Giro winners at the Tour de Suisse

The recent Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin is set to take part in the Tour de Suisse which starts on 10th June. It was always part of his season plans which he announced back in March. But with the start in Switzerland coming just two weeks after his victory in Milan, it’s still a surprising decision. Not least because it’s 16 years since the Giro winner decided to take part in the Tour de Suisse.

Usually, the main contenders at the Giro tend to skip both the Criterium du Dauphiné and the Tour de Suisse in favour of a block of training before heading to the Tour de France, perhaps via their national championships the week before. Alternatively, Giro contenders just take a break from the bike altogether before returning to build form for the second half of the season which would likely include the Vuelta a Espana.

Although it is a relatively rare thing for the Maglia Rosa to head to Switzerland, whenever they have, it is a decision which has borne fruit. The following is a table of all of the Giro winners who have subsequently ridden the Tour de Suisse:

Year Giro Winner Tour de Suisse G.C. Tour de Suisse Stage Wins
2001 Gilberto Simoni 2nd 0
2000 Stefano Garzelli 36th 1
1977 Michel Pollentier 1st 4
1974 Eddy Merckx 1st 3
1962 Franco Balmamion 2nd 0
1950 Hugo Koblet 1st 3
1947 Fausto Coppi 5th 1
1946 Gino Bartali 1st 4
1938 Giovanni Valetti 1st 2

Seven of these nine Giro winners have won at least a stage of the Tour de Suisse and the other two, Simoni and Balmamion, finished second overall. Five of them managed to complete a double by winning both races overall.

The Tour de France has always taken place in July. But in its early years, the Tour de Suisse was moved back and forth from June to August before finally settling in June ever since 1955. Regardless of the chopping and changing the two races have never overlapped. There have been 77 years where both races have taken place. So in only 12% of years has the Giro winner decided to extend his winning form on into Switzerland.

Dumoulin will be the 10th rider to do so. With the 2017 edition ending with a hilly 28.6km time trial it would take a brave man to bet against him continuing the success that Giro champions have enjoyed at the Tour de Suisse.

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