GFNY Grand Ballon: 13,307 feet of climbing

July 7, 2022

Host town Thann in the beautiful Alsace region in France is the ideal base for spectacular riding in the stunning Vosges mountains

New York City, July 7, 2022/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – This Sunday, the inaugural GFNY Grand Ballon offers racers a 147.1 km long course with 4056m of climbing in one of the most beautiful destinations in France.

Host town Thann lies at the beginning of the Alsace Wine Route and will be the start and finish of the race. GFNY Grand Ballon offers the perfect summer bike-cation. Nestled in the foothills of the Vosges mountains, Thann boasts a wine-growing tradition with exceptional vineyards as well as a dizzying variety of roads from flat to mountainous for ideal riding.

GFNY Grand Ballon starts from the historic town center of Thann. The climb fest will begin after just 1km with the little known Le Plan Diebold climb, before joining the ascent of the mythical Grand Ballon, the highest point of the Vosges Mountains. The road culminates at 1325 meters and winds through the heart of the scenic Ballons des Vosges Nature Park, where riders will be tested on climbs made famous by the Tour de France.

After descending Grand Ballon, the race continues to the Markstein ski station at 35km before reaching the Florival Valley Alsatian villages. Just before the midway point, the biggest challenge of the day awaits with Col du Firstplan and its maximum incline of 21%.

Next up is Petit Ballon which leads into Col du Platzerwasel and the Routes des Cretes before a second ascent to the top of Grand Ballon. The final climb of the day is Viel Armand, a place of historical significance since the first world war. The much-earned final descent will go through Cernay to the finish line back in Thann.

“This is a magnificent course,” says GFNY CEO Uli Fluhme. “I’ve personally raced a lot in the Vosges because they are challenging, beautiful and full of Tour de France heritage. I’m proud to have a GFNY race there and to be able to share my passion for these mountains with riders from all over the world. Thann will roll out the red carpet for the GFNY racers and their friends and families.”

The top 10% finishers in each age group of the competitive long course will earn a spot in the Qualifier Corral at every GFNY World event for the following year.

The 57km non-competitive course of GFNY Grand Ballon will take riders through the heart of the scenic Ballons des Vosges Nature Park, to the top of the mythical Grand Ballon, and back.

GFNY will be back in France at the end of August for already the sixth GFNY in France this year and the third annual GFNY Alpes Vaujany. The race course includes the legendary Col de la Croix de Fer and Col du Glandon.

Website: grandballon.gfny.com

About GFNY Global Endurance Sports Series

GFNY Global Endurance Sports Series is a sports event company with three decades of experience in racing, planning and organizing events. The global endurance sports brand hosts multiple events throughout the year around the world on five continents.

Working with partners around the world to deliver a first-class experience, GFNY Global Endurance Sports Series puts their athletes first.


30 plus events around the world. View the 2022 calendar here

Riders get to BE A PRO FOR A DAY ® by competing against others, themselves and the clock in a personal endurance challenge.

Top 10% (20% at regional championships) of finishers in each age group qualify for the Racer Corral at every GFNY World event.

GFNY World Championship NYC

The 11th annual GFNY World Championship New York will take place on May 21, 2023. The race features the world’s most international peloton with riders from over 90 countries. Athletes take on a challenging 100-mile route from NYC to Bear Mountain to Fort Lee to compete against each other, the clock and themselves in a personal endurance challenge.

The official GFNY website is: www.gfny.com.

Further Material for Media Use

Official GFNY Grand Ballon Video: here

GFNY Press Images: here

GFNY Results: here

GFNY World calendar graphic: here

Previous GFNY press releases: here

Media Contact

Gran Fondo New York Inc.

Uli Fluhme, uli@gfny.com

Caroline Lindsay, caroline@gfny.com