If you’re looking for a luxury e-bike sportive in the Alps, you’ll be hard-pressed to do better than the Etape Suisse experience. Spend a few days with the best roads, the best bikes, the best food, the best hotels, and the best company.
Etape Suisse corporate sportives are squarely aimed at cyclists who want to treat themselves to a few days of luxury (and maybe do a bit of networking). Their annual June package sees you stay in 5-star luxury accommodation at the amazing Gstaad Palace Hotel, ride the latest premium Stromer e-bikes (ST2) or BMC pro-bikes if you’re feeling energetic, enjoy Michelin-starred food, and treat yourself to time in the hotel’s spa with it’s many varied facilities.
Best of all, Etape Suisse partners with the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation (led by American former track and field legend Ed Moses), an organisation that uses sport to benefit children across the world by funding community projects and helping individuals achieve real change in their lives. The 2016 trip aimed to raise over £1 million for the charity, and you’ll also be in the presence of a Laureus sporting ambassador such as cricketing icon Michael Vaughan who will happily lend their time to the good cause.
In the winter, Gstaad is a major ski resort and attracts high society (famous residents have included Sir Roger Moore, Madonna, Prince Charles, and Anne Hathaway. For parents and those with good memories, you might like to know that children’s author/illustrator Richard Scarry (Cars and Trucks and Things That Go) had a studio in Gstaad where he drew many of his books.) Window-shopping in Gstaad might be a costly trip, with the likes of Prada, Ralph Lauren, and Cartier dominating.
The Gstaad Palace Hotel opened in 1913, and has remained as a family-run hotel for most of it’s history. The rooms are large, with a walk-in shower and corner bath, sofa, writing desk, and best of all, a balcony over-looking the fantastic Eggli mountain directly opposite.
Regarding the riding around Gstaad, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that the scenery is stunning, with enough alpine passes and descents to thrill you all day long (and on the Stromer of course, the ascents are a breeze and the descents are pulsating). The roads are silky smooth, as if they were tarmaced yesterday. You’ll find it hard to get a puncture here!
You can expect to do 40+ mile rides (no problem for the huge Stromer batteries, the 48-Volt Li-Ion battery contains a whopping 814Wh), and the way the large group is arranged, you can always do more or less. Alpine riding around Gstaad is consistently stunning, and with scenic coffee stops (and High 5 gels and powerbars, of course), gourmet lunches, and full mechanical support at all times, you won’t want the days to end.
Etape Suisse have put together an amazing cycling sportive - an utter treat.
For more information, visit www.etapesuisse.com