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Suisse Gravel Explorer
Disentis, SwitzerlandDisentis, Switzerland
Thu 16th September 2021 - Mon 20th September 2021
With vaccines being rolled out around the globe we’re confident that travel and events can resume in a more normal fashion from the Spring.
However there are individual scenarios related to COVID-19 that may affect your ability to attend an event. This coupled with the reality of constantly changing guidance from different countries, and the fact that our participants travel from around the world, means it is impossible for us to have a rule for every possible situation.
Our COVID-Guarantee is designed to be as fair as possible to everyone, while also allowing us to operate our events with some certainty. Therefore, if because of individual circumstances (i.e. not something that affects the entire event) you are unable to take part you will need to contact us and provide us with the relevant evidence (e.g. Tests results, proof of contact from track and trace etc) which we will review on a case by case basis. This proof will need to be covering the mandated self-isolation or quarantine periods that are relevant to your circumstances.
Below are some of the answers (as best as we can currently give) to common questions you may have
What happens if there is a local lockdown that affects me travelling to the event?
If the area/country where you live is under a local lockdown, we would expect you to follow the guidelines from the relevant authorities. If these guidelines include advice not to travel to another area or country, which makes your attendance impossible we will review with the intention to transfer your entry as a credit to another Hotchillee event in 2021 or 2022.
What happens if I test positive or I am forced to self-isolate ?
If you test positive for COVID-19, or are forced to self-isolate within 10 days of the start of the event you will need to email us at [email protected] with evidence. We will review with the intention to transfer your entry as a credit to another Hotchillee event in 2021 or 2022.
What happens to the travel I have booked for an event if I can’t make it or the event is cancelled due to COVID-19?
Unfortunately travel is not covered by us. We encourage everyone to take out appropriate travel insurance which includes COVID-19 cover.
What happens if the whole event is cancelled due to COVID-19?
If Hotchillee is forced to postpone a Multi-Day Event in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic you’ll automatically be transferred to the new date. If you’re not able to make the new date you’ll be able to use your entry, including any optional extras, as a credit against another Hotchillee Multi-Day Event in 2021 or 2022. If this credit is not used by 31 July 2022 you’ll be entitled to a cash refund.
After exploring the tranquil scenery you’ll return to your accommodation where you’ll hand your bike to our trusted mechanic, and the sports therapists will be waiting.
All riders have single occupancy rooms with plenty of time to relax before sampling the exquisite local cuisine in the evenings. Places will be limited to 30 riders, supported en route by a local guide and our experienced Hotchillee Ride Captains.
4 nights accommodation in a single occupancy room
All meals (from Thursday dinner to Monday breakfast)
Baggage and bike box forwarding from Disentis to Ilanz
Dedicated mechanic and technical support
HotChillee Ride Captain support
Massage therapists at event hotels
Digital photo coverage
Hotchillee Free Membership including access to the private event channel in the Hotchillee App. Here you will be able to chat directly to the Hotchillee team as well as your fellow riders as we prepare for the event together.
What’s not included;
Alcohol and soft drinks
Airport Transfers (A Hotchillee representative will meet you at the airport and guide you to the relevant train).
Disentis Monestary, Switzerland
Itinerary & Stages
16 SEP - Arrival
The nearest and recommended airport is Zurich where you will be met by the Hotchillee team to direct you to the train. We suggest taking a train from Zurich to Disentis (2hr 30mins) which run regularly, passing through beautiful scenery including Lake Zurich. Once in Disentis it’s a short walk to the hotel where a Hotchillee mechanic will be on hand to help you build your bike and the team will be waiting. There will be a Welcome Dinner and Rider Briefing in the hotel in the evening where you can meet your fellow riders, sample the local cuisine and we’ll run through the next few days.
17 SEP - Stage 1
Staying at an 8th century monastery, whether you choose to really get in touch with your inner Benedictine monk and be up in time for matins or just about make the ride briefing, is up to you! You’ll be climbing on gravel pretty much from the gun today and, after reaching close to 2000m and the source of the Anterior Rhine, are rewarded by a blistering off-road descent to Tschamut. It’s then downhill on tarmac to Sedrun before engaging granny gears again and hauling yourselves to Mompé Medel. What goes up must come down though and, if you enjoy single-track, you’re in for a treat. It’s then just a final grind back up to the monastery in plenty of time for evensong or maybe a beer or two.
18 SEP - Stage 2
Leaving the monastery, any sore legs (or heads) will be eased by the punchy climb up to Cavardiras. You’ve then got some grin inducing downhill on the “Alpine Bike” MTB route all the way into Trun. You’ll then begin the long climb up onto the high mountain plateau passing through Brigels and onto the lake at Pigniu. Settle into a rhythm and take in the fantastic scenery as both it and the gradient will take your breath away. You’ll then stay high on undulating trails and riding the skyline before gravity lends a helping hand for a rollercoaster ride into Llanz, the first city on the Rhine.
19 SEP . Stage 3
For the biggest climbing day of the trip, you can either think of your legs as being fatigued or warmed up! The opening uphill salvo of the day climbs up sinuous switchbacks to Val Lumnezia “the valley of the sun”. This is just the starter though as the main course, topping out at over 2000m, sees you ascend Alp Nova. Truly stunning it’s both the metaphorical and literal high-point of the trip. It’s then time to get your downhill mojo on. Enjoy the views during the long decent to Obersaxen but then, for the techie trails down to Trun, you’ll definitely be wanting to focus on your line choice. Warm down and let the adrenaline subside with an easy spin along the Rhine back to Llanz to end your Suisse gravel odyssey.
20 SEP - Return
Is the route signed?
No, you will need to upload the route to your navigation device before the event. If you do not have a device you can ride with one of the Hotchillee Ride Captains or local guides.
Do I need a GPS device?
No, but we recommend it if you do not want to ride with one of the supported groups.
What is the event format?
Riders with GPS navigation units will be able to download the route ahead of time. However, there will be local ride leaders and Hotchillee Ride Captains at the front and the back of the course so having the route is not essential (although recommended).
You will need to be self-sufficient for large sections of the ride and each rider will need to carry spares and tools necessary to deal with punctures and mechanicals.
We will have a dedicated support vehicle and mechanic to deal with more technical issues but there are large parts of the route impassable by car.
What are the Entry Requirements?
You must be 18 years or older on 16 September 2021 to enter.
The event is not technical but as there is a lot of climbing involved you will need a good level of fitness. If you are in doubt as to your fitness then we recommend you have a medical check-up before registering.
How do I get there?
The nearest and recommended airport is Zurich. We then suggest taking a train from Zurich to Disentis, these run regularly throughout the day and cost around. £35. The journey is smooth and takes in some beautiful scenery including Lake Zurich. Journey approx 2hrs 30mins. You will be met at the airport by a Hotchillee representative who can assist re your onward train journey.
For the return journey, trains from Ilanz run regularly to Zurich and tickets cost around £35. Journey time approx. 2 hours.
Bicycles can be transported on trains or you can opt to purchase the Bike Transport option through HotChillee if travelling to/from the UK.
What bike should I ride?
We’d recommend a gravel/ adventure bike with lots of gears, some of the climbs have a max gradient of 18%! 36/42 would be perfect. Hotchillee Ride Captains will be riding the Specialized Diverge.
You can also join us on a Mountain Bike if you would prefer.
You’ll need SPD shoes with MTB style soles to enable walking if required over rough ground.
Do I need insurance?
Yes! We ask that all riders take out travel insurance.
Is there any racing?
No, this is going to be tough enough!
Will there be mechanics on the course?
Hotchillee Ride Captains will be on the route to help with light mechanicals, but much of it is not accessible by vehicle. There will be a mechanic at lunch and the end of each day.
Are there water stops en route?
Yes, but ensure you have two water bottle cages on your bike
Will there be a sweeper vehicle on the course?
What happens if Hotchillee cancel the event?
If Hotchillee cancels the event for any reason not listed in the conditions of sale, your entry fee is fully refundable.
If the event is postponed due to COVID-19, your entry will automatically be transferred to the new date. If you can’t make the new dates, you’ll receive a credit to use against any other Hotchillee multi-day event. The credit expires on 1 July 2022. If you have not used the credit by the expiry date, you’ll receive a refund equal to the original booking amount.
What happens if I need to cancel my entry?
If for any reason you need to cancel your entry there are several options available:
- You are able to nominate a substitute rider for your entry (up to 30 days before the event start date).
- You may defer your entry as a credit towards another HotChillee event in the same or following calendar year (up to 12 weeks before the event start date).
- You are entitled to the following refund on your entry:
- 17 Weeks + before the Event start date: 66% refund of the full entry fee paid including any extra services and upgrades
- 13-16 weeks before the Event start date: 33% refund of the full entry fee paid including any extra services and upgrades
- 0-12 weeks before the Event start date: 0% refund of the full entry fee paid including any extra services and upgrades
16-17 SEPTEMBER - DISENTIS MONASTERY
Staying at the Disentis monastery we will be surrounded by history. Built over 1400 years ago it still houses monks and has a rich cultural heritage. The Benedictine monastery stands on a hill above the village, a fortress-like building with a massive façade. A privilege and truly unique experience to use this as our location for the first two nights.
18 -19 SEPTEMBER - EDEN HOTEL
The Eden Hotel and Restaurant in Ilanz is the ideal starting point for our time out in the mountains. With incomparable panoramic views of the mountain peaks of Surselva.