The opening stage crosses the Swabian Alps and goes from the state capital into the Danube Valley close to Sigmaringen.
We begin our Tour of Baden-Württemberg on Whit Saturday at the foot of the Stuttgart TV tower. This has the priceless advantage of us being, already, on the Filder plateau to the south of the Stuttgart basin, so we won't be pestered by too much busy city traffic. Taking traffic-free, rural roads we pass by the airport and turn south-eastwards to enter the Neckar Valley at Nürtingen. Shortly afterwards, with the climb up to Erkenbrechtsweiler, we scale the Albtrauf for the first time. But then we immediately drop back down again to Bad Urach, followed by a lovely, snaking ride along the Hanner Steige. From this point it gets easier, as we have a very long, drawn-out ride down through the Grosse Lauter Valley, where the group needs to cooperate well as a bunch. On the way to Zwiefalten we only need to get over one, smaller hill. Over the last third of the ride, it gets hillier once more, with a long climb to the village of Upflamör. But that ought not to hold us up, and we will soon be at our destination of Scheer, near Sigmaringen.