Bahrain Victorious are gearing up for the Tour de Suisse which kicks off on Sunday.
One of the oldest stage races will see many Tour de France hopefuls fine-tune their form in the race that will finish two weeks ahead of the Grand Depart in Copenhagen.
The Swiss Alps will be the battleground for the GC of the Tour de Suisse. Over 18,000 metres of climbing will decide the race winner during eight stages and 1,343km of racing. The race finishes with an ITT in neighbouring Liechtenstein on June 19.
Bahrain Victorious will also race the GP des Kantons Aargau ahead of Tour de Suisse.
Sports director Roman Kreuziger said: “GP des Kantons Aargau is a beautiful race and a perfect opener for the Tour de Suisse. We have good cards to play with Edoardo Zambanini and Gino Mäder. The race has become a little bit harder in the past few years, but we are confident that longer climbs will fit our team. We as a team are coming from a successful period of races, and we want to keep the performance on a high level. Also, if they perform well on Friday, they will be more confident about the upcoming Tour de Suisse.
“Speaking about the Tour de Suisse, it’s always a challenging race, as there is a mix in the bunch, riders coming from Giro that are in great form or from an altitude camp or the race-free period. The parkour is very challenging from day 1, and doing the Aargau race will be a perfect setup to start strong from Stage 1.
This race is important for Gino, as it’s his final tuning for the Tour de France, and there will be four GC stages for him to contend. In our team, we also have many young guys, and I expect a lot from them.
Zambanini showed us in past races that he’s really good, Price-Pejtersen and Maciejuk will focus on the last day’s TT while being support throughout all the stages. We also have experience in Arashiro and Pernsteiner. They will be Gino’s support; they know what to do and are good at it.
Also, Williams will be support in the mountains. He’s coming from an injury. He’s good and motivated. I do expect a lot from him to show us that he’s at the end of last year’s level.”