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From Verbier to Grimentz - The Grand Raid BCVS mountain bike race

Updated: Jun 10, 2023

Mountain bike traverse

Following Sierre-Zinal, the Val d’Anniviers hosts its second big sporting spectacle of the summer: the Grand Raid mountain bike marathon which takes place in August each year.

The Grand Raid is one of the biggest mountain bike races in Europe, with over 3,000 participants entering each year and a whopping 30,000 spectators soaking up the atmosphere. It is also one of the hardest; starting in the famous Swiss ski resort of Verbier in the Val de Bagnes, the full marathon covers 125km and over 5,000m of climbing to reach the charming resort of Grimentz in the Val d’Anniviers.

Fortunately, there are also a multitude of other distances if those statistics sound pretty daunting, with departures along the course in Nendaz (92km), Hérémence (68km) and Evolène (37km). If the standard race format doesn’t float your boat, the Grand Raid Relay provides an alternative in the shape of splitting the full marathon into four equal(ish) sized chunks for a team to compete in. And for electrically powered riders, the race can also be done as part of the e-Raid category with a “Gourmet” option which includes a mountain raclette and wine tasting en route!

So where does the race go? The full race from Verbier passes through four valleys and it has three major climbs; the Croix de Coeur (2174m) which sits above the ski resort, the Mandolon (2196m) in the Val d’Hérémence, and for the “pièce de résistance”, the route culminates on the iconic Pas de Lona (2788m) culminating in one of the Val d’Anniviers’ best (and longest) mountain bike descents.

Pas de lona climb
The Pas de Lona climb

The race offers everything with regards to terrain, from Switzerland’s famously smooth tarmac to it’s equally impressive loamy, flowing single track. Pine needle-strewn fire roads, technical rock gardens, tight switchback descents; there really is something for everyone on the course. Competitors and spectators can enjoy good beer and melted cheese at the Grand Raid Raclette Party to finish. What’s not to love?!

Grimentz finish line
Grimentz finish line

Check out the Grand Raid BCVS website if you would like to find out more and please get in touch if you would like to reserve your accommodation for the race this summer.

At La Bergère we are fully kitted out for riders with:

  • Bike wash with Muc-off cleaning products

  • Workshop

  • Secure bike storage with charging points

  • B&B or half-board options available

Check out our website for more details.

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