Register Now for Gravel Epic Switzerland
Immerse yourself in an experience off the beaten track in Switzerland and make memories that will last a lifetime, this September 25-26
The two-day course rides and races across the Alps and valleys on gravel tracks, forest and small farm roads.
Based at stunning Champex-Lac, the Gravel Epic Switzerland features two unforgettable stages amongst the alpine giants of the Valais. Two course options give riders the chance to explore some of the best hidden gems in the Swiss Alps with long and short route for all abilities.
Only timed climbs count towards the competition, so you can race against your friends and other competitors if you want too, but it also gives you the chance to relax at the feed stations and meet and ride with other people on route. Top 3 best times are counted towards the podium. An amazing opportunity to explore new gravel routes with like-minded people.
The event offers a team entry and prize category. Women’s, men’s and mixed team formats. Sign up with at least 3 and at most 6 riders in a team.
e-Gravel bikes are welcome!
Gravel Epic is proud to announce the inclusion of e-gravel bikes this season at Gravel Epic Switzerland. Then this is a gravel race for you. Bring your friends the more the merrier.
Friday afternoon is arrival in Champex-lac where riders will get settled in at the beautiful Relais d’Arpette. Riders will have the opportunity to join for a bonus prologue to warm up their muscles before meeting their race mates over drinks and a campfire. This short circuit will be a sneak peek into some of the beauty and grandeur that they will experience over the two-day race! Don’t miss this, it will be a good warm-up before the main event.
Long Route: 108km, 3,800m+
Short Route: 63km 2,080m+
Heading out of Champex-Lac Stage One begins with a controlled descent giving riders a quick second to warm up the legs and spin. The route quickly turns off the tarmac and plunges right into the first section of gravel and farm roads! Riders will wind their way down through the fields and meadows to the village of Sembrancher. From Sembrancher the course crosses the river and riders will be transported to the sunny vineyards of Valais. The vines planted here for centuries are crisscrossed with old roads, the riders will climb these same routes used by locals dating back to medieval times. Once out of the vineyards continue up the road to the village of Vens where riders will hop back on the smooth alpine gravel. Switzerland and the Alps have always been famous for its salt production along this stretch; riders will pass the ancient salt mines as you continue to climb the ridge.
Suddenly riders will find themselves transported to the majestic larch forests of Valais. Make sure to take the time to enjoy this wide open gravel ride through the golden larches. Once past the old growth larches continue riding till you arrive at Col De Planches. The course follows along the ridge taking in all of the beauty that the main alpine ridge of the Alps has to offer. Passing through Col du Tronc continue onto Col De Lein where riders will be greeted by our first rest stop and incredible views over the Bernese alps, the Rhone river valley, and all the way to Mont Blanc.
Once riders have caught their breath and refuelled it's a quick and winding descent to the village of l’Arbarey. From there it gets wild as riders will cross streams and roll through dark tunnels carved into the mountain sides complete with rock falls and windows chiselled into the bedrock. As the riders come out of this they will arrive at the village of La Tzoumaz and be back on pavement. Quickly riders will find themselves climbing up ski runs and under ski lifts up to the Col de la Croix-de-Coeur overlooking all of Verbier. The view from this point will take your breath away and make you realize that all of the hard work was worth it.
Riders will descend high above the famous ski town of Verbier, Mont Gelé will tower in front of the course. Riders will arrive at the Croix-des-Ruinettes ski station and continue towards the La Chaux ski station. From La Chaux riders will appreciate the view and continue their long descent with Bec de Rosses and Mont Fort watching over them.
Saying goodbye to the high alpine for the day as riders wind down to the village of Sarreyer. Here the course will jump back on to gravel as it continues down to Lourtier and Champsec. Riders should catch their breath on the valley floor before tackling the climb up towards Bruson. In Bruson riders will once again be climbing through the forest to La Cot and from there will descend to Chamoille.
As the riders near the end of the course hopefully they will have left something in the tank as they start the climb from Orsières back to Champex-Lac and finally the last climb to the Relais d’Arpette and the finish line!
Riders on the short route will leave the longer route at the Col du Lein and descend back down to Levron and taking in the beautiful views of the Val de Bagnes. Riders will then ride through the hay meadows to re-join the long course at the base of the climb back to Champex-lac.
Long route: 78km, 3090m+
Short route: 61km, 2090m+
Stage two starts again with a controlled descent from the host village of Champex-lac. Riders will find the initial descent the same as stage one, but that changes quickly as you arrive in Sembrancher.
After navigating through the tranquille streets of Sembrancher the climbing starts through the fields and alpine pastures of the Val d’Entremont. The route climbs back to the village of Chamoille. Riders will cross the Tourant de Douay as it roars down from the high mountains and continue climbing up to the village of Rosière.
The next section of stage two is perfectly Swiss Valaisanne. The riders will climb and ride through farm trails and hay meadows. As the course continues riders will pass blackened barns and chalets that have been darkened in the alpine sun over the centuries. At points the route crosses and rides along the ancient bisses, the ingenious Swiss irrigation systems that have supported the alpine farmers for centuries. Keep an eye out for Swiss fortifications that protected the Alpine country from invasion during the Second World War. Faux buildings and bunkers are just a few of the interesting things a keen eyed cyclist can see.
The riders will eventually descend onto the village of Liddes, the village famous for its local cheese. If you need a food stop look for the cheese vending machine located at the village fromagerie. Riders will continue to climb along the Dranse d’Entremont, the river that has slowly carved its way down from the mountains that appear right in front. The riders will find themselves on the ancient trade route from Southern Europe and Rome to Northern Europe. Romans, Celts, and even Napoleon walked the route as riders continue the climb up the famous Col du Grand St. Bernard.
Riders on the short route will follow the same course until the village of Liddes where the course deviates and cuts out the climb and descent from Bourg-St-Pierre. Riders will continue climbing up to Vichères and continue straight, cutting out the gravel climbing above Vichères and follow the same course back to Champex-lac.
World Class Support
This race will be completely supported, with mechanics, medics, feed stations, not to mention the photographer, videographers, and drone pilots to capture the all of the Epic-ness! Gravel Epic will have a complete team of support staff on hand to make this a gravel race to remember.
The accommodations are perfect for an incredible, relaxing, and chill environment to get away to ride some epic gravel.
Gravel Epic is a part of the Haute Route group who recently returned to the Swiss Alps with the successful Crans-Montana 3 day event.
Just like the Haute Route, Gravel Epic brings premium services to multi-day races, helping riders do things they never thought possible and experience some of the coolest locations in the world to ride. This big difference is that these races are all about gravel.
Register Now to Secure a Place!
Included in your entry is; Individual Timing Chip and Tracking device, Rider Briefings, Full Mechanical Assistance, Full Medical Assistance, Feed Stations with local products, Course Signage and GPX files, Hot food & drinks at the end of each stage, Age Category solo and team awards, Finisher memento and End of Event Party.
Half board Official Race Accommodation packages start from just 220 CHF and range from camping to private en suite rooms.
To find out more, please visit https://www.gravelepic.com/epic-switzerland or click the bottom below to register now.