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.

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