2020 Swiss Epic Recap

2020 Swiss Epic Recap

The Swiss Epic is a demanding 5-day stage race with a truly challenging new route each year. This year the route features 320 kilometers of racing, included 12,250 meters of climbing. It’s a unique test of endurance, resolve and skill with the staggering beauty of the snow-capped skyline set as the perfect backdrop to the physical and mental demands of mountain biking.

Two-person teams of top professionals – among them the world’s best mountain bikers like Nino Schurter (SUI), Lars Forster (SUI), Karl Platt (GER), Annika Langvad (DEN), Alice Pirard (BEL) and Ariane Lüthi (SUI) – and ambitious amateurs alike, face the seemingly endless trails in Laax, Arosa and Davos! Main Photo Copyright Swiss Epic | Photo by Marius Holler

Swiss Epic Stage 1 Recap / Video

Graubünden resident, Nino Schurter and his SCOTT-SRAM teammate Lars Forster rode to a dominant stage victory on the opening stage of the 2020 Swiss Epic. The 60-kilometre route, which started and finished in Laax, provided ample technical trails for the Swiss pair to exert their dominance on. In the women’s race, the Queen of mountain bike stage racing, Annika Langvad once again showed her class as she and Haley Batten stormed to victory on the opening stage of the 2020 Swiss Epic.

Stage 1 opened with a climb that serves as a warm-up for the ascent to the highest point of the stage; at 2.456 metres above sea level. From the summit, a natural trail lead past the spectacular Vorab glacier and on to Tectonic Arena Sardona, a UNCESO World Heritage Site, its legendary Martin’s Hole and the Tschingelhörner range of peaks. The flowing Runcatrail then provided the teams with a sensational descent to the crystal-clear Lake Cresta and the turquoise waters of Lake Cauma. A brief final climb with a thrilling downhill ended the opening stage.

Swiss Epic Stage 2 Recap / Video

Stage 2 of the 2020 Swiss Epic was backloaded with climbing. Today’s route featured 2.600 metres of elevation gain, in the 75 kilometres which separate Laax from Arosa. The day’s beauty offset that challenge, however, as the teams raced along the edge of the Rhine Gorge, Switzerland’s answer to the Grand Canyon. Thereafter the Domleschg Valley and the climb of the Schanfigg valley to Tschiertschen continued to provide breath-taking views. A fast and exciting descent allowed for a white-knuckle run in to Arosa, from the highest point of the stage; Rot Tritt, a 2.007-metre peak just 5 kilometres from the finish.

Annika Langvad (DEN) and Haley Batten (USA) made it two from two on the stage 2 and extended their overall lead! Future Cycling Northwave’s Kristian Hynek (CZE) and Martin Stošek (CZE) claimed their first stage win while Nino Schurter (SUI) and Lars Forster (SUI) kept the lead in the general classification.

Swiss Epic Stage 3 Recap / Video

Stage 3 may be the shortest of the 2020 Swiss Epic, but it definitely is no rest day. It was packed with 1.900m of climbing into its 50km distance and ascends to the highest peak of the race; Gredigs Fürggli, at 2.614 metres above sea level. The route was made up of two loops, the first passing through the Arosa race village and the second ending in Arosa. Other highlights included the unbelievable views over the Älplisee and the Hörnli Trail, one of Europe’s longest purpose-built mountain bike trails.

Nino Schurter (SUI) and Lars Forster (SUI) took their second stage win on Stage 3 of the Swiss Epic 2020! Their nearest rivals Daniel Geismayr (AUT) and Ben Zwiehoff (GER) had to pull out of the race due to a crash today. It is now Nino Schurter (SUI) and Lars Fortster (SUI) leading the men’s GC by 5:55 in front of Fabian Rabensteiner (ITA) and Samuele Porro (ITA) who came in into second. Kristian Hynek (CZE) and Martin Stosek (CZE) manged to cross the finish line in third today which is also their standing in the GC. The women’s race saw Annika Langvad (DEN) and Haley Batten (USA) strike their third consecutive stage win. They’re dominating the women’s field now by 25:44 over Stefanie Dohrn (GER) and Elisabeth Brandau (GER). 

Swiss Epic Stage 4 Recap / Video

Stage 4 lead from Arosa to Davos – Europe’s highest town – and is the Queen Stage of the 2020 Swiss Epic. In total the stage featured 2.700 metres of climbing, but also an exhilarating 2.900 metres of descend. Leaving Arosa, the Hörnli Trail challenged the riders again! Thereafter it was epic climbs followed by scintillating descents all the way to Davos, via the Duranna Pass and Klosters, and the Flüela Trails. Another highlight was the Grüensee with its crystal-clear waters!

After four days of racing in Graubünden all eyes are on the overall standings before going into the penultimate Stage 5 of the race. SCOTT-SRAM’s Nino Schurter (SUI) and Lars Fortser (SUI) lead in front of Trek Pirelli 1’s Fabian Rabensteiner (ITA) and Samuele Porro (ITA) by 9:48min, with Future Cycling Northwave’s Kristian Hynel (CZE) and Martin Stosek (CZE) in third with 11:15min behind. In the women’s race Specialized – Racing’s Annika Langvad (DEN) and Haley Batten (USA) are in a very comfortable lead of 32:32min up on Centurion-Vaude Radon’s Stefanie Dohrn (GER) and Elisabeth Brandau (GER).

Swiss Epic Stage 5 Recap / Video

Nino Schurter and Lars Forster wrapped up the 2020 Swiss Epic title in fine style. The SCOTT-SRAM combination had no need to win the final stage, in Davos, but they did so regardless; ensuring that they put an exclamation point on an emphatic victory.

Annika Langvad transplanted the dominance Epic Series fans have become accustomed to witnessing in the Western Cape to Graubünden. She and Haley Batten put in a perfect performance, for Specialized – Racing, winning all 5 stages and the overall Swiss Epic title.

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