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Gravel Tour du Mont Blanc: A super challenging gravel race

Last weekend saw the very first edition of the Gravel Tour du Mont Blanc. A two-day event in the heart of the French Alps offering a memorable experience for both the seasoned gravel specialists and rookie enthusiasts with ultimate racing on Saturday and a relaxed sporting ride the day after.

It seems that the last couple of weeks were packed with sporting events in the region, as just after the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, this new and promising gravel event took place. Starting in Megève, France, the course consisted of a total of 234 kilometers and the riders accumulated 8.500 meters of elevation, crossing eight mountain passes on the way. Therefore, the race started as early as 5:00 AM to give the participants a chance to finish before late hours and also to observe the sunrise views from the mountains.

However, the two frontrunners Emeric Turcat and the Swiss mountain bike legend Christoph Sauser were busy with other things than just enjoying the morning views on the route as their fierce duel for the win took place. After 12h15min on the saddle, it was Emeric Turcat, who came on top after distancing Christopher Sauser in the last part of the race and arriving 11 minutes ahead of him. The David Koechli and Nicolas Hartmann duo completed the podium, arriving together just under two hours behind the race winner. A total of 40 riders arrived at the finish of the ultimate race.

Ali Gibb from Wish One Racing was the only woman at the start of the race. She crossed the finish line in Megève after 20 hours and 56 minutes, conquering all the hard climbs on the route. We hope her challenging effort inspires other female riders to compete in future editions of the race.

HALF GTMB, a 140 km version of the race with 5.000 meters of elevation gain was also taking place, starting in Courmayeur, Italy, and from there following the same course to Megève as the full race. The Frenchman Sébastien Jarrot claimed the win with a time of 8 hours and 19 minutes.

After a day full of racing on Saturday, The Gravel Tour du Mont Joly. The 75 km sporting ride with 2500m of elevation gain was a welcoming ride for a wider feminine public offering breathtaking views of Mont Blanc throughout the route.

Text: Pavel Novotný