Press Release

The first UCI Gran Fondo Suisse will take place from 26 to 28 June 2020 in Villars-sur-Ollon

It is a magnificent course from Villars-sur-Ollon that goes over the Col de la Croix (1,776m), the Col du Pillon (1,546m) and the Col des Mosses (1,445m) before ending with a second climb up the Col de la Croix with the finish line at the summit, which is sure to thrill cyclists next summer at the heart of the Swiss Alps. “The participants will get to discover the climb from Montbovon to Lake Hongrin, one of the region’s hidden gems,” enthuses local cycling ambassador Alain Rumpf, who designed the route with the Chassot Concept SA team, which is organising the event.

With a distance of 108 km and 2,591 metres of gradient over four climbs, the UCI Gran Fondo Suisse is not just for hardened competitors. It is also open to enthusiasts of every level, an ideal cyclosportive route at the start of the season.

Participants will also be offered the chance to try an 11-km time trial with a climb of 832 metres on the same route as the Tour de Romandie 2018. The most accomplished cyclists can pitch themselves against the benchmark time of 25’10’’ set by Egan Bernal, the winner of the last Tour de France.

A race for everybody on the routes from the Tour de Romandie

The event is the only Swiss round of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series, a series of 30 UCI-approved races that are being held all around the world. The athletes who rank in the top 20% of their age category will qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships that will be held in Vancouver (Canada) in September 2020. It will therefore be a chance for cyclists from Switzerland and neighbouring countries to qualify for the World Championships and to try to win the famous rainbow jersey.

The event is run by Chassot Concept SA, the organiser of the Tour de Romandie, a UCI WorldTour Race. The participants can therefore benefit from the experience of this cycling event organiser and feel like professionals during the event. Indeed, Messrs Bärtschi and Rauch, respectively the Technical Director and Safety Director of the Tour de Romandie, have contributed to preparing the route and will supervise the competitions. Richard Chassot, General Director of the Tour de Romandie confirmed that: “As organiser, we wanted to offer all the enthusiasts the opportunity to live like a professional for the duration of a race, on roads that we know well because Villars and the Swiss Alps regularly host the Tour de Romandie”.

Cycling takes pride of place for three days in the Swiss Alps

It is the resort of Villars, at the heart of the Swiss Alps, at an altitude of 1,300 metres on a natural, south facing balcony,that will host the event at the end of June. Close to the airport of Geneva and easily accessible by train and by car, the resort has been offering a wide range of sporting activities and opportunities for relaxation for families and visitors of every age, away from the stresses of city life, for more than 150 years. All the pleasures of holidays are on offer in the idyllic setting, with a grandiose panorama that stretches from Lake Geneva to Mont Blanc. The tourist resort has a long history of cycling: it has organised the arrival of many stages of the Tour de Romandie and the Tour de Suisse. It has also hosted many sport cyclists on the roads around the region. Villars notably offers its visitors a range of routes for road bikes, mountain bikes and e-bikes.

As the director of the Touristic Association Porte des Alpes, Sergei Aschwanden, declared this morning: “The riders in the UCI Gran Fondo Suisse can enjoy an unforgettable experience in the Swiss Alps thanks to experienced organisers”. He also thanked the UCI for its confidence. Indeed, the region plays host to the head office of the Union Cycliste Internationale in Aigle. A city that will also host the UCI Road World Championships next year with the neighbouring city Martigny. Different events are planned on Saturday, such as tours and introductions to cycling at the World Cycling Centre, where the riders can collect their bibs.

Finally, David Lappartient, President of the UCI said: “The development of events for the general public is very important for the UCI, which is thrilled to welcome the UCI Gran Fondo Suisse just next door to its head office”.

Registration is open from today at a preferential rate until 31 January 2020 and the full program is available on www.ucigranfondosuisse.ch