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70th Tour de Suisse - PT

Switzerland, June 10-18, 2006

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Stage 1 - June 10: Baden - Baden, 154 km

By Shane Stokes

The opening day of the 2006 Tour de Suisse looks to be very much one for the sprinters. After starting in the Northern Switzerland town of Baden, close to Zurich, the riders head west towards the third category climb of Staffelegg. The road then kinks northwards to Bad Säckinggen before veering back east and taking the riders over the fourth category climb of Baldingen/Rüti, through the feedzone and the bonus sprint at Untersiggenthal (104 km) and then back to Baden for the first passage over the start/finish line.

The peloton will then complete two laps of a 23.2 kilometre finishing circuit, traversing the fourth category Hertenstein climb twice and disputing another bunch sprint at Endingen (119.8 km). A bunch gallop is the most likely outcome, with world champion Tom Boonen, Olympic champion Paolo Bettini, plus former Tour de France maillot vert winners Robbie McEwen and Erik Zabel all likely to be involved.

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