Course Preview

Stage 9: Bern – Bern (ITT)
Date: Sunday, 21 June
Distance: 38.5 km
Terrain:. Lumpy and sore

GC Importance:  The final stage is likely to be pivotal to the outcome of the overall GC. Whilst the overall parcours is difficult, there is a strong likelihood that  the leaders will be very close on time going into the final stage. The stage may play the deciding role as did the final stage time trial in Bern during the 2007 event when Russian rider Vladimir Karpets took the overall from his team mate Vladimir Efimkim lost a lot of time in the final TT  on streets of Bern. 

Details: At 38.5km this time trial is relatively long and takes in a circuit over the very hilly roads around Bern. The severity of the route could well present opportunities for those still feeling strong to pull back time gaps.  The time trial in Bern in the 2007 edition used a different route, but over 33km a number of the leaders lost substantial time. 

The time trial takes place over a 19km circuit that must be completed twice by each rider. The route takes in two suburbs of Bern, Worblaufen and Bremgarten and finishes in front of the Stade de Suisse. There are two short climbs on each lap which are sufficiently steep to upset the rhythm of the riders. The first climb is comes 11km into the circuit in downtown Bern when the riders will climb up the 1km long Bremgarten street, with gradients of up to 10%. The second sharp climb comes five kilometers later and just two kilometers from the finish line area when the riders tackle similar gradients.

The course is almost tailor made for Cancellara, but as will be the case during stage 1, expect Tony Martin to be in with a big shout. — Edward Madden Gavia (updates to this preview will be made during the race and especially the day before the stage with current analysis)<-->