Switzerland is a real cycling paradise...

Uri Martins

Jan / 16 / 2020

What is Switzerland for me? Endless mountains, roads between giants… Crossing lands of another world and riding next to glaciers and eternal rivers….

I remember perfectly the day I arrived in Switzerland: it was the month of June 2017, it was night, it was raining, and I could not see anything. I went up by train to a mountain and spent the night there. The next day, when I woke up, I saw the sun coming through the window. I approached it and what I saw surprised me so much that I could not believe it! I did not understand what I was seeing; gigantic mountains in front of me, with a forest of thousands of colours, almost phosphorescent greens, yellows, browns and oranges. In the distance, I could see a mountain that stood out - majestic Mont Blanc. I did not wait another minute, I prepared coffee, took my helmet and cycling shoes along with my bike and I went to explore the Swiss Alps! My smile didn't fit on my face and I was almost alarmed at how magnificent and impressive everything looked around me. I managed to reach Col de la Croix, with the Glacier 3000 just in front and the valley with Les Diablerets just on the other side. I thought I was in paradise. And literally, I was.

I spent that summer training and exploring every road, mountain and place I could. With blue lakes like only in Switzerland, glaciers above the mountains, gigantic dams and endless descents, I enjoyed every second of my time on the bike.

Above: Les Diablerets

The following year, I had the great opportunity to join the Grand Tours Project Family. With them, I delved into this fantastic adventure of designing tours and being able to guide groups of guests in many incredible places, one of them... Switzerland.

In the month of August 2018, for the first time, I went to discover the highest and most emblematic passes of Switzerland including Grosse Scheidegg, Grimsel, Furka, Nufenen and Tremola. I had studied them many times, but this was the first time to ride them.

Above: Nufenen Pass

Thus began our Switzerland Explorer Tour with 14 guests. A large group of brave cyclists willing to go deep into Switzerland. I remember well that we started with Grosse Scheidech Loop. I had heard that it was very beautiful but when I was halfway up, climbing towards the top, I could see an icy glacier while rolling along the side of a beautiful river. I said: “Uff, I still haven't arrived at the top and this is already another world”. When I reached the top, with the Eiger mountain in front and many others, it just left my mouth open. I was surprised at how beautiful and impressive that view was.

Above: Climbing to Grosse Scheidech

As we continued with our tour, we climbed some of the most famous passes in Switzerland, and every time I reached the top, I was surprised again and I no longer knew which was my favourite. They were all simply spectacular and majestic. I was like a child discovering new things, same as our guests, all with gigantic smiles. Lakes, lagoons, mountains, glaciers, rivers, pastures, cows, bells, cheese, nature, blues and greens ... that was the cycling paradise.

Above: Grimsel pass

I would like all the cyclists in the world to have the opportunity to explore and venture into Switzerland just as I did, experiencing endless emotions and going on epic adventures, creating stories that you will have to tell for the rest of your life. Our UCI MARTIGNY 2020 tour encompasses a series of cycling rides, designed specifically for different types of cyclists, in which you will be able to explore and experience the best of Switzerland in the area of Aigle, Martigny and the Rhone Valley, where the UCI Cycling Road World Championships will take place in September 2020. It is one of the best opportunities that all cyclists who love this beautiful sport could have: witnessing a world-class event, while discovering a wonderful country, delving into its traditions, colours and flavours, as well as enjoying a bike ride in a true cycling paradise.

Above: UCI Road World Championship Norway 2017