Getting underway today from 2pm, registration day for the Haute Route Dolomites saw hundreds of riders from across the globe unite in Predazzo to collect their bib and rider pack prior to riding the first stage tomorrow. The atmosphere in the event village was a mix of excitement and anticipation as riders shared stories and broke the ice whilst visiting the partner stands and enjoying the sun’s rays.
Taking on a new format this year, the Haute Route Dolomites will run over the next three days with three timed and ranked stages based out of the town of Predazzo. Climbs such as the Passo Sella and Alpe di Pampeago promise to be two of the highlights of the weekend, but a number of hidden gems are also in store for the international peloton of riders.
Throughout the weekend, the riders can expect to enjoy the level of both on and off the bike services that the Haute Route has become famous for, including safety motorbikes, Mavic assistance, massages and cryotherapy, everything is put in place to make for a unique and memorable experience.
Come to collect their bibs, a number of first-time Haute Route riders shared their thoughts prior to toeing the start line of the first stage tomorrow morning. Lior Cohen from Israel was looking forward to his first experience, “I think the Dolomites is one of the best places to ride in the world,” he said, “the event fits perfectly into my schedule for the season, we did some preparation in Corvara as well and I’ve been building up over the past three months. We’re 24 hours out, can’t wait to get started as always.”
Matteo Marchetto chose to ride the Haute Route Dolomites 3-day for his first Haute Route experience, “It fits well with work, you need less holidays to come and do this event,” he explained, “I feel really good, I’ve got some good training over the past few months and I’m enjoying the nice weather today. We’ll see what it’s like this weekend, a top 20 finish is the dream.”
Also looking to make the most of his first Haute Route experience, Daniel Elliott chose to ride the Dolomites as he’d never ridden in this region before, “I’ve been to France but this is my first time in the Dolomites,” he said, “I think we can expect quite a lot of climbing, so I’ll take it easy tomorrow and build hopefully to give it everything on Sunday. I’m a little nervous for the climbing but excited to get underway.”
Experienced Brazilian rider Guilherme Figueire was feeling ready to take on his second Haute Route of the year, after conquering the Stelvio earlier this summer: “I like Italy a lot, and I had to join my friends to come and ride the Dolomites event this weekend after doing the Stelvio in June,” he explained, “I’ve trained on some small climbs in Brazil, I think I’m well prepared, I’m here to have a good time, to complete the race and enjoy it.”
Also riding her second Haute Route, Lilian Choy is riding the Haute Route Dolomites after doing the 7-day event in the Alps last year, “I’ve not ridden much in the Dolomites before, they’re beautiful,” she said, “they’re more wild and rugged than the Alps so I’m really excited to be here,” she added with a smile, manning the Ne Jetez Plus stand today, getting riders to sign the sustainability charter before picking up their bibs.
After collecting their rider pack and visiting the event village, riders were free to enjoy the town of Predazzo before reconvening for the first safety briefing of the week. After being presented with all the logistical information for the event and safety information, riders also got the lowdown on the first stage that lies ahead tomorrow: 124km with 4400M+ over the Passo di Lavazè, Passo Nigra, Passo Pinei and Passo Sella.