Velon and Tour de Suisse announce virtual race series for April

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Velon and the Tour de Suisse will hold a five-day indoor racing event on the Rouvy indoor cycling platform called “The Digital Swiss 5” that will run from April 22 to April 26.

The series will comprise five consecutive days of racing on virtual segments of this year’s Tour de Suisse route on Rouvy, contested by three-rider teams. The event will be held during what would have been the stretch of racing from La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, before those races were called off amid coronavirus concerns.

The Digital Swiss 5’s race days will last approximately one hour each.

According to Velon, some riders will compete while being filmed on webcams. International broadcasting details will be announced soon, while national broadcaster SRF will show the race in Switzerland.

A confirmed list of teams is forthcoming, but all of the many squads invited to this year’s Tour de Suisse have received invitations to participate in the event, and with Velon as a host it seems likely that teams involved in the Velon group will participate. The 11 WorldTour teams that share ownership of Velon are Bora-Hansgrohe, CCC, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, EF, Ineos, Jumbo-Visma, Lotto Soudal, Mitchelton-Scott, Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo, and UAE-Team Emirates.

Several teams promoted the news on social media on Friday, with a handful of big names quoted in the official announcement.

“These are difficult times for everyone at the moment and this is a really cool way for us to interact with our fans and race when standard racing is not possible,” Michael Matthews said. “It gives us something to be motivated to do and be excited for when everything else is so uncertain at the moment. I personally am really looking forward to watching and maybe even racing myself.”

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