Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team Ready for Home Challenge at Tour de Suisse

The prestigious Tour de Suisse, one of the UCI WorldTour’s most important stage races, will take place from June 9 to 16.

Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team is set to compete with a strong and motivated squad, aiming to race aggressively and contend for both stage victories and a strong overall placement in the General Classification.

7 June 2024.

Leading the team is Damien Howson, who finished in the top 20 of the GC last year. He will spearhead our diverse seven-rider team and aim for another strong performance on Swiss soil.

“It’s an exciting and important week for our team,” said Howson. “We’ll be racing on home Swiss roads and tackling a challenging race with two ITTs, a few mountaintop finishes, and some lumpy, selective sprint days. We have a strong team looking to achieve the best possible results in each stage. Personally, I’m aiming for consistency over the eight days of tough racing and to compete with the best for as long as possible. It’s a stacked field with high-quality riders, but we hope to be part of the action and represent our team colors with pride.”

Joining the Australian is local Swiss rider Matteo Badilatti, who brings invaluable strength for the mountain stages. This will be the 31-year-old’s fourth Tour de Suisse, and his motivation is high:

“I think the Tour de Suisse is one of the nicest races of the year. For the team and myself, it’s the most important one. We’re ready to do our best and fight in every stage. There are a lot of uphill finishes that suit me and several of my teammates, so I’m eager to get started and do my best,” said Badilatti.

Spaniard David de la Cruz will share leadership duties with Howson, targeting a strong GC finish. Experienced Gianluca Brambilla will also represent Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team, aiming to feature prominently in the hilly terrain, while Basque rider Xabier Mikel Azparren will make his debut at the Tour de Suisse, showcasing his time-trialling skills.

Rounding out the team are Neo-pro Italian Walter Calzoni and Polish all-rounder Kamil Małecki.

@Harry Talbot
@Harry Talbot
Tour de Suisse Line-up:
Xabier Mikel Azparren (ESP)
Mateo Badilatti (SUI)
Gianluca Brambilla (ITA)
David de la Cruz (ESP)
Damien Howson (AUS)
Kamil Malecki (POL)
Walter Calzoni (ITA)

“We will aim for a top-10 finish in the GC”

“As a Swiss-registered team with several Swiss sponsors, this is a very important race for us. It’s one of our biggest goals of the season, and we want to achieve our best,” said Head of Performance Alex Sans Vega. “The riders have been preparing well at altitude, and we will aim for a top-10 finish in the GC with Damien Howson or David de la Cruz. They will be our two leaders at the start of the race, and then the road will decide. At the Tour de Romandie, they were both in the top 20, and now their condition is much better, and this race suits them better, so we believe they’re capable of a top-10 finish or close to that. We will also fight to win a stage.”

The 2024 edition of the Tour de Suisse begins with a 4.8 km time trial in Vaduz on Sunday, June 9, and covers 950 km over eight stages, with a total of almost 19,000 meters of altitude gain.

Stage 2, a 176.9 km route from Vaduz to Regensdorf, is the longest of this year’s edition and presents a good opportunity for puncheurs and hard sprinters to battle for victory.

The next day, the peloton will tackle the flattest stage, a 161.7 km route between Steinmaur and Rüschlikon. The first proper mountain stage comes on the fourth day of competition, with a 170.9 km climbing fest to Gotthard Pass via the Albis Pass and Andermatt.

With over 3,000 meters of climbing packed into a 148.6 km course, Stage 5 is another day for the climbers and GC contenders to stake their claim. Stage 6, from Locarno to Blatten-Belalp, will feature the highest point of this year’s Tour de Suisse, the Nufenen Pass.

The penultimate stage in Villars-sur-Ollon is short but demanding, featuring two laps with a total of 120 km and over 3,000 meters of elevation gain.

The race concludes with a hilly 15.7 km ITT that will determine the overall winner of the 2024 Tour de Suisse.