Oscar Camenzind is the leading hope for a home victory on this year's Tour de Suisse, as the cyclist from canton Schwyz looks to defend the title which he won 12 months ago.This content was published on June 15, 2001 - 10:10
The Lampre-Daikin rider appears to have hit great form just in time for the start of Switzerland's biggest cycling race, following his strong performances on this year's Giro d'Italia. Camenzind's support was seen as a major factor in the overall Giro victory of his team-mate Gilberto Simoni.
"Winning the Tour de Suisse is clearly one of Camenzind's major objectives this year," Tour director Marc Biver told swissinfo ahead of the race. "And it looks like he has the potential. He has already shown on the Giro that he is in very good shape."
Alex Zülle is another Swiss rider who could feature in the final reckoning this year, although his recent performances have not appeared as convincing as those of Camenzind.
The 32-year-old cyclist's appearance on the Tour has something of a rarity value, since Zülle has always raced for foreign teams who have not always put the Swiss event high on their list of priorities.
Zülle though will be keen to erase the memory of the dramatic 1995 Tour, when a mistake in team tactics during a climb through the Albula pass forced the man from canton St Gallen to surrender the overall lead to Russia's Pavel Tonkov.
Besides Camenzind and Zülle, a number of Swiss riders will be looking for at least partial victories on the Tour, among them Daniel Schnider, Beat and Markus Zberg, Niki Aebersold and Marcel Strauss.
swissinfo with agencies