Emotions were high today as Haute Route Pyrenees riders congratulated each other after crossing the finish line for Stage 7 at Palais Beaumont in Pau, earning their medals after an incredible week of racing and discovering the magnificent region. Returning to the place where it all started, riders reminisced about the climbs, the friendships and memories they had made over the 719km and 18,320m.
Take a look at some of the highlights from our Haute Route Pyrenees riders below.
Georgia Perry (New Zealand):
“It has been an incredible week and while it feels really awesome to cross the finish line, I am a bit sad that it is over. My highlight has to have been meeting all these new people and getting to ride with them, go through tough times and achieve incredible things together. I enjoyed every single day, even if sometimes the weather wasn’t perfect or if I was deep inside the hurt box.”
Simon Gergolet (United Kingdom):
“Today was pretty cool. I thought it would be like the last day of the Tour de France where everyone is drinking champagne and having fun, but everyone still wanted to work really hard. It was nice to end the day with maximum effort and emptying the tank so I am actually very happy about that. I will also remember Stage 4 forever. It was a great experience to ride in tough conditions and go down the Hourquette d’Ancizan. It was still beautiful even with the rain.”
Justin Eatinger (United States)
“The mountains yesterday were so majestic. I also loved the camaraderie and the competition. I come from the US and I have done a lot of racing there, but this is a whole other level. Everyone is so strong and yet there is still great camaraderie. You are racing but you are also working together and chatting with each other.”
Jonathan Morgan (United Kingdom):
“Stage 6 was a really nice stage with great weather and beautiful scenery. Overall, I have loved every stage and it is really great that we can just ride without worrying about anything else.”
Christopher Wharton (United Kingdom)
“Stage 4 was probably my highlight of the week. It is weird because the weather was horrible but it is that sense of achievement knowing we got through a tough day and that is something to be proud of. Throughout the week I have been riding with people from Mexico, Australia, Spain and Belgium, alongside my friend from the UK. Someone once said to me that when riding with a group they become your best friends for that moment, and it is so true. You don’t know who they are, and you don’t necessarily have to say a single thing to each other but for that period you are all working together in cohesion and it is just fantastic.”
After celebrating together at the closing ceremony in Pau, many riders are now looking forward to some well-deserved holiday time and recovery in the region, whilst others are looking forward to returning home to family and friends to share their experience and reflect on the week. For 90 of our Haute Route Pyrenees riders however, they will be heading to Megève as they prepare for the next part of their challenge, joining 435 fellow riders will take to the start line for Haute Route Alps on 25th August.