Consider the standard of racing among the Swiss riders, who dominate top flight XC plus the number of well known Marathon events in the country, including the Grand Raid, and it is very surprising that there has not been a major MTB Stage Race in Switzerland before.
Today, as riders from around the World came to Verbier, that is now a thing of the past and the first impressions of the race are they have set a very high bar for themselves. Many events will start small, building through the years but the Swiss Epic has set its sights on being one of the best in the World from year 1, complete with UCI S2 status. While the Swiss marathon events are generally relatively non-technical, the Swiss Epic is most certainly a technical event. With the recommended bike being a 120mm dually, with a dropper seatpost “highly recommended”, it certainly gives the impression of a technical event and as the event progresses we will see how it compares.
The start list of riders gives an idea of the president being set, with a host of Olympic, World and National Champions ready to line up for the Prologue:
We think it gives the race the second most prestigious field in the World, behind the Cape Epic.
6 days – 1 prologue, 5 full stages
15,000m vertical meters climbing
Starts – Verbier
Finishes – Zermatt
300 teams (2 riders per team)
EPIC and FLOW options (Flow has uplifts, but still 8000m vertical meters climbing by bike)
All riders, including the MarathonMTB team of Stu Spies (RSA) and Matt Page (GBR) will have live, GPS tracking and results on the Datasport website.