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Virtual Tour de Suisse will see 16 WorldTour teams compete

Digital Five series will pit teams of three against one another on the Rouvy virtual platform

Joe Robinson
7 Apr 2020

The inaugural virtual Tour of Flanders proved such an instant success that more WorldTour teams are set to return to take up racing from home. Velon and the Tour de Suisse have teamed up to host five new virtual races and 16 WorldTour teams have already signed up to participate.

The online event will be called the Digital Five race series and will see teams of three race each other via the Rouvy online training platform using real-life footage taken from previous editions of the Tour de Suisse.

So far, Team Ineos, Deceuninck-QuickStep and Bora-Hansgrohe are among the teams who will take to the digital startline as well as smaller teams such as Rally Cycling and a Swiss National team. Rosters will be released closer to the race date.

To make for more engaging viewing, the platform will relay live data such as power and heart rate throughout to show spectators just how deep the pros are digging.

The racing will take place from 22nd to 26th April and will be streamed live via Velon's social media channels. The actual Tour de Suisse would have taken place in June but has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Velon's CEO, Graham Bartlett, hopes this racing series will give cycling fans their necessary fix while the actual racing is put on ice.

'Velon is all about innovation and we wanted to do something on another level – to bring fans real competition amongst the best teams in the world,' Bartlett explained. 'We wanted to do something as close to live racing as we could, not just another "ride out", and give fans some real sport to watch in these tough times.'

Joko Vogel, CEO of the Tour de Suisse, added that he was 'overwhelmed' by how many teams were keen to take part and that it should produce some unmissable racing.

'We are overwhelmed by how many teams have confirmed their participation in The Digital Swiss 5 in such a short time. This shows us that the need for such events is very big and very much appreciated.

'The professionals have the opportunity to compete under competition conditions and see where they stand. We are looking forward to this world premiere and thank everyone for having the courage to join us in this adventure,' Vogel added.

Digital Five teams

AG2R La Mondiale
CCC Team
Education First
Israel Start-Up Nation
NTT Pro Cycling
Rally Cycling
Team Ineos
Team Sunweb
Total Direct Energie
Swiss national team

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