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New Grand Trophée event in the Vosges will allow one rider to design the course

Joseph Delves
13 Jun 2017

The scene of the Tour de France’s first foray into the mountains gets a new Grand Trophée series event

Starting and finishing in La Bresse the parcours of the newest addition to France’s Grand Trophée series is as yet undecided, and that’s because its organisers are going to defer to the route planning skills of its entrants.

Golazo are running a competition to let one rider plot the course around the surrounding climbs. With ascents of La Bresse, Remiremont and Plombières-Les-Bains-Xertigny on the shortlist, the gran fondo will offer three courses with distances of around 88km, 115km and 150km and a maximum 3500 metres of climbing.

Known as ‘ballons’ because of the way their gently rounded peaks swell upwards like a hot air balloon viewed from above, the Vosges Mountains feature plenty of options.

With the event taking place on the 20th May 2018, this year the Tour de France visits the region with Stage five finishing on the nearby La Planche des Belles Filles, giving prospective riders a good chance to scope out the terrain.

The Vosges was the first mountain range to ever be included in the Tour, featuring in the 1905 edition.

While there are higher and more brutal climbs in the better known Alps and Pyrenees, the idiosyncratic character of the region’s unrelenting yet frequently forest shrouded climbs makes them a unique challenge.

With its route decided, the Granfondo Vosges will become the 11th event in the Grand Trophée series, for which competitors attempting more than one ride can gain cumulative placings.

Granfondo Vosges

Date: 20th May 2018
Website: grandtrophee.fr

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