Stage 1 - Asheville - Asheville

Compact - 55.2 Miles | 6034 ft (89 km | 1839 M+) · May 17

The opening stage of Haute Route Asheville circumnavigates Mt. Mitchell. After rolling out of downtown Asheville, riders will reach the first challenge about 3 miles into the stage. The climb up Elk Mountain Scenic Highway rises 1300 feet in 5 miles. The first half of the climb is steady and steep, and after a short reprieve in the middle the climb finishes with a stair-step series of steep pitches.

Following a descent and rolling roads through the valley, riders will reach the town of Barnardsville. The Compact and Original routes diverge in Barnardsville, with the 55-mile Compact route taking a left to complete a rolling 12-mile loop. Upon returning to Barnardsville, the Compact route heads back toward Ashevile over Paint Fork Gap and Bull Gap, and zips over to the Town Mountain descent to get back into town.

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