Review – VOTEC Gravel Fondo 2016

One might think that the golden autumn of the VOTEC GRAVEL FONDO would have been a little eternity. The memories of two perfect rides around the Feldberg, lots of nice people, relaxed atmosphere and landscape are all the more lively. Whoever was there, too, would smile inwardly. If you missed it last year, you really missed something.

The weekend went on Friday night. The Feldbergpass almost a stone’s throw away, a green ski slope right in front of the nose, a barracks turned out to be a lavishly equipped center for the coming weekend. Orga-Partner Sauser-Events was the right door-opener for a train of more than 100 cyclists to take over the former training center of famous Skijumper Sven Hannawald & Co. for a weekend. Speaking of bike-crazy: if Brügelmann is on board and it is about racing, then the Guilty76 guys are usually not far. So here too. From somewhere came pizza and beer. A camp fire led to the use of professional speeches with old and new faces. From racing tension

The fact that it was not lacking in sports enthusiasts anyway was clear the next morning. From the thirty people from that arrived the evening before. In full montage was speculated about the still hanging mist in the mountains, material compared and GPS tracks loaded. Everyone was eager to get started. But moment: the VOTEC GRAVELFONDO is not a race. Extra stretched segments on the GPS track were used to bite, but the mode promised the character of an exit with friends. Suitably, Guilty76 founder and GRAVEL FONDO moderator of the weekend Florian Jöckel released small groups of 10 people in the still low-hanging fog to ride the 72 kilometer and nearly 2000hm long day distance.

Already on the first kilometer revealed the route characteristic for the entire weekend. Asphalt, fine gravel and a short, streamy piece of trail introduced on coming. As soon as the long climb had begun, groups clustered together, mixed up, sorted themselves again, and met for the first time on this day the Feldberg summit. Although the morning fog barely cracked up no one stayed cold for long. According to the roadbook, catering was provided at the summit that marked the end of the second Strava segment. Unfortunately, the view was especially bad at this exposed place and an icy wind whistled. Our group, like many others, passed by unnoticed by coffee specialties, cakes & co., in order to escape wind and damp mist again. Only a few miles further the sun was winning. A challenging section in the next climb forced almost all riders of the bike shortly, but it was rewarded with a magnificent view and a long gravel road down to our first catering stop.

We rolled over fine gravel and forest paths we flew further, in the direction of Titisee, another Strava segment up and down again to have breads topped with famous Schwarwälder Schinken on foot a ski jumping facility in the middle of the forest. From there, in a larger group, we went almost constantly uphill on gravel roads to the Feldberg pass. The last trick of the day led almost once again up to the Feldbergturm and burned in the legs.

A rough asphalt ride later we found ourselves at the gates of the barracks again, before built Schwarzwälder cake and in the midst of blissful-looking companions. First of all, I had the cappuccino missed on the summit! Deep relaxation broadened. Those who still had power left, could try the rodeo riding. Those who were looking for more relaxation disappeared briefly in the sauna, while the piglet was prepared for dinner. In addition to lavish meals, a award ceremony for the Strava Kings and Queens a live band and some DJ arts from the Red Bull Jeep ensured that most of the entertainments around fire baskets guided us through the atmospheric evening.

On the following morning, some did not feel in the mood to hurry. But whether well recovered or not – at the latest at the sight of the bright blue sky one got more desire for more GRAVEL FONDO. 55 kilometers, four Strava segments and about 1600m were waiting. The final day of the first day was a sweeping start in the second round and immediately provided the first segment for the Strava ranking of the day. Once the Feldberg-Panoramaweg was reached, photostops were regularly inserted. A wild trip to Schluchsee led us to luxury catering in the sun. In the morning Biosk Cappuccino, a relaxed atmosphere of enjoyment spread among all participants.


VOTEC hat mit seiner GRAVELFONDO Premiere eine tolle Veranstaltung aus der Taufe gehoben und ganz nebenbei die beste Werbung für eine ganze Radgattung hingelegt, die man sich wünschen kann. Beim GRAVELFONDO wurden die oft markig hervorgehobenen Stärken der neuen Allroundrennern auf Herz und Nieren abgeprüft. Rennrad-Fans und Mountainbiker rollten tatsächlich Seite an Seite und zeigten sich gleichermaßen begeistert. Sollte tatsächlich jemand der Teilnehmer an beiden Tagen durchgängig den Kopf gesenkt und das Tempo hoch gehalten haben, waren er oder sie selber schuld. Denn trotz der knackigen Eckdaten luden Streckenführung, Landschaft und luxuriöse Verpflegungs-Punkte zum Genießen ein. Wir empfehlen: Unbedingt dem Strava Gravelfondo-Club beitreten und so rechtzeitig informiert sein, wie, wo und wann eine Fortsetzung ansteht.

With its GRAVEL FONDO premiere, VOTEC has launched a great event and, by the way, the best advertising for a whole range of bikes you could wish for. At the GRAVEL FONDO, the frequently highlighted strengths of the new all-round racing bikes were thoroughly tested. Road bike fans and mountain bikers actually rolled side by side and were equally enthusiastic. Despite the crunchy basic data, route guidance, landscape and luxurious catering stopps helped to enjoy. We recommend that you definitely join the Strava Gravelfondo-Club and be informed in time as to how, where, and when a continuation is due.


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