Alps 2014

Alps 2014

2014 course followed a new “West Line” from Geneva to Nice tackling 900km and climbing a total of 21,000m across 19 cols and ascents, including four mountain top finishes.

Haute Route Alps course map

Key features:

The 7 fully timed stages revisited many Haute Route classics including Colombière, Cormet de Roselend, Courchevel, Madeleine, Glandon and two visits to Alpe d’Huez.

Dominating the isolated southwest corner is the “Giant of Provence”, at 1,912m Mont Ventoux is one of the most legendary ascents in cycling and a highlight of the 2014 course. Alpe d’Huez featured twice – as the arrival of the Marathon Stage on day 3 and again as the summit of the Individual Time Trial on day 4.

“The iconic cities of Geneva and Nice are once again supporting the Haute Route Alps as the departure and arrival venues – unchanged since the event began in 2011. Megève, Courchevel, Alpe d’Huez, Bourg d’Oisans and Digne-les-Bains make up the other course host venues and we know that the Haute Route and its riders will be warmly welcomed,” said Jean-François Alcan, Haute Route Race Director.


24th August 2014

Geneva - Megève
130km | 3100M+ | 2350M-

Key features:
Depart Geneva at 07:15am on Sunday, 24th August
Arrive in Megève from late morning
130km including 84km that will be timed
3100m of elevation gain / 2350m of descent
4 refreshment points along the route

Ascents of the day:
Col de la Colombière, 1618m altitude, 1116m altitude gain over 15.2km
Col de la Croix Fry, 1477m altitude, 851m altitude gain over 12.3km
Col des Aravis, 1487m altitude, 266m altitude gain over 6.2km

Heading out of Geneva the gentle ascent under the pines from Cluses may lull you into thinking it is straightforward but be prepared for the last 6km from Reposoir with rises of 8-10% before you reach the 1,618m summit at the Col de la Colombière.

Pace yourself on the 20km downhill via Le Grand Bornand to Thones in anticipation of the first set of turns to Chenaillon and the ascent to the 1,477m La Croix Fry which starts gently until it passes Manigot village where it reaches 10%.

Nearing the end is a rapid descent onto Route des Aravis followed by only 5km of ascent to the summit of the Col des Aravis standing at 1,487m. Restore yourself on the long downhill to Flumet before ascending again to finish at Megève, hopefully with enough energy left for the rest of the week’s challenges.

Alps ONE Alps 2014 Stage ONE


25th August 2014

Megève - Courchevel
130km | 3900M+ | 3250M-

Key features:
Depart Megève at 07:30am on Monday, 25th August
Arrive in Courchevel from late morning
130km to cover, including 105km that will be timed
3900m of elevation gain / 3250m of descent
5 refreshment points along the route

Ascents of the day:
Col des Saisies, 1650m altitude, 730m altitude gain over 15.5km
Col du Cormet de Roselend, 1967m altitude, 1167m altitude gain over 20km
Ascension de Courchevel, 1850m altitude, 1369m altitude gain over 25km

130km connect Megève with Courchevel – two of the most exclusive resorts in the French Alps. Keeping a steady pace is not easy on the irregular slope up to the Col des Saisies at 1,650m, however, you will be rewarded at the top with breathtaking views of Mont Blanc.

Heading downhill and across the Beaufort Valley before climbing the Cormet de Roselend you will be sheltered by pines on the first 12km to Col de Meraillet which averages 8%. After this you skirt the picturesque Roselend Dam before climbing the final 8km to the Cormet de Roselend at 1,967m.

Take care on the descent of the Cormet with its hidden traps – the cause of many previous collisions. From Bonneval and Bourg-Saint-Maurice you have a 50km descent to Moûtiers before climbing 25km at a steady 6% maximum. Above the Olympic ski jumps at Le Praz you will then encounter 2km at 10% before you arrive in Courchevel with 3,900 metres elevation under your wheels today.

Alps TWO Alps 2014 Stage TWO


26th August 2014

Courchevel - Alpe d'Huez
137km | 4650M+ | 4100M-

Key features:
Depart Courchevel at 07:30am on Tuesday, 26th August
Arrive in Alpe d’Huez from early afternoon
137km, including 113km that will be timed
4650m of elevation gain / 4100m of descent
4 refreshment points along the route

Ascents of the day:
Col de la Madeleine, 1993m altitude, 800m of altitude gain over 12km
Col du Glandon, 1924m altitude, 824m of altitude gain over 10km
Ascent to Alpe d’Huez, 1850m altitude, 347m of altitude gain over 6km

With a nod to the three giants of the Alps this 137km is a “marathon stage”. Downhill from Courchevel to Aigueblanche the timer starts as you climb 28km to Col de la Madeleine which varies between 7-10% including some downhill. From the 1,993m summit don your windbreaker for the fast 20km descent.

Pass La Maurienne and on to La Chambre where you begin the 21km ascent with a demanding final 3km averaging 10% with passages of 13% before you reach Col du Glandon – one of the toughest in the Alps.

The descent along the Grand Maison dam has some formidable hairpin bends and a short uphill section at the parade Maupas. After the long descent to the Verney Dam you will climb steeply from 700m to 1,500m at Villard Reculas after which you take the narrow Combe du Bras into the village of Huez at 1,420m. From Huez, you have just 7 bends and 5km to the finish you have been dreaming of.

Alps THREE Alps 2014 Stage THREE


27th August 2014

Bourg d'Oisans - Alpe d'Huez
15km | 1100M+ | 0M-

Key features:
Start Bourg d’Oisans at 09:00am on Wednesday, 27th August
Arrive in Alpe d’Huez early to mid-afternoon
15km, individual time trial
1,100m ascent
2 refreshment points along the route

Ascent of the day:
Ascent to Alpe d’Huez, 1860m altitude, 1100m of altitude gain over 15km

The clock will be ticking from the start of today’s individual time trial from Bourg d’Oisans to l’Alpe d’Huez, scaling 1,100m over 15km – an average gradient of 8% but hitting 10% at times. You are only racing against yourself today so save some reserves for the next 3 long stages and don’t forget to warm up in the flat valley of Bourg d’Oisans before your departure.

The first 4km of wide road rises at more than 10% which can be tough with the hot sun reflecting off the rock face. Enjoy the 21 legendary bends that take you to the top – they are relatively flat compared to the rest of the climb so you can use them to your advantage to recover a little each time.

Alps FOUR Alps 2014 Stage FOUR


28th August 2014

Bourg d'Oisans - Digne-les-Bains
187km | 2900M+ | 3000M-

Key features:
Depart Bourg d’Oisans at 07:00am on Thursday, 28th August
Arrive in Digne-les-Bains from early afternoon
187km, including 162km that will be timed
2900m of elevation gain / 3000m of descent
5 refreshment points along the route

Ascents of the day:
Col d’Ornon 1371m altitude, 639m altitude gain over 10.5km
Col de Parquetout, 1398m altitude, 661m altitude gain over 6.5km
Col du Festre, 1441m altitude, 411m altitude gain over 10km
Col d’Espréaux, 1160m altitude, 326 metres altitude gain over 11km

For stage 5 you have 187km to cover (of which 162km will be timed) from Bourg d’Oisans to Digne-les-Bains, the latter of which welcomes the Haute Route Alps for the first time and where you will spend two nights

Ease yourself up the long and gentle ascent of rural Ornon before venturing onwards up to little known Col de Parquetout which stands at only 1,398m. On a small road over Valbonnais you turn back to the Ecrins mountain range and climb 8km over a gradient of more than 10% with some extreme turns.

With the most challenging part of the day behind you it is now up and down between La Mure and Corps and after the Saint-Disdier dam you have a relatively gentle 10km at 4% average up to Col du Festre at 1,441m. Here you are only half way but enjoy the flat run along the Buech, the Durance and the Bléone before arriving in Digne-les-Bains.

Alps FIVE Alps 2014 Stage FIVE


29th August 2014

Digne-les-Bains - Mont Ventoux
145km | 3050M+ | 1800M-

Key features:
Depart Digne-les-Bains on Friday, 29th of August
Arrive in Alpe d’Huez from early afternoon
145km, including 136.7m that will be timed
3050m of elevation gain/ 1800m of descent
4 refreshment points along the route

Ascents of the day:
Col Notre Dame des Abeilles, 996m altitude, 315m altitude gain over 8.5km
Mont Ventoux, 1912m altitude, 1596m altitude gain over 21km

After a sharp right out of Digne-les-Bains, head west for 100km towards the snowy peak of Mont Chauve. The ascent up to the Col de Notre Dame des Abeilles takes you into the heart of Ventoux country, up a long and wide road averaging 4% with some surprising rises. From the top is a straight and fast descent before the real work begins.

Continue from Bédoin until you reach a 9km wall at Saint-Estève where the pines will offer you shade but no respite as every metre will test you at 9% increasing to 10-11%, undoubtedly the most physically demanding section of the week lasting at least an hour.

Close to the Chalet Reynard and out of the woods you have 7km to climb over a lunar landscape of limestone rock, perhaps with the strong mistral wind against you. The last 2km average 10% before you can celebrate your arrival at the summit of the legendary Mont Ventoux at 1,912m.

Alps SIX Alps 2014 Stage SIX


30th August 2014

Digne-les-Bains - Nice
160km | 2700M+ | 3300M-

Key features:
Depart Digne-les-Bains at 07:30am on Saturday, 30th August
Arrive in Nice from mid-afternoon
160km, including 108km that will be timed
2700m of elevation gain / 3300m of descent
4 refreshment points along the route

Ascents of the day:
Col du Corobin, 1211m altitude, 546m altitude gain over 12km
Col des Lèques, 1146m altitude, 337m altitude gain over 6.5km
Col de Saint-Barnabé, 1365m altitude, 480m altitude gain over 10km
Col de Bleine, 1439m altitude, 406m altitude gain over 6km
Col de Vence, 962m altitude, 289 metres altitude gain over 13km

Congratulations, you are on the final stage of the Haute Route Alps! The finish is within sight and you still have 160km to cover but only 108km will be timed.

At the exit of Digne-les-Bains begin the 12km ascent to the Col de Corobin with a 6% average. Head to the Col des Lèques at 1,146m and pass Castellane before starting a long but medium slope of 4% up to Col de Saint-Barnabé.

Keep motivated as you continue along the narrow pass road to Col de Bleine at 1,439m before the final peak at Vence at only 962m altitude. Take care on the descent as the week’s efforts will have caught up with you.

Savour the glory of the finish as you ride in convoy into Nice where the famous Promenade des Anglais and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea await you.

Alps SEVEN Alps 2014 Stage SEVEN

Host Venue - GRAND DEPART:

Framed by the mountain chains of the Alps and the Jura, and lying along the shores of Europe’s largest alpine lake with its famous Jet d’Eau water fountain, Geneva is a constant spectacle. With glimpses of the white summit of Mont Blanc 70 kilometres away to the southeast the mountains and lakes make it a hub for winter and summer sporting activities. Manicured ski slopes in winter are replaced by lush pastures in summer and cyclists, walkers and water sports enthusiasts replace the seasonal skiers and snowboarders.

Both cosmopolitan and rich in history it is one of Europe’s busiest business destinations - a global chi whose many different nationalities are reflected in those of the Haute Route peloton. Home to the headquarters of many international agencies including the United Nations and the Red Cross, Geneva also hosts the highest number of financial organisations in the world yet still remains unspoilt and strongly preserves its unique architectural charm.

Host Venue - STAGE 2:

With breath-taking views of Mont Blanc the exclusive ski resort of Megève is one of Europe’s finest. Authentically French, it is nicknamed the 21st arrondissement of Paris and has always been a coveted destination for its skiing and gastro restaurants. Besides the winter ski season it is a popular area for hiking and cycling in summer with its spectacular setting and pure mountain air, and its hots the cyclosportive Time Megève Mont-Blanc in June.

Host Venue - STAGE 3:

Located in the Savoie, the chic ski resort of Courchevel in Les Trois Vallées is home to one of the most distinguished and largest ski areas in the world with its well-groomed slopes and glitzy bars and restaurants. In summer it provides the perfect setting for every outdoor activity imaginable as well as the Cyclo’Courch where cyclists can challenge Alejandro Valverde’s record ascent which still stands at 42’30”.

Host Venue - STAGE 4:
Alpe d'Huez

With 21 hairpins bends to reach the summit, the prestigious Alpe d’Huez is as famed for cycling as it is skiing and shares a close association with the Tour de France. The predominantly south facing ski slopes give it a sunny reputation and being situated in the heart of the Massif des Grandes Rousses it offers stunning views of the Ecrins National Park, the Belledonne chain and Mont Blanc.

Host Venue - STAGE 5:
Bourg d'Oisans

Situated in the valley of the Romanche River the sleepy town of Bourg d’Oisans sits at the foot of Alpe d’Huez. During the summer months it comes alive as cyclists from around the world base themselves here to explore the local mountains and valleys. A popular cycling mecca which caters for the industry, it is also the starting point for the classic time trial up to Alpe d’Huez with its famous 21 hairpin bends.

Host Venue - STAGE 6:

The capital of the Alpes de Haute Provence, Digne-les-Bains lies in an area of geological richness where Provence meets the Alps. Framed for its thermal springs and lavender trade, it is also home to the largest geological reserve in Europe, the Réserve Naturelle Géologique de Haute Provence, with fossils dating back 300 million years. The Haute Route will visit Digne for the first time staying for two nights.

Host Venue - FINISH:

Sandwiched between the dramatic scenery of the mountains and the sparkling sea, the colourful ad sunny port is rich in maritime history and culture, offering museums, cafes and parks as well as the alluring blue seas ad beaches of the Mediterranean coastline.

Scarcely changed since the 1700’s Vieux Nice, the old town, is home to a thriving flower and food market with bars, boutiques and delicatessens crammed into narrow lanes.

Alongside the development model of an Eco-Valley in the areaNice has seized the opportunity to become a cycle city, with pans to develop a complete network of cycle tracks, 155 kilometres of which have already been completed in the Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur area, placing Nice at the top of a list of cities that successfully combine innovation, respect for the environment and quality of life.

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