Something new for the kids at Raid Evolénard!

In collaboration with the Valais Cycling Federation (FCVs), the organizers of Raid Evolénard have completely revamped the routes for the Raiffeisen Kids Cup. The agenda includes more fun, more spectacle, and races even more tailored to children aged 4 to 14. Let’s hear from Steve Morabito, the initiator of this project!

What was your goal in initiating these modifications to the children’s routes at Raid Evolénard?

We started from the observation that Raid Evolénard is a race well established in the Cross Country Marathon calendar, and every year a significant number of young people participate. Especially during the KIDS COACHING DAY, which takes place the day before the race. The number of young members of Valais clubs continues to increase (767 young people aged 5 to 20), and this youth wants to race. However, we have also noticed that our young people are not adequately prepared for the technically demanding courses of the Swiss Cup races. Hence the idea of ​​working hand in hand between the FCVs and the event organizers to offer intermediate courses and to raise the overall level of the youth. We need to catch up with the German-speaking part of Switzerland and Ticino.

How can you describe in a few words the concept implemented for these races?

Thanks to the wise advice of Amaël Donnet, youth coach at the FCVs, and the valuable collaboration with the organizing committee, we have listed the technical points. Thus, the course of the races has been revised to maximize the enjoyment of the children. The new layout features three technical zones that will delight the younger participants without being too challenging for novice mountain bikers. Safety remains at the heart of the concept.

What awaits the children in the different technical zones?

Except for the Poussins category, where the course will be approximately one kilometer long with no major difficulties, all other categories will start with a 2km “start loop” to stretch out the peloton. Then, the technical loop of around 2.3km will be completed 1, 2, 3, or 4 times depending on the categories and will feature three technical zones, each with its own characteristics:

  • Zone 1: The obstacle course: Located on the grounds of former military barracks, the obstacle course offers small climbs and steep descents, as well as a slalom weaving between trees.
  • Zone 2: The mini-rock garden: Just like on World Cup circuits, a small rock garden will need to be navigated on the banks of the Borgne.
  • Zone 3: All for the show!: Located near the finish line and spectators, this zone offers two options: a small drop or a bypass trail. Which choice will be the fastest?

How can young mountain biking enthusiasts best prepare for these changes?

The KIDS COACHING DAY on Saturday is the ideal preparation. Accompanied by mountain biking experts, each child will be able to familiarize themselves with the different technical zones and benefit from valuable advice. Registrations can be done directly when signing up for the race, but also by filling out the form available on the organizers’ website. On Sunday morning, it will also be possible to ride on the course, and it is advisable to go and explore it to feel ready at the start. The same goes for young participants who attended the Saturday session, as the terrain can always change.

Where should one be on Sunday afternoon to make the most of the spectacle offered?

The start-finish area is the ideal place to enjoy the spectacle since technical zone #3 is also present there and the children will pass through the arena at each lap. Therefore, the stands of the Hérens Arena will be clearly the best place to be at the heart of the event. As a second choice, technical zone #2 will also be interesting to watch.


Spotlight on the 2024 edition of the Raid Evolénard FMV

The Evolénard Raid will take place this year on June 9th, a week earlier than usual. Like in 2023, the race will kick off the Bike Marathon Classics with routes of 24km, 35km, and 62km, as well as an e-bike competition! The race will be preceded on Saturday by the traditional Kids Coaching Day presented by Bons Sirops Morand, which will offer children the opportunity to improve their technique alongside champions!

By advancing the event by a week, the organizers of the Evolénard Raid primarily aim to avoid the third weekend of June, which over the years has become very busy with popular races in French-speaking Switzerland. This change should allow for a higher number of popular runners at the starting line, as they will have numerous options available. Firstly, there’s the Valdor course, accessible to all with its 24km distance and 800m elevation gain, providing a wonderful opportunity for beginners to test themselves in competition. Runners who don’t feel ready for this challenge will have a second option available with the e-bike race, covering 27km with a 1200m ascent.

The 35km route is the most popular race among West Bike Cup enthusiasts, which this year welcomes a new race with the introduction of the Open Bike! Therefore, West Bike Cup passports, available from March 5th, will be even more attractive!

The flagship category of the Evolénard Raid remains the marathon course of 62km, which will kick off the Bike Marathon Classics, a series of five races serving as the Swiss cup of the discipline. All routes share magnificent sections of single trails with breathtaking views of some of the most beautiful 4,000-meter peaks in the Alps.

Records to be beaten

Missed by 57 seconds of a record now worth 4000.-, Martin Fanger will be at the starting line again: “As long as I run, I will have this record in the back of my mind.” And he won’t be alone, as the triple winner of the event Urs Huber will also take up the same challenge, as well as Belgian champion Frans Claes who finished second in 2023. Among the women, Team Raid Evolénard’s runner Stefanie Zahno, coming off a magnificent 2023 season, hopes to shine on her home turf! However, she will face strong competition, especially from German champion Tanja Priller, and Swiss champion Irina Luetzelschwab, both of whom have already confirmed their presence.

A gesture for the environment

The organizers will make an effort this year to improve the environmental impact of the race. The main changes will be seen in the refreshment areas, where the main change will be the absence of water bottles and cups. Like in trail races and an increasing number of mountain bike races, runners will now have to take a few seconds to fill their own water bottles.

Something new for the kids.

The organizers of the Evolénard Raid will intensify collaboration with the Valais Cycling Federation with the aim of improving the organization of the Kids Coaching Day presented by Les Bons Sirops Morand on the eve of the race. The expertise of the federation’s instructors and the facilities provided will allow for activities that are better suited to the younger participants. As part of this collaboration, the organizers of the Evolénard Raid will also improve the courses of the Raiffeisen Kids Cup to make them more suitable for the younger generation. More technical sections will therefore be included in various parts of the courses, making the kids’ races even more spectacular.

Online registrations are open until June 5th. Participants who register before March 30th will receive a discount. Registrations will still be possible on-site on the day of the race, but without a souvenir prize!


Review of Stefanie Zahno’s fantastic season

If an XCM racer deserves the title of revelation of the year 2023, it is indeed Stefanie Zahno. With victories in the Bergibike, la Forestière, the Grand Raid BCVs from Nendaz, and a title of Swiss vice-champion in marathon mountain biking, the rider from Team Rodeo Bike – Raid Evolénard has clearly reached a new level in the past season. She intends to capitalize on her excellent results and aims to confirm her performance in 2024. Interview:

You achieved an exceptional season in 2023 with several victories at the highest level. With a bit of hindsight, how do you explain this progression compared to previous years

The 2023 season was undoubtedly exceptional and very impressive, full of different achievements. It started in July with my first national victory and ended in September with my first international win :). The most significant change and probably the decisive factor for these successes was, in my opinion, the change of coach and, therefore, a more professional training structure. This allowed me to improve in several areas.

Parmi tous ces beaux résultats, est-ce qu’il y a un qui est particulièrement important pour toi, où tu as réalisé que tu peux rivaliser avec les meilleures?  On pense par exemple à la Forestière, où tu es restée longtemps dans la roue de la vice championne d’Europe Estelle Morel, avant de la dépasser dans la dernière partie de la course?

Among all these great results, is there one that is particularly important to you, where you realized that you can compete with the best? For example, in La Forestière, where you stayed in the wheel of the vice European champion Estelle Morel for a long time before overtaking her in the final part of the race?

A season like that must make it not too difficult to stay motivated for the next one. How have you planned your preparation for 2024, and where do you see potential for further improvement?

The motivation is definitely there :). I will head to South Africa again at the end of January, where I will participate in a stage race. I plan to continue training hard to improve overall and keep getting closer to the global elite.

n recent years, you have always raced within a small individual structure, notably under the colors of Raid Evolénard. Does this approach still suit you, or are you considering changing your strategy?

I like the individual structure, but I would like to find new sponsors or increase my sponsorship because I am now practicing mountain biking at a semi-professional level.

There were also a few disappointments in 2023, especially with narrowly missing out on the overall classification in the Bike Marathon Classics. Will winning this series be an important goal for you this year? In a more general sense, what will be your priorities in 2024?

The overall classification has never been a goal for me. It’s true that it was very close between Alexandra Zürcher and me for the final victory. So, the second national place is not a disappointment for me. My races in 2024 will continue to be a mix of races in Switzerland and abroad.

With the World Championships in Valais on the horizon, I imagine it gives you an extra dose of motivation to participate in such an event at home. Are you already planning the 2024 season with this in mind?

I am looking forward to having a big long-term goal with the World Championships in Valais. This event is, of course, always in my mind, but it will not have a direct influence on my 2024 season. However, I imagine that I still need to improve over such a long distance because even in 2025, I will still be relatively young on a course like Verbier-Grimentz, which is over 120 km with more than 5000 m of elevation gain.

Of course, you will be at the start of the Raid Evolénard again on June 9th. Can you tell us a bit more about your previous experiences in this race and what goals you have for participating this time?

I have been participating in the Raid Evolénard since I was very young, where I admired the greats, for example, at the CS in 2016. I first did the children’s course, then 24 km, then 32 km, and now I have tackled the long course four times, including once during the European Championships. I have a personal connection with this race. In 2023, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with my performance because I didn’t improve my time. However, with a bit of hindsight, I believe it was necessary to be able to win the Bergibike two weeks later when all the pieces of the puzzle came together!

Bike Marathon Classics-Auftakt am Raid Evolenard, am Sonntag. 18. Juni 2023 in Evolene.
Foto Martin Platter

Double win for Team Papival Scott BCVs at Raid Evolénard

Despite stiff competition, Team Papival completes the Raid Evolenard double. In the men’s category, last year’s winner, Martin Fanger, won the Raid Evolenard FMV for the second time after a fierce duel with Belgian champion Frans Claes, who finished second. Marc Stutzmann came third. In the women’s race, France’s Estelle Morel, runner-up at the European Championships, won ahead of Germany’s Bettina Janas, winner of the Swiss Epic, and Alexandra Zürcher.

Shortly after the start, a trio of favorites Martin Fanger, Frans Claes and Marc Stutzmann managed to break away and gradually increase their lead over the rest of the field. Whereas in the second loop, Stutzmann had to let his two rivals go on the climb to La Forclaz, Belgian champion Claes chose to pick up the pace in the final kilometers of the last climb to Béplan, and managed to open up a gap on Fanger at the highest point. The Belgian champion was determined to beat the course record set by Johann Tschopp in 2015: 3h10’20”.

Franz Cleas was able to drop Martin Fanger on the final climb before being caught again on the descent. Foto Martin Platter

But Martin Fanger was not to be counted out. Thanks to a more direct line choice and increased risk-taking on the final descent, Fanger managed to catch up and overtake Claes to win the Raid Evolenard FMV for the second time. However, he missed the course record by one minute. “Frans was very strong today and even managed to pull slightly ahead of me on the climb. On the other hand, I had the fastest line on the downhill,” Fanger summed up. Claes was less happy: “I had great legs and lost the race on the downhill. I’m a bit upset about that”. Marc Stutzmann lacked strength on the second half of the course: “At first, I was feeling good. But then, for some inexplicable reason, I couldn’t keep up with my two companions. But I was still able to secure third place at the finish”, Stutzmann summed up.

Bettina Janas was the only one to keep pace with Morel on the first climb. Photo Martin Platter

In the women’s race, Estelle Morel was the favorite. In place of Irina Lützelschwab, who withdrew, Bettina Janas kept pace with Morel for some time. At the first climax on L`Etoile, Morel was already alone in the lead with a 90-second advantage. By the finish line, the gap had grown to over six minutes. Morel was satisfied: “After the good result at the EC, I expected to win here”. For her part, Bettina Janas declared: “I certainly know the course, having ridden it before. But it’s still surprisingly hard every time – even though I like it when the climbs are steep and the descents technical. My ambition was to stay with Estelle as long as possible and then ride at my own pace. It worked out pretty well. Alexandra Zürcher was the third fastest woman to cross the finish line in the Evolene Arena.

The new leaders of the Bike Marathon Classics , Sunday. Photo Martin Platter

Stéphane Chevrier, co-chairman of the organizing committee, also drew a positive conclusion: “With almost 650 participants over the weekend and a high level of participation on the marathon course, the race continues to gain in appeal. The Swiss championships coming up next year will enable us to build on this momentum. And the feedback from the public was also very positive, which makes us very happy”.


New challenges for Ariane Lüthi!

Due to health problems, Ariane Lüthi recently put an end to her career. The marathon specialist, who boasts one of the best records in the world, talks to us about her career and her new projects, just a few days before the Raid Evolénard, where she will be coaching the next generation of runners on June 17 and attending the adult race on June 18.

You just end up your career after a couple of difficult months where you were fighting with health issues. Can you tell us a bit more about what happened and how you came up to this decision?

After I had contracted the Covid virus during the 2022 Cape Epic I never felt that I fully recovered and struggled with Chronic Fatigue ever since. I had trouble sleeping, was a lot more tired than usual and whenever I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, I had a hangover feeling for several days. I used to train close to 20 hours a week but since June last year I could hardly get to 5 hours of very easy riding. Many weeks I didn’t ride at all, because I felt too tired or because I was sick again. In December I went on training camp to Spain where I was hoping to build up some fitness, instead I got a very bad tooth infection and was lying in bed for a week. My immune system was just not strong enough to handle any stress. After that I had to admit that I won’t be able to get back into racing shape for summer 2023. At the same time I was pretty busy with our Pump for Peace Racing Team that I founded together with Claudio Caluori in 2022. I felt that it was much more important to put my energy into this project which I feel very passionate about and help these riders that have a much longer career still ahead of them than trying to get back into shape myself to perhaps win another race. Now that I am still not fully recovered and still terribly unfit, although I made an effort to very slowly build up my fitness, I know that ending my career was a very hard but right decision. 

You have one of the most impressive track record in cross country marathon, with a record wins at the the Cape Epic, medals at the European and World championships and many Swiss titles. What are the successes you are the most proud of?

The bronze medal at the 2020 Marathon World Championship in Turkey definitely stands out for me. I was in the shape of my life and never believed as much in me as there. Winning a medal at Worlds was a goal I had worked for for 10 years and finally all the pieces fell in place, the feeling of that is just indescribable. 

Apart of the race results I am mostly proud of the development I have gone through on a mental level over the 12 years I raced professionally. I used to be incredibly nervous before each race and was fighting mostly against myself rather than the competition. The night before my first Cape Epic in 2011, I didn’t sleep at all because I was vomiting all night – due to stress, not a tummy bug. I used to be a mess leading up to this race and the World Championship every year. I’m happy to have grown in that aspect and that I managed to race my last years with much more joy and not in fear anymore. 

Another thing I’m looking back at with a smile is the advancements in striving for more equality and fairness in marathon racing which I was a part of. Together with the Cyclists Alliance, a rider union for professional female cyclists, we pushed for a separate start for women in marathon events and a non-drafting rule between categories. The separate start is now in the UCI regulations. The non-drafting rule isn’t there yet, but the new UCI XCM World Cup doesn’t allow drafting between men and women anymore which is a great success for fairer racing in my view.

You will be still active in the mountain bike world as part of the management of the team Pump for Peace. What is the concept behind this team and what is your role in this venture ?

Pump for Peace is a Non-Profit-Organisation initiated by the pump track building business Velosolutions which aims to make cycling more accessible for everyone around the globe by building pump tracks in underprivileged communities. Together with founder of Pump for Peace and Velosolutions and former DH pro, Claudio Caluori, we formed the team in 2022 to support Iranian female mountain biker Faranak Partoazar so she can participate at the XCO World Cups and has a chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics. Claudio has already envisioned to one day form a Pump for Peace team to support riders from difficult backgrounds for a long time and when I called him to help Faranak he immediately said yes. We added Tumelo Makae from Lesotho, who basically grew up next to Pump for Peace’s first pump track in Roma, to the team to have enough UCI points and riders to make it a UCI registered MTB team. For 2023 we managed to acquire more sponsors which allowed us to add young South African talent, Unathi Nxumalo who grew up in a township in South Africa. Together with Andrea Raemy who used to work for Pump for Peace in its first years, I am now managing the team. I obviously try to pass on my experience as a former professional to the riders, but each rider still has their own personal coach. While Andrea is very busy sorting out visas, a huge hassle for our riders, and is booking all the flights and accommodation, I am responsible for the equipment of the riders and thus work closely with our sponsors. The most exciting part is supporting them at the races however. I feel extremely privileged to work with these talented, but very humble and grateful athletes who are leaders of the sport in their communities and inspire the next generation to dream bigger and lead a healthy lifestyle. As a team we aspire to help make the sport more colourful. To achieve a more diverse sport we support our riders to become role models and together we break down barriers not only for them but also for those who will to follow their path. 

On the 17th of June you will again be present in Evolène to inspire the future riders during our traditional Kids Coaching Day. What motivates you to be part of this activity?

Firstly, I think it’s a really great initiative of you, the organisers, to bring the (former) pros and potentially the future riders together which I very happily support. I used to teach kids swimming for many years to finance my studies as a sports student. I’m definitely still a better swimming teacher than mountain bike coach but I look forward to hopefully show the kids how fun it is to ride a bike off-road. 

Foto Martin Platter

5.      On the 18th of June you will follow the women race on your e-bike and make live video to allow MTB enthusiasts to live the Raid Evolénard from the inside. With a strong field, it’s possible that the time established by Esther Süss in 2015 will finally be beaten. What do you think about this new generation of riders and do you already have a prognostic based on the riders who are already registered and the profile of the race?

It’s very nice to see so many strong women from many different countries lining up in Evolène. It’s going to be a very exciting race to follow. The new generation has started this sport mostly from a younger age than I or Esther have and are therefore more skilled. I’m happy to see the women’s field growing but it should be growing faster in my opinion. There is still too few opportunities for women to race marathon professionally. But I hope that the new UCI World Series which XCM is a part of, will lead to more investment into the discipline.

From a Swiss perspective Janina Wüst and Irina Lützelschwab are very capable of winning the race, but Estelle Morel from France who has won the Grand Raid before and Bettina Janas from Germany who’s a Swiss Epic Champion are very strong climbers too and will give them a good run for the money. And not to forget Greete Steinberg from Estonia who has won in Evolène before. 


Register by June 5 for your chance to win great prizes!

The Raid Evolènard FMV is only three weeks away! So the time has come to register, and the race committee is giving you an extra incentive to do so quickly! In fact, by registering between now and May 31, you’ll automatically be entered in our draw to win great prizes donated by our partners:

1st prize: Raid Evolénard mountain bike equipment iNOW

The Raid Evolénard FMV has just redesigned its equipment in partnership with iNOW. With this quality equipment, you’ll definitely be part of the Raid Evolénard family, and will be able to show your attachment to this race!

2nd prize: A cryotherapy voucher from Aneo Cyro Lounge

A DUO discovery session, which will introduce you to this new recovery technology, including a health check and a welcome gift!

3rd prize: A half raclette cheese from Valdor

The Raid Evolénard finishes at the Hérens Arena, home of the Hérens breed and its famous raclette cheeses, a symbol of conviviality. With this prize, you’ll be able to celebrate after the race with your training partners!


European vice-champion Janina Wüst at Raid Evolénard

After several years on the cross-country circuit, Janina Wüst decided to change her discipline to focus on the marathon. And the least we can say is that this change was successful. A few months after her debut in the discipline, she won the title of European vice-champion in marathon mountain biking. For her second season on the circuit she is part of the Buff Megamo team, one of the most competitive teams in this discipline in which she will be able to continue her progression! We will find her this year on the international circuit, but also at the Raid Evolénard. Meet :

You only started running marathons last year. Can you tell us a little more about your background and what attracted you to this discipline?

I have been racing since 2013, but for a long time I was only focused on cross country. At the end of 2021, I realized that I needed a change and a new challenge. I participated in a few marathons and, to everyone’s surprise, I was able to qualify for the world championships. For the 2022 season, I then switched completely to the marathon distance. A decision I have not regretted for a second.
Long distances fascinate me a lot. You have to make a maximum effort for several hours or, in the case of stage races, for several days, and remain totally focused. I like the alternation between long, hard climbs and technical descents.

In your first season, you achieved a great performance by becoming European vice-champion. Did you expect such a performance and can you explain us a bit more precisely how the race went?

Before the season started, I certainly didn’t expect to be ranked so high internationally and to win a European medal. But at the beginning of the season, I noticed that I had progressed well during the winter. From the very first race, I always had the European Championships in mind and dreamed of a medal. But the fact that I was actually on the podium was really cool. The EC race went very well for me. I was in the lead group from the beginning. In the middle of the race, I lost contact with the eventual winner due to a small riding error and was on my own for the rest of the course. The finish and the medal ceremony were very beautiful and full of emotion. I will never forget it.

Since the beginning of the season you have been part of the Buff Megamo team, one of the most prominent teams on the MTB marathon circuit. How did this opportunity come about and how did you integrate yourself into the team?

When I received the offer from Buff-Megamo, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It is a great privilege for me to race for one of the best marathon mountain bike teams. The team works very professionally, we have nice sponsors and we can ride with great material and equipment. I have been very welcome in the team, we get along very well with each other and it is always fun with the staff and my teammates. Only my Spanish and Catalan I still have to work a lot ;-).

With a third place in the Andalusia Bike Race with your new partner Txell Figueras, the season has started well for you. How did this race go for you?

The Andalucía Bike Race was already my third race of the season. The season has started very well for me and I am satisfied with my form for this time of the year. Last week I participated in my first race with Txell and we won the first stage of the Andaluía Bike Race. The teamwork and communication worked great and we were able to complement each other as a team. We fought day after day and managed to get on the podium in every stage. We are very happy with the way our first race went together.

Despite this good result, you are not present at the Cape Epic which is taking place at the moment. What are your goals for the rest of the season?

Txell and I are indeed not at the Cape Epic this year but we are keeping our fingers crossed for both of our teams from home.
This season, I’m focusing more on the one-day races. The most important races are the marathon world cups, the world, European and Swiss championships. I want to be at the start of these races in top shape.
My next race will be the Volcat Igulada. This race takes place practically in front of the door of our main sponsor BUFF.

On June 18, you will participate in the Raid Evolénard, a race you have never participated in before. With 2600 m of difference in altitude over 62 km, the race is rather short, but intense. Is this the kind of course that suits you well?

I am very happy to be at the start of the Raid Evolénard for the first time and I am curious to see what awaits me. But I’ve already heard a few runners say that the race is very tough with a lot of steep hills. Personally, I like climbs and races that are really selective and require you to push yourself physically and mentally to the limit. I am really looking forward to the Raid Evolénard.


Konny Looser, a Swiss Champion ready to conquer the United States

After securing a second title of Swiss champion in 2022, Konny Looser needed a new source of motivation for 2023. His selection to race the “Lifetime Grand Prix Series”, a highly prestigious series of races in the US was exactly what he was looking for. As a consequence, we won’t see often the Swiss jerey on the starting line of a race in Switzerland this year. The Raid Evolénard will be one of the few stops Looser will make in his home contry.

Last year you managed to secure a second Swiss champion title. For someone who is engaged in so many races around the world, and spend so much time outside Switzerland, how important was it to win the Swiss jersey.

For me, winning the Swiss champs was always the major goal of the last year because I knew I can win it on the BergiBike route if I am in top form. At the race day, I was so convinced that I am going to win it, that it was almost no surprise and I only realized on how much it meant to me afterwards. Also the way I won it was special because it was a super close sprint but I never gave up until the final cm! The level in the marathon sport in Switzerland has increased every year and wearing the jersey around the world is very special. Wearing the national champion jersey has worldwide the same honor and everyone knows that one has achieved something big. There were races where I had to fight harder but the reward was much less. Also many organizer are happy to invite the national champion which is an extra benefit.

In 2022 you had again an extremely busy season, racing during 11 out of 12 months all over the world. What were the best moments of this year and what is your overall assessment?

The season has started with a huge disappointment as I have missed the first big goal (Cape Epic) due to Covid. But after that, I could fight my way back and the first big highlight was winning the Titan Desert in Marocco for the second time. This was very special and afterwards there was the next big highlight with the Swiss title but also my 5th victory in a row at the Salzkammergut Trophy. I could also round it off with another big win at Wines2Whales in South Africa so the overall assessment was very good. But there were also some disappointments like Swiss Epic and World Champs where I know I could and also should have done better. 

This year you will be riding mostly in the US to take part to the «Lifetime Grand Prix Serie». Can you tell us more about this race and what it means for you? 

The Lifetime Grand Prix Series is a new series and there are 7 major races involved around the USA. It’s a mix of gravel and mtb marathon races and there were only 35 men and 35 women worldwide allowed to race for the series titel. So it is very special and a big honor that I got selected and I am super excited to have received this opportunity! There are also the two biggest and well-known races in the USA (Unbound gravel & Leadville Trail100) involved, two races I wanted to compete already for a long time! 

This also means that you won’t be able to race a lot in your home country and the Raid Evolénard will be one of the few races you will do in Switzerland. What do you like about the race and what convinced you to come? 

Yes indeed, this year I won’t race often in Switzerland, but you know I have done most of the races many times and I am looking for some new challenges to keep the motivation high. The Raid Evolénard fits very good in my racing calendar this year so although I struggled with the race in the past, I would like to give it another try!

Das Raid Evolenard will again be the host of the Swiss Championships next year. Winning a third title will be one of your goals in 2024?

I don’t look so far ahead anymore as I have already a long career behind me and there are many uncertain points regarding my future. I will fully focus on this years season and after that, I will look ahead. But to do the race this year will be a benefit for next year, although I will miss the Swiss Champs this year in Grindelwald.

You just switched from Stoll to Rose. Can you tell us more about how this opportunity came and what do you think about this brand after riding on it for a few weeks? 

I have been racing as a private rider in the last two years now and it was a great partnership with Stoll bikes. But for the future and also the gravel races in the USA, I needed some different support and with Rose bikes, I could find the perfect match for my projects and also my philosophy. The first contact came in Namibia as they have made their pictures for the new website in one of my favorite areas. I have been riding the bike now for a few weeks and I am super happy about it!  


Registrations are open for the 2023 edition of the Raid Evolénard FMV

The Raid Evolénard continues its momentum and will again be part of both the West Bike Cup and the Bike Marathon Classics in 2023. The “Team” category, inaugurated in 2022, will be back on the program, as well as a new e-bike category, which will give the possibility to a new public to discover the joys of the Raid Evolénard! The race will be preceded on Saturday by the now traditional Kids Coaching Day, which has been a growing success for several years!

2023 will be a transition year for the organizers of the Raid Evolénard FMV before hosting the Swiss MTB marathon championships again in 2024. The main novelty this year will be the opening of an e-bike category. With this category, the organizers are responding to a demand that has become increasingly pressing in recent years, from a number of electric mountain bike enthusiasts that is growing steadily. However, there was no question for the organizers to set up an e-bike race at the expense of the participants of the traditional Raid Evolénard race. The organizers have therefore set up a new course that takes up most of the second loop of the Raid Evolénard. As the e-bike runners will start immediately after the marathon runners, the interference on the course will be reduced to a minimum.

Kids coaching day to open the weekend!

For the rest, the organizers are betting this year on continuity, and are taking up all the elements that have made the Raid Evolénard a success in recent years, starting with the Kids Coaching Day on the eve of the race, always supported by “Les Bons Sirops Morand”. With nearly 80 participants last year who were able to benefit from the advice of professionals such as Christoph Sauser, Steve Morabito and Arnaud Rapillard, it was a great success, and you should not miss the registration deadline to participate in this activity in 2024!

On Sunday, the usual races will again be on the program, with notably the 24km for the popular, the 35km for the more seasoned, and the marathon course for the best trained! The Team category will again allow runners who are a little less well prepared to run the entire course, but in pairs!

The 35km and 62km courses will count as every year for the West Bike Cup. This will already be the sixth stage of the French speaking series, so the riders at the start will already have many races in their legs!

Opening of the Bike Marathon Classics

In the Bike Marathon Classics, the Ortler bike has been replaced by the Summer Bike in Château d’Oex. It is therefore the Raid Evolénard that will have the honor to open the series on June 18th! In the absence of Urs Huber, who has already announced his absence after having participated eight years in a row in the Raid Evolénard, many contenders will be at the start to succeed Martin Fanger and Carmen Zaugg in the prize list, and at the same time wear the leader jersey of the series!

Free races for kids

The children will be able to compete on courses adapted to their level within the framework of the Raiffeisen Kids Cup. With the exception of the cadets, who will start from Evolène, all the children’s starts will be given at the Hérens Arena in Les Haudères, where the finish of all categories will also be played. As always for the last 26 years, the registrations for young people up to 16 years old will be free of charge, the promotion of the sport among the youth being one of the priority objectives of the organizers!

Online registration is open until June 15. Participants who register before March 30 will receive a discount. On-site registration will still be available on race day, but without souvenir prizes!


Raid Evolénard – FMV in the circle of the big ones

The Raid Evolénard won the Valais hydroelectric power plant operator “Les forces Motrices Valaisannes (FMV)” as a new main sponsor and will be called “Raid Evolénard – FMV” in the future. The organizers of the 2021 European Marathon Championships will also be part of the national Bike Marathon Classics race series and will remain part of the Garmin Bike Cup. The next staging of the Raid Evolenard will take place on June 19 in Evolène.

One year after the European Bike Marathon Championships, the organizers of the Raid Evolénard want to continue to offer attractive, high-quality mountain bike races for amateur and elite athletes. With the new title sponsor FMV, the OC team has found the ideal partner for the future.

“As organizers of the Raid Evolénard, we have been able to count on the support of FMV for a decade now. We have now been able to expand this fruitful partnership, which makes us very happy. After all, our organizations stand for the same values such as environmental protection and sustainability. The partnership allows us to continue and develop the race,” explains Stéphane Chevrier, new Co-President of Raid Evolénard – FMV.
Jérôme Bonvin, member of the management of FMV, emphasizes: “If we are guided by our own values, we are ready to make a long-term commitment. We have been supporting the Raid Evolénard for 10 years, and we are impressed every year by their professionalism. The will of the organizers has convinced us not only to grow this event on a sporting level, but also to put it at the service of the development of an entire region. This includes the promotion of a mobility that preserves resources, especially a practice of e-bike sport that is compatible with nature.”

Second stage of the Bike Marathon Classics

The entry into the Bike Marathon Classics, the reference series of the Swiss Bike Marathon sport, will also make the Raid Evolénard better known in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, where four of the six races will be held. Among the best marathon bikers in the country, the Raid Evolénard has already made a name for itself as the organizer of the 2021 European Championships, as well as the 2015 and 2016 Swiss Championships. Numerous bike marathon top riders praised the challenging and panoramic royal route, which leads over 62 kilometers and 2660 meters of altitude.
However, the organizers will also duly celebrate the athletes of the shorter distances. The race is still part of the Garmin Bike Cup.

Hobby athletes can continue to enjoy a more leisurely and sociable race format on the Valdor 24 km course.
In addition, there is a new team race. Here, two riders share the royal course. The highlight will be the final descent on a new section, which was raced for the first time at last year’s European Championships and is now part of the official course.

Children’s races still free of charge

Children can compete on various age-appropriate courses according to their level as part of the Raiffeisen Kids Cup. While the “cadets” start from Evolène, all other children begin their stint in the crowd-pleasing Hérens Arena in Les Haudères, where the finish of all other races is also located. Registration for children up to 15 years of age remains free of charge – and has been for 25 years! This shows the premise of the organizers, whose primary goal is to promote youth sports.

Online registrations are open until June 15. Participants who register by March 30 will benefit from a discount!