Distances61 - 102 km
Gravel Suisse is a new gravel race in Villars which has already hosted a UCI Gran Fondo World Series event for several years. The race takes place at the doorsteps of the UCI headquarters in Aigle and takes on difficult roads in the mountains of the Vaudois Alps surrounding the town.
The race distance is split with a 102km granfondo course as a qualifier for all younger age groups while the 61km mediofondo counts as the official qualifying distance for all men over 60 and women under over 50 years old.
The start and finish of the race take place in the town of Ollon. The first ten kilometers are on smooth asphalt that extends out of town into the woods, with only the last part of the road presenting the first few kilometers uphill in a typical Swiss Alps landscape. The first gravel section follows after 10 km on wide gravel mountain roads. A first summit is reached after 16 km and then remains on the Col de la Croix platform until km 40 to continue the descent towards the Diablerets valley then further down to Aigle, behind the UCI headquarters along of the Rhône for a completely flat part of 25 km to enter the last 15 difficult kilometers towards the finish line.
The course is 52% gravel, while the rest is split equally between asphalt and older paved roads.
(qualifier distance for all men 19-59 and women 19-49)
(qualifier distance for all men 60+ and women 50+)
With a total altitude of 2670m over 102km, the long route is demanding starting from 1231m towards the highest point of the route (km 28) at 1830m altitude and then descending into the valley at 380m altitude for a flat 25km before climbing back to the finish line.
The mediofondo course is even more difficult because you mainly skip the valley part to return directly to the finish after reaching the valley. The total elevation gain for the 61 km is 1990 m.
Villars-sur-Ollon, nestled in the majestic Swiss Alps, is a charming and picturesque village that embodies the beauty and charm of Switzerland. Located in the canton of Vaud, this idyllic alpine destination is a haven for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts and those seeking a serene escape.
Situated at an altitude of 1,300 meters above sea level, Villars-sur-Ollon offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and modern conveniences. Visitors can access the village via a scenic train ride from Aigle, enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains along the way.
Tourism highlights in Villars-sur-Ollon include:
- Skiing and snowboarding: Villars-sur-Ollon is renowned for its winter sports offerings. With access to over 120 kilometers of pristine slopes, it’s a paradise for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. The village is part of the vast Villars-Gryon-Les Diablerets ski area, offering numerous downhill opportunities.
- Hiking and Mountain Biking: During the summer months, the region transforms into a paradise for hikers and mountain bikers. Countless trails pass through lush alpine meadows, dense forests and offer panoramic views of the Swiss Alps. Don’t miss the Tour des Muverans, a multi-day hiking circuit.
- Golf: Villars-sur-Ollon has a superb 18-hole golf course with captivating views of the Dents-du-Midi and Mont Blanc. Golfers can enjoy a unique round of golf in the clean mountain air.
- Thermal Baths: After a day of outdoor adventures, relax at the thermal baths of Lavey-les-Bains, just a short drive away. These natural hot springs offer relaxation and regeneration, making them the perfect way to soothe sore muscles.
- Montreux Jazz Festival: During your stay in Villars-sur-Ollon, take advantage of the proximity of the Montreux Jazz Festival. This world-renowned event, organized each year in Montreux, offers a diverse musical program and a unique cultural experience.
- Village charm: Stroll through the picturesque village of Villars-sur-Ollon, with its picturesque chalets, welcoming cafes and charming boutiques. The authentic Swiss ambiance offers a delightful and peaceful experience.
- Panoramic train ride: The Bex-Villars-Bretaye railway is not to be missed. This rack railway takes you to Bretaye, offering spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. It’s an adventure in itself.
Villars-sur-Ollon offers an exceptional setting for winter and summer activities, guaranteeing tourist appeal all year round. Whether you’re looking for adventure on the slopes or a quiet escape to the Swiss Alps, this charming village has something to offer every traveler. With its dazzling natural beauty and numerous recreational opportunities, Villars-sur-Ollon is a true Swiss treasure just waiting to be explored.