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Podium places at the 30th edition of the Grand Raid

Florence Darbellay, winner of the compeition over the full distance of the Grand Raid-BCVS in 2017, won this year another first place in the half-distance event. Except for the short distance Evolène-Grimetz she now has won the races of every distance.  
   She may participate in this race next year just to make the score complete. But a new challenge may come up, an extension of the classic distance of Verbier-Grimetz to Zermatt. No need to win that one, surviving it would already be a top achievement.        (Click on pictures to enlarge)

Second, yet virtually first:  Chris Wegelin has participated in the Grand Raid over different distances in the past. First participation was after buying his first mountain bike at age of sixty-five, second time at age of seventy and this year after having passed the three-quarter century mark.  
   He heard that there is an e-bike category. After having crossed Switzerland East to West on an e-MTB, participation promised to be fun.  And it was ! To his surprise he came in second in the overall ranking and this despite having been sent onto a wrong trail in the mid-section making him loose first place he held till then. This veteran athlete says that, like in ski mountaineering races, not only going up counts but being fast on technical sections and downhill can make the difference. This is especially true at the Grand Raid as, except for downhill, the bikes are electronically limited to 25 km/h.
   He was the oldest of the usually 3000 participants. As SCSC board member, he had CHIROSPORT posted on his bike ;-)  Click on picture to enlarge.

Congratulations to both for their achievement !

The Grand Raid BCVS has staged this year the 30th edition. While the full distance remained the same, three shorter distances using the same track, were introduced over the years. While dandem bikes have their own category already for quite some years, an e-mountain bike category was introduced two years ago. It is a new biking discipline that is growing fast. The Grand Raid is a race in the category of CCM (Cross Country Marathon) which is part of the UCI and Swiss Cycling.

The racing day was blessed with the best conditions that could be hoped for. The sun was out, temperatures were just perfect, the tracks were dry ... this 30th edition went down into history as a perfect racing day.

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