TORTOUR, presented by IWC, took place from 18 to 21 August 2016 for the 8th time. The weather cooperated nicely for the 1,000 kilometres long and 13,000 vertical meter race course, and the second official ultra-cycling Swiss Championship. After a heated head to head battle, Lionel Poggio was able to pull away from the favourite Ralph Diseviscourt to win the Solo Men category with a time of 39h 59min, and became the new Swiss ultra- cycling champion. Nicole Reist crossed the finish line with a time of 43h 28min taking the win and the first Swiss Championship title in the women’s category.
Like last year, the defending champion Ralph Diseviscourt from Luxemburg led the solo men group for a good portion of the race. The head to head battle between Lionel Poggio und Ralph «Dizzy» Diseviscourt only started in the last third of the race. «I felt the RAAM (Race Across America) in my legs more than I thought I would», commented Dizzy after crossing the finish line. «The stronger rider definitely won today!» That man was Lionel Poggio from Wollerau: «My goal was a Swiss Championship medal, but I didn’t expect gold!», he said after his win. «I was a little more relaxed at the end of the race, and as I took the lead I knew I could win the race! I’m very tired, but unbelievably happy!»

First Woman Ultra-cycling Swiss Champion
The first of the TORTOUR riders to cross the finish line with a time of 30h 41min was Team Steiner Bäckerei Wetzikon – Argon 18, arriving Saturday morning in the IWC-Arena in Schaffhausen to claim the Swiss Championship in the category men’s team of 4. In the men’s team of 2 category the Allianz Transformers took the top podium spot with a time of 32h 24min, the Swiss Championship Title went to Team Casutt Velos Ilanz, with Christian Jakob from Gais and Mathias Arpagaus from Castagnola. Team Samsung 1 won the team of 6 category again, with 31h 36min.
In this year’s solo women’s category, the minimum number of three athletes arrived at the finish line. Therefore, Nicole Reist from Winterthur didn’t just defend her TORTOUR title, but also became the first official ultra-cycling Swiss Champion. The new Swiss Champion in the mixed team of 2 category is Team Airstreem, with Daniel Krüsi and Corina Hengartner from St. Gallen.

In the shorter race format CHALLENGE with 525 kilometres and 6800 vertical meters, team Laureus-TUI1 (3 Person-Team open category) arrived first in the IWC-Arena, with an impressively strong time of 16h 04min. The top spot in the solo men category went to Urs

Zimmermann from Sternenberg with 18h 30min. The fastest woman was Viviane Spielmann from Uerikon.

SPRINT – the new Short Format
In the new short race format SPRINT with 370 kilometres and 4200 vertical meters, the favourite, Simon Zahner from Dürnten, won with a time of 11h 23min, ahead of Rafael Wyss from Thalwil and Marcel Kamm from Dübendorf. For the women, Marianne Kern, also from Dübendorf, took the win. This new format agreed with the athletes because of it’s simplicity and the opportunity to ride it alone without any assistance.

Positive Conclusion
The 8th edition of the TORTOUR was again a great success and OC-President Roy Bruderer is very proud of the outcome: «Because the weather cooperated pretty well, a large amount of the riders were able to finish the race, with only a small percentage having to drop out. The new SPRINT format was well received by the participants, because of the organisation and the beautiful landscape along the Churfirsten and over the Pragelpass.
SPRINT will definitely stay in the program for next year’s event!» The Sustenpass provided a new highlight on the TORTOUR- and CHALLENGE-course that all the riders will remember well. «The team work for this difficult challenge stood again at the forefront for most of the teams», commented TORTOUR-Co-Founder Joko Vogel, who also participated. «The TORTOUR is every time a new, indescribable road bike experience, second to none! A special thanks to the over 400 volunteers who helped make this event happen!»