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13-02-2024 | Herman Nekkers

Not selected for the Ötztaler? Here are four fabulous alternatives

Last January, the draw for the Ötztaler Radmarathon took place. This gran fondo continues to be extremely popular, with 20,000 people signing up for just 4,000 spots. It's particularly a highlight event in Germany and Austria. Feeling down because you weren't selected? Think your year is ruined? Absolutely not! Here are four wonderful and challenging alternatives happening around the same time as the ORM.

Marmotte Gran Fondo Pyrénées (France - Aug. 25, 2024)

Marmotte Gran fondo Pyrénées race

This French gran fondo is acknowledged as tougher than both La Marmotte and the Ötztaler. Participants must conquer five legendary Pyrenean cols, including a double ascent of the Tourmalet. The finish at Hautacam is nothing short of heroic. This event combines cycling history, the magnificent Pyrenees, and an epic course.

Start: Argeles-Gazost.
inish: Hautacam.
Routes: 177km/5700m+, 122km/4200m+.

Tour des Stations (Switzerland - Aug. 31, 2024)

Tour des Stations race

The Tour des Stations offers a variety for all. The Ultafondo is a unique blend of everest and gran fondo styles: 242 kilometers with 8848 meters of ascent. But there are three more equally challenging options: the Superfondo, Marmotte Gran fondo Valais, and Medio fondo. Each route traverses the high mountains of Valais. Expect top-notch organization, a hallmark of Swiss events.

Start: Le Châble.
Finish: Col de la Croix de Coeur.
Routes: 242km/8848m+, 185km/6800m+, 133km/4700m+, 74km/2850m+.

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GFNY Alpes Vaujany (France - Sept. 1, 2024)

GFNY Alpes Vaujany

Another gran fondo bursting with cycling history. The route includes the Col de la Croix de Fer and Col du Glandon, where significant historical moments have taken place. The summit finish features the challenging climb to Vaujany. GFNY is renowned for its high quality. Additionally, it's located in one of Europe's premier cycling regions, with nearby access to Alpe d'Huez, Col du Galibier, Lacets de Montvernier, and Col de la Madeleine. It's an ideal event to be paired with a full week of cycling. Our lodging recommendation: Chalet Beyond.

Start: Vaujany.
Finish: Vaujany.
Routes: 120km/4023m+, 45km/1815m+.

Secure a limited number of starting places with a 50% discount in our SHOP.

Kitzbüheler Radmarathon (Austria - Sept. 8, 2024)

Kitzbüheler Radmarathon

In just three years, this perfectly organized event has become known for the gran fondo with the most epic finish: atop the Kitzbüheler Horn. The climb spans 10 kilometers with an average gradient of 12.2% and peaks at 23%. The other four climbs are noteworthy as well. The 216-kilometer route with 4600 meters of climbing presents the ultimate challenge. Unsure? There's an option to skip the final climb and head directly to the welcoming finish village — a decision you can make during the ride.

Start: Kitzbühel.
Finish: Kitzbüheler Horn.
Routes: 216km/4600m+, 209km/3700m+.

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