Not that there was a need to make the tracks even more beautiful at the “VAUDE Engadin Bike Giro”, but it’s easy. For example the prologue. The organizers set new standards with their route optimization. Good things remain: the start on Lake St. Moritz, the passage through the pedestrian zone of St. Moritz, and also the finish area of 2017 up on Salastrains have proven to be outstanding. “Still, it was just a bit too much asphalt up to Salastrains. The idea already existed before the first edition and for this year we will implement it “, explains Rik Sauser from Sauser Event GmbH. So you can be curious.
The route is new at the prologue starting from the pedestrian zone in St. Moritz over a path, with a great view over the St. Moritz lake, above the world-famous “Badrutt’s Palace Hotel” over to the “Hotel Carlton”. From there it goes uphill to the stadium of the Olympic Winter Games in 1948, which is today’s golf course in St. Moritz. This is followed by the absolute highlight for the stage on Friday: the route joins the track of the Olympic Bob Run and leads down the original track of the bobsleigh competitions in the direction of Celerina. The Olympic bobsleigh track in St. Moritz is the only natural ice rink in the world. For mountainbikers, it goes in rapid speed with numerous curves downhill. Through the probably most spectacular curve called “Horse-Shoe”, further down to just before the Gunter-Sachs-Kurve, where the bikers will leave the track again. Arrived at the lowest point of the stage, it is about eight kilometers only uphill to the highest point of the day, the Corviglia. The route continues down the “Olympia Flow Trail” to Chantarella. Finally, the final climb up to the finish on the sun terraces at the “Hotel Salastrains” at 2050 meters above sea level follows.
The second stage is similar to the previous year with 79 kilometers and about 2.400 vertical meters and thus remains almost unchanged: The organizers only made a small optimization in the area of the crossing of the Bernina Pass Road, nothing more.
The final stage on Sunday offers new fantastic highlights. And these are twice as breathtaking. Once because of the incredibly beautiful nature with really terrific sections in the Upper Engadin and because of the effort on the bike. The first new highlight follows after the loop over Maloja. After 25.5 kilometers the riders will pass the start and finish line in Silvaplana-Mulets, before the race leads through the village back to the lake, where the next new delicacy awaits. After the first crossing of the finish line, the ascent to the Crest Alta is followed by a new section with a fantastic view towards Maloja. “Actually you would have to descend up there and enjoy the view,” enthuses race director Rik Sauser. Afterwards, the course leads over an almost completely new part high above Salastrains to the Corviglia and on towards Munt da S. Murezzan, where all riders pass the famous start of the men’s descent called “Free Fall”. What follows is simply breathtaking: Pass Suvretta and Lej Suvretta. “These passages are pure nature and are among the many numerous spots in the Engadine, where you know why you bother yourself with a mountainbike at almost 2.700 meters above sea level,” says Rik Sauser. Afterwards, the riders take a long descent through the Val Suvretta down to St. Moritz. The last kilometers are identical to the previous years, where it goes via the Via Engiadina in the direction of Silvaplana to the destination back to the Lake Silvaplana. And again the organizer is in raptures: “The last stage shows the beauty of this region, with fine weather an absolute treat that you will not forget!”