How the Tour was won

Armstrong wears the leader's golden jersey into Lausanne Keystone

Lance Armstrong's first Tour de Suisse triumph comes at the end of ten days racing, involving a journey of 1,427 kilometres and climbs totalling more than 17 kilometres. Swissinfo looks back on the highlights.

This content was published on June 28, 2001 - 15:41

Day One: Rust-Rust. Individual time trial (7.9 km)

For the first time ever the Tour de Suisse gets underway on foreign soil, as the riders compete in a time trial around the Europapark fairground in Rust, Germany.

Armstrong makes an impressive start, completing the short stage more than five seconds faster than France's Laurent Jalabert and his own team-mate Tyler Hamilton to grab the leader's golden jersey for the first time.

Day Two: Rust-Basel (178,8 km)

Lukas Zumsteg of Switzerland's Phonak team ensures that a Swiss rider is the first to cross into the Tour's home territory but, after a brave breakaway, Zumsteg is overtaken and German sprint specialist Erik Zabel grabs the stage victory.

Armstrong finishes with the same time as Zabel to preserve his five second overall lead.

Day Three: Reinach-Baar (162,7 km)

On the last relatively gentle stage before the mountains, Italy's Gianluca Bortolami snatches the golden jersey from Armstrong after staging a two-man breakaway with Austria's Peter Wrolich. Armstrong has more than two and a half minutes to make up.

Day Four: Baar-Wildhaus (144,0 km)

Described by course director Tony Rominger as the "first of the hard stages", Friday's stage culminates with a category two climb up to Wildhaus. Kazakhstan's Alexandre Vinokourov is the day's winner, with Giro d'Italia winner Gilberto Simoni taking second place.

Bortolami holds onto the golden jersey, but his lead is now reduced to just 14 seconds.

Day Five: Widnau-St Gotthard (220,6 km)

The "King's stage" sees Fassa Bortolo's Russian rider Dmitry Konyshev take the day's honours after a gruelling stretch with two top category climbs over the Gotthard pass. The stage also sees another change in the overall lead.

Italy's Wladimir Belli is now in front, one second ahead of his compatriot Simoni and 25 seconds in front of Armstrong.

Day Six: Mendrisio-Mendrisio (174,1 km)

A more gentle affair after the exertions in the mountains brings no change in the overall top three positions. Serguei Ivanov is first to complete the loop around Mendrisio, ensuring Russian (and Fassa Bortolo) domination of the two weekend stages. Alexandre Moos brings more welcome attention to Switzerland's Phonak team by finishing fourth.

Day Seven: Locarno-Naters (156,6 km)

Italy's Stefano Garzelli makes seemingly light work of the "toughest climb on the Tour", racing over the Nufenen pass to finish more than four minutes ahead of Mapei team-mate Michele Bartoli.

Neither rider is in with a shot at the overall lead, though, with Belli still narrowly ahead of Simoni and Armstrong.

Day Eight: Sion-Crans Montana. Individual time trial (25,1 km)

The clincher. Lance Armstrong pulverises the field in a time trial stage specifically introduced to meet the American superstar's training requirements. The double Tour de France winner completes the climb to Crans Montana more than a minute and a half faster than his nearest rival, Simoni. With two stages remaining, only a crash could now jeopardise Armstrong's Tour bid.

Day Nine: Sion-Lausanne (166,8 km)

The penultimate stage is almost a carbon copy of day two, with Erik Zabel again sprinting to victory after a courageous breakaway from a member of Switzerland's Phonak team.

This time it is Bert Grabsch who comes through blazing sunshine, thunderstorms and hailstones only to be overtaken just 12 kilometres from the Lausanne finish line.

Armstrong stays problem-free in the chasing pack and prepares for the final day's lap of honour.

Day Ten: Lausanne-Lausanne (175,9 km)

Switzerland's Oscar Camenzind gave the homecrowd something to cheer about with a final stage victory - the first for a Swiss rider on this year's Tour. Armstrong crosses the finish line with the chasing pack just under three minutes later to clinch his first ever Tour de Suisse title.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?