After yesterday’s Leukerbad circuit, the Perskindol Swiss Epic mountain bike race moved on today. The third stage covered 61 kilometres from Leukerbad to Grächen with an elevation gain of 3,000 metres. Team Stöckli-BiXS were the day’s winners once again with Lukas Buchli and Mathias Flückiger. In the women’s event, Annika Langvad and Ariane Kleinhans from the team Specialized II maintained a healthy lead.


Follow our editor’s Swiss Epic diary here:

Part 1 – Bringing a cannon to a gunfight

The third stage of the six-day Perskindol Swiss Epic mountain bike race covered 61 kilometres from Leukerbad to Grächen, with an elevation gain of 3,000 metres. It started with a spirited descent into the Rhone valley, followed by a long ascent up to the stunning Moosalp with its breathtaking panorama of the surrounding mountains – including the Dom, which at 4,545 metres is the highest mountain lying entirely in Switzerland.


The descent from the Moosalp was demanding and long, passing by wild-flower meadows and pastureland, followed by a long sequence of hairpins over exposed slopes down into the Matter valley. After a further climb, the riders reached the finishing line at an altitude of over 1,600 metres in the picturesque and unspoilt Valais mountain village of Grächen.


The day’s victory once again went to Buchli and Flückiger

Team Stöckli-BiXS defended its overall lead. Lukas Buchli and Mathias Flückiger, hardly considered favourites before the start of the race, fired up the turbo once again today in the final ascent, taking the lead and also going on to win the day with a time of 3 hrs 31 mins. They relegated team CENTAURION VAUDE with Daniel Geismayr and Jochen Käss, who led the pack for a long time today, to second place in the day’s ranking, with third going to Lukas Flückiger and Ralph Näf from BMC Mountainbike Racing Team.

2 2, Näf, Ralph, BMC MTB, , SUI 2 1, Flückiger, Lukas, BMC MTB, , SUI

In the SWISS EPIC Women category, Annika Langvad and Ariane Kleinhans from the team Specialized II defended their lead with a time of 4 hrs 38 mins, followed once again by Esther Süss and Elferink Hielke from team Wheeler iXS, and Andrea Kuster and Kristin Aamodt of team Mountain Heroes. In the Mixed category, Michael Broderick and Mary Mcconneloug took the lead today, as Reto Wysseier and Adrian Ruhstaller did in the Masters category. All the leaders to date were also able to hold onto their positions in the SWISS EPIC FLOW race format.
For a complete rundown of the ranking, click here.


Motivated despite the exertion

Despite the tough stage, the race was still plenty of fun for the participants. Milena Landtwing, overall leader in the SWISS EPIC Mixed category, explains: “Today’s stage was extremely tough, particularly the final climb. Lots of teams had to push. But my teammate Bärti Bucher keeps me extremely motivated. My drive is still very high because I’ve never experienced a race anything like the Perskindol Swiss Epic before!”

The fourth stage of Perskindol Swiss Epic, which will take place tomorrow, is a circuit from Grächen to Grächen, covering a distance of 74 kilometres with an elevation gain of 3,333 metres. People are expected to start crossing the finish line around noon.

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Words & Pictures: Perskindol Swiss Epic PR

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