Tuesday, February 4, 2020
17th Glacier Bike Downhill Race in Saas-Fee
March 14th, 2020 is the date. The 17th annual Glacier Downhill Bike Race will be held again in Saas-Fee. This is no usual ride over hill and dale. Rather this race goes over ice and snow down to the glacier village. The riders will start en mass at 3’500m. During the first half of the race, enthralling fights are guaranteed to ensure the lead position. It’s a race without spikes and of high velocity, with riders reaching speeds of 144 km/h.
The mass start is on the Mittelallalin station at an altitude of 3’500m and goes down over the snowy and icy slopes to the glacier village at 1’800m. They will start in different blocks. The starting block allocation is made based on the ranking point of the previous years.
The riders have to manage 1’700 meters of altitude difference and 7 km of distance. First, they ride on a narrow trail along the Fee glacier, which leads them to the panorama hill. For less experienced racers this is a real challenge. The hill is steep and has to be crossed at high speed. On this part of the trail, riders have been measured, per GPS, traveling at speeds of about 144 km/h.
Further down, the ride leads past the restaurant Morenia before entering the Valley run. This is going to be a very exciting part of the race with extremely steep passages, flat transits, and narrow curves, and it is a real assessment of the rider and his material. The last part of the ride, a very flat passage, needs strength to be managed. The outcome of the race is often decided during this section of the course.