Via Col du Bannstein, Firstplan, Wettstein, Calvarie,
Louchpach, Bonhomm, de la Schlucht, Platzerwasel
The starting point of this 94 mile long tour is the small village of Le Markstein on a plateau situated 4134 ft above sea level.
Firstly, we ride 11 miles on a wide, scenic road through the Lauch valley, passing the Lac de la Lauch down to Lautenbachzell (1388 ft).
After a further 14 miles – via Soultzmatt (325 ft), Osenbach (722 ft) and the Col du Firstplan (2369 ft) - we reach the spa town of Soultzbach-les-Bains (1115 ft).
Riding through wine and grain fields, we get to the small market town of Turckheim (771 ft) on a fairly even stretch of road.
Here, a 4 mile long ascent to the small health resort of Les Trois-Epis (2257 ft) begins, with inclines of between 4 and 5%. About 2 miles after Les Trois-Epis, we veer left and follow the ascending road, with an average incline of 4%, to Le Linge (3202 ft) and further to Col du Wettstein (2717 ft), while enjoying the magnificent scenery.
Passing Lac Blanc (3445 ft), we ride up to Col du Calvaire (3720 ft) and afterwards down to the Col de Louchpach (3209 ft), before we reach Col du Bonhomme 1.9 miles later, at 3314 ft above sea level.
We turn left and ride approximately 5 miles on the D415 to Plainfaing (1739 ft).
In the centre of the village we turn left again and follow the slightly ascending, quiet D23 for approximately 7 miles to Le Valtin (2500 ft).
In the village, the 5 mile long road to Col de la Schlucht (3737 ft) begins to ascend steeply over a distance of approximately 3 miles, with sections of over 7% before it becomes flatter again towards the pass.
After a terrific downwards ride on the D417 towards Munster (1257 ft), and after turning right, we ride on an almost level stretch of road via Luttenbach-près-Munster (1345 ft) to Sondernach (1808 ft).
On the outskirts of the village the fairly steep, approximately 5 mile-long climb up to Col du Platzerwasel (3914 ft) begins, with an average ascent of 9-10 %. After a short and easy descent we ride steeply uphill again to Route des Crètes. Just 1.9 miles left of this marvellous but demanding tour, in which to enjoy the beautiful views of the Vosges on the Route des Crètes, before we return to our starting point at Le Markstein.
Distance: ca. 151 km
Length: 226 Minutes
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