The Haute Route’s objective is to deliver events that are the unparalleled ‘professional’ experience for amateur cyclists. Not simply because of the 20,000m of ascent in the most legendary cols of the French Alps, Italian Dolomites, Pyrenees and Colorado’s Rocky mountains – should a main Haute Route event be considered the amateur equivalent of one of pro cycling’s Grand Tours – but it’s the infrastructure and attention to detail behind the scenes that ensures the Haute Route events stand apart ‘from the crowd’.
Six years ago, OC Sport’s CEO, Rémi Duchemin and Course Director, Jean-François Alcan, created the Haute Route. Their singular goal, since the inaugural Haute Route Alps event in 2011, has been to offer amateur cyclists the most desirable ‘must-do’ event. To that end, the organisation team set out to bring a high level of cycling and event management knowledge and experience, year round, to the planning, organisation, and running of each of the events.
In keeping with the main Haute Route events’ unique proposition, the DNA of the Haute Route three-day events remains identical with the unrivalled premium level services put in place for the riders.
The ‘professionalism’ of the Haute Route begins with the Course Directors. Jean-François Alcan, Davide Davide Marchegiano and Chandler Smith bring years of experience, from working on different cycling races for amateurs, to the design of the stages and routes of the Haute Route 3-day and 7-day events. The exceptional format of the Haute Route is only possible because of the special permissions granted, in negotiations with the Course Directors, by the cities, public authorities and police along the route covered by each event. These permissions allow for priority right-of-way for riders over all other road users, wherever possible; and are enforced by the 800 marshals recruited specifically for each Haute Route event.
Each of the seven or three stages are timed and ranked, with daily winners in the categories of solo man, solo woman, and team; along with a ‘Coup de Coeur du Jour’ award to the rider in the peloton judged to have best displayed the spirit of the Haute Route that day. The overall leaders of the event are easily identified by their special jerseys – yellow, red, pink, blue or grey depending on the event – and each member of the leading team proudly displays an insignia on the back of their jersey. A concerted effort by the management team ensures that each of the seven or three stages are incomparable, including a marathon stage and an individual time trial; so any rider with designs on topping the overall rankings at the finish must be capable of conquering them all.
In addition, every effort is made to ensure that as many kilometres of each stage as possible are timed. The only exceptions to this are occasions when the organisers deem that rider safety must take priority: in the case of a dangerous descent, hazardous road surface, or inclement weather, for example. To ensure that each stage begins as smoothly as possible, riders are managed at the start in groups of 75-100, to create fluidity within the initial peloton.
The level of support during the Haute Route is also unique. In partnership with a number of companies who are experts in their field, and through the recruitment of marshals for each event, the organisers ensure that Haute Route riders enjoy an unprecedented level of safety, security and comfort. The Haute Route Pyrenees, Haute Route Alps, Haute Route Dolomites, Mavic Haute Route Rockies, Haute Route Alpe d’Huez, Haute Route Ventoux and Maserati Haute Route Norway are undeniably a series of ‘professional’ events, for amateur cyclists!
Each Stage includes:
TIMINGS & RANKINGS
How does it all work? There is no doubt that the riders are a competitive bunch on the bike, whether they want to beat the guys around them, improve their own time or ranking within the peloton or simply want to finish inside the cut off time on each stage! And just like on a pro tour, there is a daily prizegiving, not only rewarding the leaders but also the Haute Route ‘Coup de Cœur’, recognising an outstanding performance or act of camaraderie; and, like the pros, the leader of the day for men and women, will be proudly sporting the leader’s coloured jersey the next day.
Each Haute Route is a timed and ranked, multi-stage event. Timing mats are located at
The non-timed sections may be
IDENTIFICATION OF LEADING RIDERS
During the daily official prizegiving ceremony, a distinctive jersey will be given to each leader of the Solo (men’s and women’s) rankings. It will be mandatory for the recipients to wear these jerseys during the stage of the following day and until they relinquish their leading position to someone else. A distinctive coloured insignia will also be given to each member of the leading Team of the overall ranking. It will be mandatory for each recipient to wear this on their jersey during the stage of the following day and until they relinquish their leading position to another team.
HAUTE ROUTE EVENT SPECIFIC JERSEYS
There is an official jersey specific to each of the Haute Route events that is part of the kit for riders.
Rankings for each Stage are published daily, with overall rankings published at the end of Stage Seven, by male, female and team.
The Lanterne Rouge is traditionally the last competitor to finish a cycling race. The Lanterne Rouge will be towards the rear of the peloton, supporting and encouraging the last riders to the finish. Even though he will be the last rider over the finish line within the time limit, he may pass riders by from time to time during the Stage – this doesn’t mean they are going to be outside of the official finish time, as long as they beat him to the finish line.
PRIZES & AWARDS
An official prizegiving ceremony will take place at the end of each stage, in the heart of the Event Village.