The fifth edition of the TORTOUR Gravel stage race got underway with a prologue time trial Friday in the Swiss canton of Lucerne while rain poured down.
The event was sold out with a size limited field due to Swiss government health regulations related to the COVID19 emergency.
On a 2.3 kilometer forest road loop ridden nine times, 78 riders took off as rain turned the smooth gravel into a muddy mess.
Benjamin Schnyder was fastest, clocking a time of 36:33 for the 20km race to win and put on the Men’s leader’s jersey. Jutta Stienen rode a 40:28 to lead the Women’s race and Master’s age rider Walter Lehmann finished in 38:55 to lead that category.
The three day gravel stage race continues Saturday when stage 2 takes riders on a 93 kilometer route though quaint villages, past adorable Swiss cows and up 2000m of Alpine climbs. The weather forecast is perfect for graveling – cool with a chance of rain.
The rain should be gone by Sunday when riders tackle stage 3, 62km of gravel through beautiful rolling Swiss hills carpeted in green grass.
Follow the race and find full TORTOUR Gravel results here.