Andermatt: Swiss stage stop for the Sun Trip Alps 2023
On June 15, the participants in the Sun Trip Alps set out on their solar-powered bicycles from Chambéry in France. They are in the process of circumnavigating the Alps, using only muscle power and solar energy. The riders stopped off in Andermatt to recharge their batteries.
The riders all said that this year’s tour was even harder than last year’s. The 2,000-kilometre-long route took the riders through numerous passes in four Alpine countries. That didn’t deter them, however. Thirty-five women and men and their largely self-constructed solar-powered bicycles are taking part in the adventurous competition this year. They came from Belgium, England, France, Italy, South Africa and Switzerland. For many of them, it was not their first Sun Trip.
Welcome to Piazza Gottardo
The solar-powered bicycles arrived in Andermatt on Wednesday from all directions. Speed is not the objective on the Sun Trip Alps but rather points, which the riders collect on the highest passes, at mountain lakes and near other lookouts or sights. The participants choose their own path. Many spend the night in tents along the way. The only thing that’s set are the stage destinations, where the riders all congregate. In Andermatt, after making a circuit through the village, they met up in Piazza Gottardo, where they were welcomed by representatives of the municipal council, the tourism director and Andermatt Swiss Alps. The riders showed off their sometimes exotic vehicles, including to a group of schoolchildren visiting from Lyss. At dinner afterwards, they exchanged stories and chatted in French, English and German. Some were already thinking ahead to next year: In 2024 the Sun Trip will go from France to Morocco and back. That means about 7,000 kilometres, with stretches that will go through the desert.
But first up are the challenges of the Furka Pass, the 180-kilometre-long stage on the following day, and then the finish in Annecy, where the riders are expected to arrive on July 1.
As part of the initiative Andermatt Responsible , Andermatt Swiss Alps is a Sun Trip partner. Andermatt Responsible stands for climate-friendly tourism in the Andermatt region and has the goal of facilitating tourism operations in a way that preserves resources. The Andermatt Responsible Progress Report 2022 provides an overview of current ESG projects, key environmental figures and the carbon footprint of the Andermatt Swiss Alps Group and Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG.