Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet renew rivalry at Tour de Suisse

Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet will race against each other for the first time since Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan at the 2017 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

The stars of the spring Classics, Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet, will resume their rivalry at the Tour de Suisse, starting tomorrow (June 10).

The duo's battles in the northern Europe were the highlight of the first half of the season, with BMC's Van Avermaet recording near-domination of the cobbled Classics.

The Belgian won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix, while he claimed second place at the Tour of Flanders.

World champion Sagan, meanwhile, won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and finished second behind Van Avermaet at Het Nieuwsblad. He also came second at Milan-San Remo.

Greg Van Avermaet in action at the 2017 Amstel Gold Race (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

There are nine stages at the Tour de Suisse and though predominately mountainous - stages four to seven all take place in the high mountains - there are three stages were it is likely the pair will go directly head-to-head.

>>> Five things to look out for at the Tour de Suisse

Sagan, leading his Bora-Hansgrohe team, will fancy his chances on stage two, a hilly circuit race starting and finishing in Cham. Including four ascents of a long, but shallow climb, the race ends with a slight uphill finish, and if the breakaway is reeled in, and the GC riders hold back, Sagan will be eyeing victory.

Stage three, ending in Bern, finishes with a bigger uphill finish than the preceding stage, but it isn't unfeasible that Sagan and Van Avermaet will be tangled in a sprint for the win.

Stage five includes the huge climb of Simplonstrasse, but the fact that it reaches its near-2000m summit at 120km and then a flatter parcours follows, it opens up the possibility that a sprint between the Classics specialists and rouleurs could occur.

Peter Saganin action at the Tour of California (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The fourth and final stage where we could see the world and the Olympic road race champions fight it out for stage honours is stage eight, which features an undulating circuit.

However, with the general classification likely to be in play, the climbers and overall riders may prevent a stage win for Van Avermaet and co.

However many stages the pair battle directly against each other, every cycling fan will be pleased to see them back in the same races.

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Chris Marshall-Bell
Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.


Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.