The parcours of the 71st Tour de Suisse is one for the climbers, with four mountain top finishes. AlIMAGE BY TDS.CH On the same day that the Vuelta a Espa¤a unveiled its stage list, the Tour de Suisse did the same. The race will be held for the 71st time between June 16 and 24, 2007. It has long been considered the biggest stage race below the three major tours, and is part of the ProTour calendar. The Tour de Suisse starts in Olten in the north of the country with a 3.8km prologue and finishes in Bern with a longer 34.2km time trial. Along the way, it visits Austria and Liechtenstein, with stage starts and finishes in each of these neighbouring countries. The riders will have to complete 1225.6km and climb approximately 20,000m. The race is definitely geared towards the climbers, as there are four uphill finishes. The first of these is the third stage between Brunnen and Nauders (Austria), which is also the longest at 228.7km. The next day, the riders will head to Malbun, Liechtenstein via the Arlberg-Pass. That too will end on an uphill. Stage 6, starting from Giubiasco, features a couple of big mountains: the Nufenen-Pass and the finish on top of Crans-Montana. The next day starts in Ulrichen and finishes atop the Grimsel-Pass. The sprinters will have lean pickings, but stages 2, 5 and 8 should provide them with something to work with. Compared to the 2006 edition, there are more kilometres against the clock (38 instead of 30.7) but fewer total kilometres (1225 instead of 1468). Nevertheless, the course is very selective and there should be a worthy successor to this year's winner Jan Ullrich. The 18 current ProTour teams are guaranteed a start in the 71st Tour de Suisse, with the possibility that Marc Biver's Astana might get a run if it gets its licence. Biver was the former director of the Tour de Suisse, but the current organisers have chosen to give the only wildcard to Austrian squad Vorarlberg, which contains a handful of Swiss talents. Stage list Stage 1 - Saturday, June 16: Olten ITT, 3.8km Stage 2 - Sunday, June 17: Olten - Luzern, 158.6km Stage 3 - Monday, June 18: Brunnen - Nauders (Aut), 228.7km Stage 4 - Tuesday, June 19: Nauders (Aut) - Malbun (Lie) (167.2km) Stage 5 - Wednesday, June 20: Vaduz (Lie) - Giubiasco (194.1km) Stage 6 - Thursday, June 21: Giubiasco - Crans-Montana (190.5km) Stage 7 - Friday, June 22: Ulrichen - Grimsel-Pass (125.7km) Stage 8 - Saturday, June 23: Innertkirchen - Schwarzsee (152.5km) Stage 9 - Sunday, June 24: Bern ITT, 34.2km Total: 1225.6km Total climbing: 20,000m Australia-UniSA squad for Tour Down Under The Australia-UniSA team has announced its line up for the 2007 Tour Down Under, which runs between 16-21 January next year. The team includes sprinter and Commonwealth Games medallist, Allan Davis, who has ridden in every Tour Down Under since its inception and this year won two stages of the event. Back in the Australia-UniSA colours for another year is Australian National Series Champion, Robert McLachlan (Drapac Porsche), 2006 Elite Open Road Champion, Russell Van Hout (Savings & Loans) and 2005 Australian cross country mountain bike champion, Chris Jongewaard (Savings & Loans). Tour Down Under stage winner and super 'domestique' Matt White has been granted permission by his Discovery Channel team to line up in Adelaide and says the Australian line up will definitely be looking for stage wins and more. "It's a very versatile group so we have a lot of options," White said. "It's an honour to be wearing the green and gold of the national team and it always motivates us to impress, even more so because we're at home. "It's also the first time I'll ride on a team with Rob (McLachlan) who was one of my heroes when I was a junior rider," said White. "I bought a jersey from him in 1989 and I have a lot of respect for him." White owes his selection in the 1994 Commonwealth Games team to McLachlan who announced his retirement, opening the way for White to gain a start in the road line up. "I'm sure we'll all gel as a team and put our full commitment behind Alby (Davis) in the sprints and then ride for whoever is the best placed to challenge for overall honours," said White. "Taking the Tour Down Under title is certainly not out of the question for us." Also in the team will be young talents Karl Menzies (Health Net) and Mitchell Docker (Drapac Porsche). Menzies notched up six wins this season with his American registered pro team, while Docker is one of Australia's up and coming stars having already notched up a World Championship win in 2004 as a junior on the track. Team line-up 121 Allan Davis, Qld 27.08.1980 122 Matthew White, NSW 22.02.1974 123 Robert Mclachlan, ACT 17.04.1971 124 Mitchell Docker, Vic 02.10.1986 125 Chris Jongewaard, SA 18.07.1979 126 Russell Van Hout, SA 15.06.1976 127 Karl Menzies, Tas 17.06.1977 128 Brett Aitken, SA 15.01.1971 Team Manager: Dave Sanders, Aus More information: www.tourdownunder.com.au. Look issues counterfeit warning French manufacturer Look has issued a warning regarding counterfeit products:
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