The name says it all: The 7th edition of the Swiss non-stop ultra-cycling race, presented by IWC, was definitely more of a torture than expected.
After a prologue with temperatures around 30°C the weather started to turn for the worse on the 1’000km and 12’500 metres in altitude course, bringing in single-digit temperatures and pouring rain. These extreme conditions, however, did not seem to affect Luxemburg’s Ralph Diseviscourt, winner in the TORTOUR Solo Men category. He was leading the field over 900km and kept his position until the end of the race, claiming victory clocking in a time of 36 hours and 51 minutes. Nicole Reist from Switzerland managed the course as the only female solo racer in 46 hours and 28 minutes.
The rain was definitely the strongest opponent this year. The exceedingly cold weather and heavy rain on most parts of the course made the TORTOUR one of the toughest challenges for both athletes and crew members. The winner of the category Solo Men, Ralph “Dizzy” Diseviscourt from Luxemburg, however, seemed to be coping well with these rough conditions.
“The weather conditions were extremely challenging – but it didn’t bother me that much actually. On the contrary, I was doing quite well. I have put my cards on the table from the very beginning, I was leading the field, and was able to maintain a fast pace during the whole race – and it all worked out! ,” said solo cyclist Ralph Diseviscourt about his TORTOUR experience.
As second cyclist in the Solo Men category and first official Swiss ultra-cycling Champion, Markus Amstutz from Wetzikon crossed the finish line in a time of 37 hours and 36 minutes. The Cha Cha Cycling Team from the Rhine valley in St. Gallen could clinch the TORTOUR title as well as the title of the Swiss Champion in the category of Team of 4 Men with a time of 30 hours and 46 minutes. The fastest Team of 2 and also Swiss Champion was the mixed team VMC Liestal – Wirz Cycling Emotions, clocking in a time of 34 hours and 24 minutes. More Swiss ultra-cycling Champion titles were achieved in the categories Team of 2 Men and Team of 4 Mixed.
The shorter race format CHALLENGE with 500 kilometres and 6,800 metres in altitude was won by Team Cannondale (category Team of 2 Men), who arrived at the IWC Arena as the very first team of the event, clocking in a time of 16 hours and 31 minutes. The Solo Men category was won by Switzerland’s Philipp Amhof with a time of 19 hours and 6 minutes.
Positive conclusion Despite the challenging weather conditions OC President Roy Bruderer draws a positive conclusion: “Of course, the rain and cold forced some riders to give up – however, a lot of participants were able to finish the race and were enthusiastic about the new route, saying it was demanding, but extremely beautiful – which is very good feedback for us. This year’s TORTOUR again was a real borderline experience for a lot of the athletes, but also a great experience – especially due to the fantastic support from their teammates. An adventure that brings people together.”
The event raised an incredible CHF56 000 for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Switzerland, which uses sport to address social challenges through a programme of sport-related community development initiatives, using sport as a tool for social change.