In recent years, the Raid Evolénard has been a growing success, attracting more and more mountain bike enthusiasts who no longer hesitate to cross the border to participate in this race. There are many reasons for the success of the race but the biggest reasons are the beauty of the landscapes along the race route and the welcome given to participants by the organiser.
Far from the alpine resorts with overdeveloped infrastructures, Evolène stands out for its preserved heritage, well-established traditions and unspoilt nature, making it an ideal destination for all endurance sports enthusiasts. The fact that Evolène was elected the most beautiful village in Switzerland in 2012 is not a surprise, and undoubtedly owes much to the authentic charm of its central street, which is full of good addresses for lovers of Valaisan specialities. Here the 23rd Evolénard Raid will start on 16th of June. The race attracts many international champions such as Urs Huber, Ariane Lüthi and Frans Claes year after year.
Just after leaving Evolène the route takes the riders through magnificent hamlets with the typical architecture of the region. After a first climb of 600m of altitude difference a rather technical single offers a little respite to the riders who will then have to face a second climb that will take them to the alpine pasture of l’Etoile at an altitude of just over 2200m. From there the riders will dive to the bottom of the valley. Already 35km covered and the participants of the short course will then only have to cross the finish line. For the runners involved in the marathon it’s another story, since they’re going to attack on the other side of the valley. The first part of the climb takes a footpath to reach the village of La Forclaz. There a new drinking station will allow the riders to gain some strength before continuing the climb on steep forest road to finally reach the top of Tsaté. From there a playful singtrack with a breathtaking view of the valley allows participants to recover again. Not for long though since a last endless climb must still bring the riders to the highest point of the race at an altitude of nearly 2500m. The reward that awaits the riders is equal to the efforts made since a magnificent descent of 1100m mostly on singletrack taking riders to the finish line in Les Haudères.
For this years edition the organisers who have been awarded the European Championships in 2021 have planned many new highlights. This includes a new finish location in the Hérens Arena which was built in 2017 to host the famous fights of cows typical to the region. This will give an even more spectacular setting to the finish of the races. To make the race even more exciting and boost the motivation of the participants in the difficult climbs they’ll be a prizes for the fastest climbers. On the Saturday the children will be given the chance to take centre stage with skills coaching from professional riders including former World Champion Christoph Sauser. The organisation will also be hosting free races for children under 14 years old making it a great family event.
Registrations are open online at www.raidevolenard.ch and at a discounted price until 31st March.
MarathonMTB will be on the start line of the 2019 Raid Evolénard, see you there in June!