People from all around the globe flock to the Swiss Alps and the lovely village of Gstaad during the winter months every year for the incredible ski season, but you can enjoy even more fun and excitement during your visit if you arrive in Gstaad for a stay in late January. That’s when the popular Snow Bike Festival is held, and even if you don’t want to be in the race, you may expect an exciting festival atmosphere throughout Gstaad during this time. Read on to learn more about this yearly festival experience, which features the first and only UCI bike race on the snow in the entire world. Those who love the snowy mountains, biking and the opportunity to do something truly unique are sure to want to join this cool race.
About the Gstaad Snow Bike Festival
The 2019 Gstaad Snow Bike Festival has been scheduled to begin on Thursday, Jan. 24, and it will run through Sunday, Jan. 27. This race is open to professional mountain bikers and amateurs, and you’ll have the opportunity to navigate the gorgeous and often challenging snowy trails and slopes situated around Gstaad on either a mountain bike, a fat bike or a plus bike. Many riders choose to switch out for a fresh bike at each stage for a more exciting experience. Please note that UCI rules are in effect for all participants during the MTB stage race, but both UCI and non-UCI riders are welcome to compete in this race.
Those participating in the race will start with a short time trial, and that will be followed by three separate stages. Each stage varies in difficulty and requires a ride of 18 to 21 miles, and you should expect elevation changes of over 3,000 feet at various points. Routes provided for professional mountain bikers are more difficult than those offered to amateur cyclists, and each are judged within their own category with their overall finish time determining their placement in the winner’s circle. Those who do well in the amateur category this year may use this race as a stepping stone for competing as a professional biker in future events. Quality bikes of all approved types will be available for rental during the race.
Any thrill seekers will want to compete in the Eliminator Night Race, which is not part of the UCI stage race. Small groups will hit the trails in the dark of night, and each winner will battle the other winners until only one champion emerges. It’s great fun and comes with bragging rights afterwards at any of the Gstaad bars.
Races for the Kids
On Thursday, any children in attendance may participate in a race of their own. Four separate races are available for those of any age under 10, ages 10 to 13, ages 14 to 15 and ages 16 and up. The trails are age appropriate and suitable for all skill levels, and the top three in each category will receive a medal. Any mountain bike may be used for these races, and one may be rented for those children who did not bring their own.
Numerous vendors will be set up during the Gstaad Snow Bike Festival, and everyone is welcome. There will be booths that showcase the newest bike advancements, and you’ll see the latest mountain bikes, fat bikes and plus bikes that are available on the market. Other booths will showcase exciting winter fashions and accessories, and you’ll have the opportunity to purchase hot cholate and other warm drinks as well as snacks and small meals. Vendors are still in the process of registering, so there is no telling what cool things you may find at this year’s Expo.
Festival Fun in Gstaad
The Snow Bike Festival puts the entire town in the mood for a celebration, so you can count on finding special activities and events throughout the village. All of the bars and restaurants welcome the bikers with open arms, and everyone will be waiting to hear about your adventure on the snowy trails at the end of each day’s racing events.
Plan Your Gstaad Stay Today
Whether you want to participate in the race or just come to town for skiing during the Gstaad Snow Bike Festival, we invite you to book your luxury vacation chalet with us here at Exceptional Stays. At this writing, we still have a few luxury vacation rentals available during the time of this unique festival, and you may expect to enjoy such amenities as an indoor lap pool, a fully equipped exercise room, a home theater and an exciting game room. Our dedicated concierge team is also available to assist you in registering for the big bike race, choosing the perfect bike for each family member and making sure that your Gstaad stay is absolutely perfect from beginning to end.