Course

Long Course


The long course of GFNY Grand Ballon will take you through the heart of the scenic Balloons des Vosges Nature Park, to test yourself on the most legendary and demanding climbs of the Hautes Vosges Mountains.

The race starts from the historic center of Thann, at the gateway to the Alsace Wine Route. The climbing starts 1km into the race, up the little-known climb Le Plan Diebold, just before joining the ascent of the mythical Grand Ballon. Grand Ballon is highest point of the Vosges Mountains and its road culminates at 1325m.

After descending Grand Ballon, you will race along the ridges towards the Markstein Ski Station at KM 35 and then you’ll reach the Florival Valley and its small typical Alsatian villages. Your next Vosges climbs are the Col du Fisrtplan at KM 70, the very demanding climb Wasserbourg with its maximum incline of more than 21%, Petit Ballon at KM 86.5, Col du Platzewasel at KM 103, Route des Crétes, a second ascent to the top of Grand Ballon at KM 117 and finally the last climb, Viel Armand, a place of historical significance from the First World War at KM 128. The descent will lead you through Cernay before taking the Thann Road and completing the race. Beware of the headwind and stay with a group, your determination to reach the finish line will help you get through this flat section.

Make no mistake, we are in the middle of the mountains with the well-known climbs of the Tour de France will leave you very little respite, but the breathtaking views on the Vosges Balloons and the magnificent Alsace Plain will make you forget the challenges.

Back in Thann, a festive post-race celebration and meal await you. Celebrate your accomplishment in the historic center of Thann after a day of enjoying the surrounding nature.

LONG COURSE IS A COMPETITION: Only the finishers of the long course are eligible for category rankings and Overall and Podium awards. If you want to race and be ranked in your category, you must complete the long course. Top 10% of finishers in each age group earn a spot in the Qualifier Corral at every GFNY World event.

Medium Course

The medium course of GFNY Grand Ballon will take you through the heart of the scenic Balloons des Vosges Nature Park, to the top of the mythical Grand Ballon, and back.

The race starts from the historic center of Thann, at the gateway to the Alsace wine route. The climbing starts 1km into the race, up the little-known climb Le Plan Diebold, just before joining the ascent of the mythical Grand Ballon. Grand Ballon is highest point of the Vosges Mountains and its road culminates at 1325m.

At the top of the mountain, you will turn around and descend via Viel Armand, a place of historical significance from the First World War. The descent will lead you through Cernay before taking the Thann Road and completing the race. Beware of the headwind and stay with a group, your determination to reach the finish line will help you get through this flat section.

Make no mistake, we are in the middle of the mountains with the well-known climbs of the Tour de France will leave you very little respite, but the breathtaking views on the Vosges Balloons and the magnificent Alsace Plain will make you forget the challenges.

Back in Thann, a festive post-race celebration and meal await you. Celebrate your accomplishment in the historic center of Thann after a day of enjoying the surrounding nature.

MEDIUM COURSE IS NOT A COMPETITION: The riders of the 50 miles medium course will be provided their start-to-finish time, but will not be ranked by finish time. All finish times will be listed in alphabetical order.

 

Perks included as part of GFNY Grand Ballon