Top cyclists gather for Tour de Suisse
The 65th edition of the Tour de Suisse gets underway on Tuesday, with a top class field set to compete in Switzerland's biggest cycling race.
America's Lance Armstrong, double winner of the Tour de France, will be the biggest name among the 136 riders competing for a total prize fund of more than SFr 273,000.
For the first time ever, this year's Tour de Suisse will begin on foreign soil with Tuesday's eight kilometre prologue race around the Europapark funfair in Rust, Germany.
The following nine days of racing will be anything but an amusement ride for the cyclists as they complete a 1,427 kilometre circuit of the country, including daunting climbs through the Gotthard and Nufenen passes and up to Crans-Montana.
Hopes of a Swiss victory will be as high as the mountains following Oscar Camenzind's success last year. After a strong showing in the Giro d'Italia the canton Schwyz rider looks in good shape to defend his title.
Other Swiss riders hoping to make their mark on the Tour include Daniel Schnider, Beat and Markus Zberg, Niki Aebersold and Marcel Strauss.
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