from those vying for the GC, but those eyeing up stage wins and the young rider's jersey.

Last year’s winner, Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek), will be a favourite for the overall race title. He won in 2023 on stage three and wore the jersey throughout the remaining stages, taking the title by nine seconds and beating Juan Ayuso and Remco Evenepoel. He hasn’t raced since April, and this will be his first race back since Liège-Bastogne-Liège. However, at Paris-Nice and Itzulia Basque Country earlier in the season, he had two very strong outings, taking a stage win and a third place overall. He is a strong climber, so he will suit the demanding route the 2024 edition of Tour de Suisse boasts and can perform well against the clock, making him one of the top favourites to win. Lidl-Trek will also bring Thibau Nys, a young rider who has been turning heads with his recent performances, most notably his stage win at the Tour of Norway and GC win at the Tour de Hongrie. Touted as one of cycling’s next superstars, we might see the 21-year-old live up to these claims on the uphill terrain of this race. 

However, a rider not in last year’s race who certainly can win is João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates). While this race will be a warm-up for the Tour de France, he is not chosen leader for the team during the Grand Tour and will play a support role for Tadej Pogačar, so he will no doubt be motivated to take advantage of leadership in Switzerland. Almeida has proven his capabilities with multiple top-10 finishes in Grand Tours and week-long stage races, and is adept in the big mountain stages and against the clock. Similarly to Skjelmose, Almeida hasn’t raced since Liège-Bastogne-Liège, having instead opted for training camps to prepare for the Tour. This will be his first time racing in the Tour de Suisse, but we know what he is capable of as a rider, so we expect to see him perform well here.

UAE Team Emirates, however, do boast another climbing talent – Isaac del Toro. He is the second youngest rider in this race, but he is an exceptional talent. The 20-year-old won his first WorldTour stage in the first race of the season at the Tour Down Under and has since been on consistently good form, most recently, winning the overall at the Vuelta Asturias Julio Alvarez Mendo by 1:15. In only his first year as a WorldTour pro with UAE Team Emirates, he only is going to get better, but this will be a good opportunity to see how he performs in one of the sport’s most important week-long races. 

Two other young riders heading to the Tour de Suisse who will be strong contenders for stage wins and a successful GC are Cian Uijtdebroeks (Visma-Lease a Bike) and Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ). Uijdebroeks has had an up-and-down season so far, starting strong at O Gran Camiño and Tirreno-Adriatico. However, a disappointing race followed at Volta a Catalunya, and while his Giro d’Italia debut was proving to be going smoothly, leading the youth classification, illness forced him to withdraw after stage 10. He’ll be going into this race hoping to have returned to his best following his illness. We know he can excel when the gradients get steep, but he’ll have to be at his best for the mountain time trial to ensure he doesn’t lose much time. Martinez, on the other hand, has had a relatively consistent season so far, winning the youth classification at both O Gran Camiño and Catalunya, as well as several one-day races. The 20-year-old rider is an exceptional climber and, in recent races, has delivered a solid time trial, so he may edge out his young rivals for a third youth classification of the season. 

Ineos Grenadiers are bringing a strong team to Switzerland. The two biggest contenders for the race will be Egan Bernal and Tom Pidcock. Both are strong enough to see success in this race and will want to demonstrate their form ahead of the looming Tour later this month. Bernal has been getting better and better so far this season, with top-10 finishes in all his races. He has good memories of this race, having won the 2019 edition, the same year he went on to win the Tour de France. Pidcock will target a better outcome on the GC at the Tour this year and will use this race to fine tune his form. We know he is strong in the mountains, up and down, but he'll hope to put in a better performance than last year when he finished 22nd on GC. Ineos also will have Ethan Hayter, the all-around talent who could be an option in bunch sprints. As could Jhonatan Narváez, who comes to this race off the back of a successful Giro having won the opening stage. 

Movistar are also bringing a team capable of good results. Lining up for the Spanish squad is Enric Mas, Einer Rubio, Nairo Quintana, Pelayo Sánchez, Nelson Oliveira, Johan Jacobs and Jorge Arcas. Mas will no doubt be the team’s leader, aiming for the GC, but Rubio has also demonstrated that he is more than capable of climbing the GC rankings with seventh place at the recent Giro.

The 2021 Tour de Suisse winner Richard Carapaz will lead EF Education-EasyPost. He has had a turbulent 2024 season so far, but did look to be in good shape in his last race at the Tour de Romandie, where he celebrated a stage victory. In last year’s Tour de France, Carapaz crashed out on stage one and will be hoping for better luck in this year’s race, so a good performance in Switzerland will be key going into the Tour. 

Beyond the GC, the sprinters heading to the Tour de Suisse will also add another level of excitement to this race. First and foremost, we will get a glimpse into how Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) is shaping up ahead of the Tour de France, where he will continue his quest for the elusive 35th stage win. But he’ll be up against Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Dstny), Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe), and Bryan Coquard (Cofidis). 

The Tour de Suisse is, therefore, set to be a thrilling and pivotal race, offering a mix of seasoned pros heading to the world's biggest race and promising newcomers the chance to showcase their abilities. 


We think Egan Bernal will take the overall win at the Tour de Suisse. He's looked super strong throughout the season so far, producing consistently high results, and believe he'll be on the top step of the podium by the end of the week-long race. 

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