The first Haute Route event of 2018 kicked off today with hundreds of riders from around the world arriving in the Bay Area to collect their bibs for the inaugural Haute Route San Francisco. Excitement was high at the famed Fisherman’s Wharf as riders checked in for the first-ever three-day event in the U.S. The three stages will cover nearly 200 miles and 20,350 feet of climbing total with unbelievable views and unbeatable vistas only short distances from the hearts of San Francisco and Oakland.
Tomorrow, riders will board a private ferry to cross the San Francisco Bay to Oakland before taking the start line in Jack London Square and later heading up Mount Diablo.
Christopher Lynch, who currently lives in San Francisco and rode Haute Route Dolomites last year said, “I think the route they’ve chosen over three days is the best of the Bay Area.”
Andre Winiarski is taking on his first Haute Route in San Francisco and is looking forward to the experience: “It’s the ability to push yourself further than you expect. Everybody does a century ride. The people who do it well — they’re looking for the next thing. This is the ultimate challenge.”
Pav Bryan, who is currently training for an attempt to break the World Record for the fastest cycle ride of America’s iconic Route 66, echoed Andre’s excitement: “It’s my first time doing an Haute Route and I’m really looking forward to the pro-level experience. This is the next best thing to riding in a professional event. It’s going to be incredible to ride through San Francisco, I love this city.”
Kris Johnson and Diane Granger are looking forward to their first Haute Route event and want more female cyclists to join: “There is a great energy around this event; whatever a cyclist is hungry for, they can find it at Haute Route.”
Earlier in the day, Haute Route riders were invited to a private VIP tour of AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. Participants got a behind-the-scenes look at the park’s breathtaking views and heard insider tales about legendary players and events, like Barry Bonds home run record, McCovey Cove and three recent World Series Championships, among others.
Later, riders attended their first briefing followed by a special launch event in iconic Ghirardelli Square. Michelin-starred chef and avid cyclist Matthew Accarrino, along with renowned local chefs Charles Phan and Joseph Manzare, served a variety of savory tapas while San Francisco Brewery provided craft beer for the event.
The first of three stages begins at 8am tomorrow morning.