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Alpine Gravel Challenge 2024

September 8

Alp scene of Alpine Gravel Challenge

The Alpine Gravel Challenge is a significant new event in the gravel cycling calendar in Europe, particularly for gravel enthusiasts, and it’s part of the UCI Gravel World Series. The event is scheduled for Sunday, September 8, 2024, and offers three distinct courses: 100 km, 70 km, and 30 km, each with varying degrees of difficulty and elevation gain to challenge participants. It’s set in the picturesque region of Champéry, Switzerland, making it a unique race that spans the Swiss-French border in the Portes du Soleil domain. This location is noted for its stunning views at the foot of the Dents du Midi mountain range, one of the most beautiful alpine regions.

The 100 km route, known as the “Haute Cime,” starts from Monthey and presents the most challenging option with an elevation gain of 3,500 meters. It features a significant climb right from the start, leading riders through a course that includes a mix of paved and gravel surfaces, with the majority being gravel once past Champéry. This course is particularly notable for its long climbs and stunning scenery across the Swiss-French border.

For those seeking a slightly less demanding challenge, the 70 km “Forteresse” course begins directly in Champéry and includes a total elevation gain of 2,400 meters. This route skips the initial climb from Monthey, offering a condensed version of the challenge with a strong focus on gravel paths.

The 30 km “Cathédrale,” the shortest option, also starts in Champéry. It offers a more accessible challenge with a 1,000-meter elevation gain, making it a great choice for those new to gravel cycling or seeking a less intensive experience.

Participants in the Alpine Gravel Challenge can look forward to testing their endurance and skills on diverse terrains while enjoying breathtaking alpine landscapes and the unique cultural experience of a race that crosses national borders. The event coincides with the Bike & Sound Festival in Champéry, which combines cycling with music and entertainment, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to the weekend.

For more detailed information about the event, including registration details and course specifics, you can visit the official websites of the Alpine Gravel Challenge and the UCI Gravel World Series​ (UCI Gravel World Series)​​ (Alpine Gravel Challenge)​.

About the UCI Gravel World Series

The UCI Gravel World Series is an international cycling competition that unites the gravel cycling community under the UCI umbrella for a series of sanctioned races across the globe. Originating in the US Midwest about 12-15 years ago as Gravel Grinders, gravel events have surged in popularity, offering riders new challenges on mostly unpaved roads and paths. The series reflects a significant expansion of the gravel racing discipline. It is celebrated for its adventurous routes through nature and a spirit of inclusivity that welcomes elite, master, and cyclo-tourist participants alike​ (UCI Gravel World Series).

The series comprises 25+ qualifier events worldwide, leading to the UCI Gravel World Championships. It’s a unique blend of competition and community, where the top 25% in each age group earn the opportunity to compete for the coveted UCI rainbow jersey. This setup underscores gravel racing’s dual appeal, attracting competitive riders and embracing those seeking the joy and camaraderie of the gravel cycling scene​ (UCI Gravel World Series).

Dents du Midi Region – Valais Canton

The Dents du Midi region is an unparalleled paradise for outdoor and cycling enthusiasts, especially those who love breathtaking alpine landscapes and challenging terrain. Whether you’re looking to push your limits on rugged mountain bike trails or glide along scenic road cycling routes, this area has something for every cyclist.

For road cyclists, the collaboration between the Region Dents du Midi and the city of Monthey has created an official network of cycling routes. These routes meander through picturesque back roads across Choëx, Troistorrents, Val-d’Illiez, and Champéry, eventually leading towards the exhilarating passes in Champoussin and Morgins​ (RDDM). This network provides a thrilling ride and connects you to the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Swiss Alps, making it a must-try for any cycling fan.

Mountain biking enthusiasts have an even broader playground. The Portes du Soleil area, known as the largest mountain bike area in Europe during summer, offers over 50 downhill-marked trails and 5 Bike Parks. This makes it an unparalleled playground for adventurers and a must-visit for all types of mountain bikers, from beginners to the most experienced thrill-seekers​ (RDDM). The region boasts many trails, including those suitable for e-bikes, ensuring every cyclist finds a path that resonates with their spirit of adventure.

Moreover, the area’s MTB and e-bike routes are designed to cater to all levels, offering options to ride along flowing streams, wind up mountainsides, or stroll along alpine paths​ (RDDM). The availability of lifts equipped to transport mountain bikes further enhances the accessibility of these high-altitude trails, allowing riders to reach the summits and enjoy the thrilling descents easily.

For those seeking a more structured challenge, the region offers mapped routes like the Col de Champoussin route, part of the Valais Cycling Tour. This moderate-difficulty ride will take you along a quiet road to admire a stunning panorama, challenging you with its ascents while rewarding you with breathtaking views​ (Home).

Whether you’re a serious cyclist looking to test your endurance across the Alps or someone who enjoys leisurely rides amidst stunning scenery, the Dents du Midi region is a cycling destination that promises memorable adventures against the backdrop of some of the most spectacular landscapes in Switzerland.



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