|140 riders out of 16 nations participated in the fifth edition of the Snow Bike Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland. Snow and weather conditions were outstanding, and the atmosphere created by all the participants made the event a huge success. Joris Ryf (CH) was the winner of the Snow Bike Festival UCI-Marathon and Overall Race. Janine Schneider (GER) wins UCI women’s category and Marion Fromberger (GER) women’s overall category.|
On Friday, riders tackled a 19km afternoon race. What seemed to be an easy ride at first, turned into “one of the toughest 20 k’s I’ve ever ridden” (Brett King, Snow Bike Festival participant), mainly due to the combination of meters in altitude and the snow. Start was at the Park Gstaad, followed by a short, neutralized zone, a challenging 700m climb to the top of Eggli, a thrilling downhill and finally exhausted but happy rider faces at the finish line. Even though Gstaad still looked partly green on Friday, when riders woke up on Saturday morning the snow has turned the breathtaking landscape into a winter wonderland.
On day 2, riders saw clear blue skies when gathering on the start line in front of Park Gstaad. The hardest challenge was lying ahead with a full marathon distance of 60 km. However, the overwhelming experience in the picturesque Swiss Alps compensated the riders for the hard effort.
|Sunday was loaded with action. Riders got up early that morning to catch the cable car to the top of Rinderberg, which the Bergbahnen especially opened 1 hour before skiers could use it. After the start at more than 2000 meters above sea level at -10 degrees, participants had the unique experience to race downhill for more than 5km on newly prepared ski slopes. The last 30km back to Gstaad completed the day and made the whole Snow Bike Festival a truly successful and pleasant event.|