This weekend, Villars hosts the next UCI Gran Fondo World Series event: the Granfondo Suisse. Situated at an altitude of 1.300 m and located at the center of the Alpes Vaudoises, Villars has been a popular mountain resort for over 150 years. The wider region is a cycling paradise that is home to the UCI’s headquarters and has featured regularly in the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de Romandie.
As we’re in the high mountains, the 600 registered riders from 30 countries can expect a weekend full of climbing. All with a view to finishing in the top 25% of their age group and securing a much-coveted qualification for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Glasgow.
Saturday’s individual time trial is all about climbing. Participants will have to ride 11,6 km from Ollon to Villars-sur-Ollon, climbing a dazzling 795 meters in the process.
Sunday’s road race starts at the UCI headquarters in Aigle, to finish in Villars-sur-Ollon after 122 km and 2.237 meters of climbing. The first part of the race is flat, with two 25 km loops towards Lac Leman. A fast appetizer for the second part of the course, which contains the vast majority of the climbing work. Indeed: the first climb of the day is 22,9 km long and has an average gradient of 3,4% with a peak of 12%. Following a 10 km descent back to the valley, riders will have to climb up to Villars-sur-Ollon for 12,1 km with an average gradient of 6,5% and sections up to 15%.
A course such as this could lead to many possible scenarios. Will we see a solo win? Or a final uphill sprint by those that managed to stick in a small and strong group?