UCI Gravel Switzerland: a taste of alpine gravel

June 19, 2024 I love gravel biking, for many reasons. First and foremost because my gravel bike takes me beyond tarmac, to places I didn’t know – even in my home region. But there’s more to that. In the mountains where I live, gravel biking comes with a distinctive flavor called “alpine gravel”  which spices up the experience. What is …

Col de la Croix: the giant of the Alpes vaudoises

June 17, 2024 On the weekend of June 15 and 16, the Tour de Suisse came to Villars-sur-Ollon for two stages. For the men, this was be the event’s finale. For their female colleagues, it was start of the fourth edition of the Tour de Suisse Women. The routes were the same for both pelotons: on Sunday, there was an …

10 reasons why you should ride the Furka-Nufenen-Gotthard loop

June 7, 2024 A few months ago, Luke, the man behind the Switchback Saturdays Instagram account, asked me to showcase the most beautiful loop in the Swiss Alps. “Easy,” I replied. “It has to be the Furka-Nufenen-Gotthard. You won’t find anything more beautiful in the Alps.” As for the Saturday, I chose June 8. Right at the start of the …

2024 UCI Granfondo Suisse: 3 new courses

June 6, 2024 The third edition of the UCI Granfondo Suisse will take place on Sunday 7 July in Villars-sur-Ollon. The big change this year is the route: instead of a single loop of medium difficulty, which left the strongest riders wanting more and represented too big a challenge for beginners, participants will be able to choose between 3 distances… …

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How to know if a pass is open

May 25, 2024 Every spring, it’s the same question: is this pass open? Whether it’s the Furka, Galibier or Stelvio, cyclists can’t wait to find out when it will be possible to climb the Alpine passes again. And why is that? To rediscover the incomparable feeling of riding in the high mountains. To enjoy it before the summer crowds arrive. …

Léman Gravel Challenge preview: I had a plan

May 17, 2024 Over the 40 years of my competitive career, I’ve ridden around Lake Geneva countless times. Especially when I was racing at club level, as this mostly flat 170km loop was a good way to log hours in the saddle when the weather was bad. Since then, I’ve done the “tour du lac” from time to time, but …

Celebrating 40 years of bike racing

April 21, 2024 The season has got off to a good start, even if the snow has made a massive and belated return home. Oh well, I’m back on my skis for a few days. Bonus powder skiing in my backyard: I’m not complaining. That said, our recent family holiday in Sardinia was an excellent excuse for two 3-day bikepacking …

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The gadget I never wanted but can no longer live without

March 6, 2024 Last year I received a Garmin Varia RTL 515 rear radar/ bike light as a gift. And until actually using it, I would have never considered buying one. After 20 years of riding without one, not only did I assume I never needed such a device, but I was frankly annoyed even by the idea. Why? To …

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I tried gravel biking on snow. Skiing is better

February 19, 2024 This post is part of our Winter Riding in the Alps guide. Check it out here. The Col de la Croix is our local climb. In summer, it’s packed with cyclists riding in our beautiful region of the Alpes Vaudoises. In winter… not so much. The road is closed and the snow is groomed for locals and …

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Nostalgic season start on the Ligurian coast

January 18, 2024 As I write these words, the fire is crackling in the stove and snow is piling up around our chalet. We’re in the depths of winter, and it’s time to reflect on the highlights of the past season. How did it start? For my buddy Luca and me, it was a trip to Laigueglia that got us …