Event set to be the biggest yet with 7,520 registrations in just 24 hours
Mountain bike riders of all abilities are preparing for the 17th edition of Pass’Portes du Soleil MTB, the leading summer biking event in the Alps. Launched in 2003, the gathering is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, attracting both professional and amateurs in search of world class terrain that combines epic mountain views. The 2020 edition is proving to be the most popular to date, with 7,520 online registrations within 24 hours of opening.
Set to take place 26-28 June 2020, the event encompasses three days of mountain biking across the region, with the full 80 km course comprising 6,000 m of exhilarating downhill and 1000 m of challenging uphill riding. 15 lifts give participants access to eight different resorts across France and Switzerland, with some incredible scenery throughout. The adrenaline fuelled weekend sees cyclists of all abilities tackling the VTT routes of the Portes du Soleil, with attendees having the option to start from a number of different locations in the region. The event also features an annual MTB exhibition, where around 70 of the biggest brands in mountain biking will flaunt their latest models and kit.
Open to adults and children and attracting pros and novices alike, the ride takes just one day so holidaymakers will take part on either the Friday, Saturday or Sunday. With refreshment points, roving mechanics and marshals on hand throughout, all participants need to remember is their helmet and gloves, and to sit back and enjoy the ride. With record interest in the event, participant registration is now closed, but organisers encourage UK holidaymakers to visit during period, to join spectators in soaking up what is expected an electric atmosphere.
The world’s oldest cross-border ski and MTB destination, the Portes du Soleil is located between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc, covering the neighbouring Alpine regions of French Chablais and Swiss Valais, encompassing two countries and 12 resorts. Although the Portes du Soleil is less travelled outside of the ski season, it has just as much to offer in the summer, with events like the Pass’Portes du Soleil MTB attracting British holidaymakers wanting to get active in the mountains.
With around 600 km of marked mountain bike trails in the area with varying degrees of technical skill required, as well as countless mapped road cycling itineraries to explore, the Portes du Soleil is rightly regarded as the must visit European destination for anyone who loves riding. But summer holidaymakers here can also choose from a huge range of climbing and trekking excursions or an array of more transformative experiences, like horse-back rides in the mountains or taking to the skies over the Alps in a helicopter. What’s more, summer thrill-seekers are equally spoilt for choice in Portes du Soleil, with the region being a mecca for canyoning, paragliding and white-water rafting.
Go to the Portes du Soleil
All 12 resorts in the Portes du Soleil can be easily accessed from Geneva Airport, which benefits from low cost, direct flight access from London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Bristol and Leeds.
A four-night stay at the four-star Hotel Macchi in Châtel in the Portes du Soleil during the Pass’Portes du Soleil MTB, arriving 25 June 2020, is priced from £302 pp based on two people sharing a double room. Flights and transfers extra.
Hotel Macchi (+33 450732412, www.hotelmacchi.com)