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Competitors in the Swiss Epic Mountain Bike Race to Use SPOT Satellite Messengers for Tracking and SOS

during Stage 3 of the 2018 Perskindol Swiss Epic held in Graechen, Valais, Switzerland on 13 September 2018. Photo by Marius Maasewerd.

Globalstar Europe has announced that competitors and support personnel at this summer’s Graubünden Swiss Epic mountain bike race will again rely on SPOT satellite messengers for GPS tracking and supporting riders in the case of an emergency or injury.

The Swiss Epic takes place from August 20th to 24th 2019, and covers 358km including 11,900m of arduous uphill climbing. Now in its sixth year, competitors include both amateur and professional two-person teams.

More than 300 two-rider teams will use small, rugged SPOT Gen3 satellite trackers, allowing followers and support staff to track each team’s location every 2½ minutes using the Epic Series App. In addition, 20 vehicles including motorbikes, quad bikes, a helicopter, an ambulance, eBikes, and logistic vehicles will be equipped with SPOT Trace asset trackers.

In the case of an incident, the rider can press SPOT’s one-touch SOS button to instantly send their GPS location to race organisers who can promptly initiate a rescue. By pinpointing the exact location where help is needed, the rescue team can swiftly determine the most appropriate vehicle to reach the rider, and the best route, which is an important consideration given that much of the terrain is virtually inaccessible.

The SPOT Gen3s are customised for the Swiss Epic to allow riders to alert officials specifically if they are injured and withdrawing from the race, or to request a support vehicle without medical help.

during Stage 1 of the 2018 Perskindol Swiss Epic, held in Bettmeralp Valais, Switzerland on 11. September 2018. Photo by Alex Buschor. PLEASE ENSURE THE APPROPRIATE CREDIT IS GIVEN TO THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND SWISS EPIC

Felix Eichenberger, CEO of Swiss Epic, commented: “It’s important to every rider and every support person to have a world-renowned partner with such deep expertise and capability. Having relied on SPOT previously, we know we can trust it yet again to provide the dependability and reach we need. We take all necessary safety precautions to keep the risk to the riders low, but it’s comforting to know that we’re ready for any situation thanks to SPOT.”

A spokesperson for the medical team at Air Zermatt said: “SPOT’s trackers reduce the risk to a minimum during a mountain bike stage race like the Swiss Epic. Because the SPOT Gen3 tracker delivers life-saving communications by using 100% satellite technology, we can track riders even when in the midst of the Swiss Alps. This makes our work much easier and accelerates any possible rescue enormously.”

“We are proud to once again support the Swiss Epic team in one of the most hotly contested mountain bike races in the world,” said Gavan Murphy, Globalstar Director of Marketing. “It is further testament to SPOT’s established ability to deliver reliable, ubiquitous safety and communications to users wherever their sporting adventures take them,” he added.


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