Tour de Suisse
The Tour originated in 1933 and has been held every year since, except for a few years' suspension during World War II. Because of its timing, it is often considered a warm-up event for the Tour de France, and many top Tour de France riders, such as Eddy Merckx and Lance Armstrong, have also won the Tour de Suisse. Switzerland's mountainous terrain makes it a good training ground for the Tour de France's alpine stages, and the Tour de Suisse is known for challenging climbs.
The winner of the first Tour de Suisse was Max Bulla of Austria, while the most recent Tour (2009) was won by Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland. As with other national races, the hosts tend to do best: Swiss riders have won 23 of the 73 editions of the Tour, with Italy (19) and Belgium (8) following in the win standings. However, the record for most wins is held by Italy's Pasquale Fornara, who won four times during the 1950s.
The 2010 Tour de Suisse will be run from June 12 to 20, beginning in Lugano and ending in Liestal in nine stages covering a total of 1329 kilometers (826 miles).