3RIDES Gran Fondo
Distances110 - 140 km
3RIDES Gran Fondo is a new race on the UCI Gran Fondo World Series calendar at the Aachener Chio complex, which hosts the World Equestrian Festival each year. The 3RIDES weekend features a big bike show, road bike rides, e-sports, music and plenty of side events. In 2023 there was for the first time a very successful UCI Gravel race with 1200 starters, also scheduled for 2024 on the same day.
After starting from the Aachener Chio complex, the route heads towards the historic city center of Aachen to pass the main square before heading south towards the hilly region along the western border of Germany after 15 km.
The route then follows the Belgian border for a long time and even reaches this border after 30 km in the town of Lammersdorf.
The tourist town of Monschau is crossed after 57 km to then head further east to the Rursee lake area for some climbs and descents from the lake and back – this is a central part of the National Park Eifel.
The Zweifaller und Rotter Wald, a large forest area, is crossed during the route between kilometers 20 and 30 and on the way back between kilometers 110 and 120. The finish is back at the starting point.
The 110 km mediofondo course follows the same route but takes a shortcut after roughly 66 kilometers on the granfondo course, avoiding the area at the Rursee lake. It joins the Granfondo road again later.
The first and last 15 km are mainly taken in both directions. Note that due to regulations the final details may vary.
110km (qualifier distance for men 60+ and women 50+)
140km (qualifier distance for men 19-59 and women 19-49)
The route has a total elevation of 2,212m, making it a challenging route with various climbs that are never very steep nor long, but the roads always go up and down.
The start in Aachen is at the lowest point of the route, 150 m above sea level, and the route reaches an altitude of 500 to 600 m between km 28 and 40.
The steepest climb of the day is at km 59 leaving the tourist town of Monschau where the road climbs to 9.5% as part of a 2.6km climb at an average 5.5%.
The hardest climbs come just after the second half of the route with three consecutive climbs that will most likely be decisive. A first climb of 5.7km after 72 km (4.3% average) followed by a climb of 4.8km after 84 km (4.4% average) and the longest climb of the day which is 8,4km and starts after 101km (4% average) from where the first half is the steepest part before flattening out towards the summit at Vossenack.
From there, the final takes place again downhill and flat.
The 110 km mediofondo course follows the same route at the start but returns more quickly towards the finish for a total elevation of 1612 m. It jumps all three mountains in the second half of the granfondo course.
The city of Aachen has outstanding significance for Europe’s history, with settlements pre-dating the Roman colony and thermae. Emperor Charlemagne made Aachen his residence and ordered the construction of its cathedral, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1978, It is the westernmost city of Germany and sits at the heart of the StädteRegion Aachen, an innovative organisation of communities near the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands.
The area is famous for its cultural heritage, its scientific achievements, but also for its options for hiking and biking. Other big cities in the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen like Cologne, Bonn and Düsseldorf are within short reach, with lots of possibilities for shopping, wining and dining and arts just a short weekend trip away.