The Alpen Challenge Lenzerheide (on June 13) is without doubt one of the most beautiful and challenging gran fondos in the Alps. Fantastic passes in the Graubünden canton, a detour to Italy and simply beautiful route are its main ingredients. This gran fondo (founded in 2003) has a lot to go for. A bucket list event for sure.
The famous winter sports resort of St. Moritz, the lakes of the Upper Engadin, Viamala Gorge: there's a lot to be liked about the course. It's a race of superlatives. In 2015, new routes have been created. And they are still very, very spectacular. It's all about enjoyment. The Alpen Challenge Lenzerheide is a proper gran fondo: a bike race with time registration. But even if you're just a casual rider, you're more than welcome.
"We are doing everything we can, together with the authorities, to offer optimal conditions for a real race. But we have also noticed that many participants also simply enjoy the route and the service of a gran fondo and, above all, are looking for their personal challenge to complete the course. Here, the focus is less on the result and more on the experience."
Stefan Schwenke, chief organizer Alpen Challenge Lenzerheide
For 2021, there are improvements. The food en drink stops have been greatly upgraded. In addition to energy bar and gels, there will be original Bündner Nusstorte, handmade alpine cheese. The focus continues to be on regional and Swiss products. Alpine cheese with fresh rolls and nut tarts are on the menu. But the best thing is without any doubt the barista who will await the riders with freshly made espresso. This was introduced in the last edition in 2019 and was incredibly well.
The gran fondo brings the riders over the Albula and the world-famous Maloja Pass into Bergell and down into Italy, then followed by the Splügen Pass and in the finale the final climb to Lenzerheide. In total: 191 km with 4473 meters of climbing.
Participants can still decide in the race after about 65 km whether they want to ride the medio fondo or gran fondo.
"You can make the choice quite relaxed depending on the form of the day or even the weather. Or on how many refreshment stations with fine regional products you still want to enjoy."
We feel it's safe to say the Alpen Challenge Lenzerheide has no need to shy away from any comparison, by any means. For more information, visit their website or signup for the newsletter.
Photo's: Alpen Challenge Lenzerheide