• Australian Michael Matthews and honorary Australian Esteban Chaves headline Digital Swiss 5 (Getty)Source: Getty
Aussie Michael Matthews and Mitchelton-Scott's Esteban Chaves join an all-star cast for next week's Digital Swiss 5 race series, streaming via SBS On Demand.
Cycling Central

Tour de Suisse
17 Apr 2020 - 10:40 AM 

Get ready for LIVE cycling: don't miss Digital Swiss 5
16 men's WorldTour teams will do battle on a virtual Tour de Suisse parcours and we're streaming it LIVE 23-27 April via our site and SBS On Demand.

Delve into the pain caves of Primoz Roglic, Vincenzo Nibali, Romain Bardet, Remco Evenepoel, Julian Alaphilippe and world champion Mads Pedersen as they take on on the parcours of the Tour de Suisse while sheltering in place around the world. 

Team Ineos is yet to name their line-up so there's likely to be even more stars. 

Greg Van Avermaet, fresh from his virtual Tour of Flanders De Ronde victory last fortnight, is also taking to the virtual hurt box again for CCC Pro Team.   

"After my first taste of virtual racing a couple of weeks ago," the Belgian said. "I am interested to see how I go. Virtual racing is definitely not easy.

"The races may be much shorter but the effort is much more intense and you have a much smaller window of opportunity to make the difference when it comes to tactics."

"We're in for some tough races next week."

Julian Alaphilippe who rides so much on passion and panache is looking forward to the challenge. 

"It is a new type of race for me, very different to anything I have done before," he said. "But I know the set-up will be really good and it is great we are able to race during this difficult time and have something where we can focus and test our condition." 

Mitchelton-Scott's team also includes Adam Yates and Aussies Luke Durbridge, Jack Haig, Michael Hepburn and Nick Schultz. EF Pro Cycling will go heavy with Aussies too with Simon Clarke, Mitch Docker, Lachlan Morton and James Whelan named to start.

Other riders flying the Australian flag include Chris Hamilton (Sunweb), Jai Hindley (Sunweb), Ben O'Connor (NTT Pro Cycling) and Chris Harper (Jumbo Visma).

The five race series will run from early Thursday morning (23 April) AEST to early Monday (27 April) morning ;live streaming via SBS On Demand / our site and available later that day for catch up. 

Digital Swiss 5 is a collaboration between Velon and Tour de Suisse organisers using the ROUVY virtual platform.  The races will take place with real video footage of roads used in the Tour de Suisse as the backdrop for riders' (three per team per race) avatars and rider data will be displayed throughout the race series. 

Teams can swap out riders to suit the different routes which include: 

Race 1 (Hilly): Moudon to Leukerbad (27km, elevation 1,192m) 

Race 2 (Flat): Frauenfeld to Frauenfeld (40-50km TBC) 

Race 3 (Summit finish): Fiesch to Disentis - Sedrun Part 1 (33km elevation 1,521m) 

Race 4 (Hilly): Tortour to Oberlangenegg-Langnau (37km elevation 444m)

Race 5 (6km final climb): Fiesh to Disentis - Sedrun Part 3 (36km elevation 950m)