Stop number 2 in Switzerland and this is my only 1 nighter, apart from the midway point traveling down through France. The scenery and surroundings in Hospental are amazing. I had no idea that Andermatt was so close, (it is easy even for a former cartographer to miss this when looking at maps).
It is blowing my mind to be totally honest. The Gotthardpass was really amazing, I mean cobbles on a mountain climb! That must have been a nightmare for races in the past. At least now a wider, conventional surfaced road goes up and over the pass, whilst underneath not one but two tunnels transport the HGVs and through traffic bound for the far South of Switzerland and Italy.
I found my spot for the Tour de Suisse, parked and chilled out, whilst waiting for the riders to pass. It was cool and breezy but I did pick out G in the Sky train at the head of the peloton. I’m not sure how the business end of the race will work out for him. Some are saying he is the favourite after finishing a close 2nd last year but I’m not so sure. I see this as his final training block before the Tour de France, where his duties will lie elsewhere.
Once the riders had passed, in fact during, I went bidon crazy. My single best haul ever. I got in to double figures, including a Sky one at long last. That one is a keeper and the Lotto Soudal example I also picked up. I had so many in fact that I gave a load of them away to Swiss cycling fans near me.
All done I checked in and then got out on my bike to sample the Swiss Alps. The Gotthardpass was too busy with traffic for my liking so I headed off to Andermatt and the Oberalppass. At just over 2000m it would present a decent challenge.
Let’s just say the threat of rain and the relentless series of hairpins climbing at 9% out of Andermatt made me consider my sanity but once up and above Andermatt the road straightened out and the gradient dropped to 4-5%.
The whole environment changed and was really weird at the top of the pass. There was a lighthouse style beacon, which was odd and the feel of a lake resort. All very odd but a new climb chalked off.