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Published: 19. February 2018 - Source: BERGKÖNIG Gstaad

The world’s most challenging vintage cycling event

After a successful première last year, the second BERGKÖNIG Gstaad will take place on August 25-26, 2018. The interest we have seen in the Swiss Vintage Cycling Festival is truly remarkable. Half the available entries for the 2018 edition have gone already. Multiple World Champions Urs Freuler and Albert Zweifel are confirmed to ride this year, following the attendance last year of Urs Freuler and Gilbert Glaus. BERGKÖNIG’s formula for success consists of small, demanding mountain roads with lots of climbing, breathtaking alpine panoramas, delightful local food along the parcours and a base in the legendary chic of Swiss alp village Gstaad.

Vintage Cycling is booming. After the longstanding monopoly of Eroica, new events are springing up all over the world. Until the BERGKÖNIG Gstaad, no one had taken vintage cycling into the truly high mountains. The organisers didn’t know if it would work, especially given the dynamite-leg gearing of many classic bikes, some boasting a lowest ratio of 42 x 22. But 2017 was a resounding success, based on the simple formula of narrow mountain roads mixed up with holes, cowpats and gravel sections, to give a real taste of the glory days of cycling and a serious sporting challenge. The ‘Big Round’ consists of 102kms and 2,400 metres of climbing. Around it are gentler routes permitting a friendlier aspect and the inclusion of otherwise fragile bicycles.

One of the highlights of the cycling festival happens on the Saturday evening: a short sprint from Gstaad’s pedestrian area to the somewhat higher-up world famous Gstaad Palace Hotel, followed by a welcome aperitif reception for all participants.

Eligible for BERGKÖNIG Gstaad are classic bicycles older than 1990 with traditional downtube shifters, to be ridden in period clothing (wool jerseys, leather shoes). Bicycles will be judged by a competent jury, and trophies awarded for 12 categories. The registration fee for BERGKÖNIG Gstaad is 130 CHF, (approximately £100/ €110) which includes the welcome aperitif at Gstaad Palace, all catering along the routes and a raclette party after the arrival, plus a memorial medal. Registration at the standard rate continues until May 31st, 2018, but participants are urged not to wait too long. Entries are strictly limited to 500 and last year was oversubscribed. First come, first serve.

January 19, 2018 - Media Contacts:
UK media contact: Richard Lofthouse +44 7790 902982
Organiser: Alex Beeler +41 79 217 62 04