For the third and final stage of the Haute Route Dolomites riders left Predazzo one by one to climb the Alpe di Pampeago. The 20km ascent was the perfect way to close out the Haute Route in style.
To immerse participants in the full time-trial experience, the start was given down the ramp, with a Tag Heuer clock ticking down the start for each rider. This ramp was a novelty for many riders like the Belgian Simon Verdonck “It is my first time-trial, I am impatient to ride down the ramp”
Standing at the start line, Todd Hageman was feeling confident due to his experience of this type of effort: “I have done a few time trials before, so I have an idea how to pace it. I don’t know this climb, I have just looked at the roadbook and the profile and it seems great.”
The climb in itself could be split into two distinct sections, firstly a long false flat and then a short but steep climb to the summit on winding roads. The final test of the weekend was one not to be underestimated and riders at the finish line were delighted to have completed their three stages.
As this last stage would determine the final general classification, the ranking was in the mind of almost every rider. “I just need to be sure that I pace myself and give everything to the finish. I am in the top 10 and it is really tight, the 7th, 8th, and 9th are separated by less than a minute and a half,” added Todd.
It was exactly the same thinking for the Danish rider Sofie Lindahl-Jessen just after she crossed the finish line: “I had the ranking in mind as I was number 6 yesterday and I hope I managed to keep my position.” Crossing the finish line and collecting her medal she made sure to enjoy the finisher feeling . “The best moment of the event is now, to be a finisher but also the scenery. The time trial was really nice, it was good that it was shorter. I got to know all the people riding around me as we had the same pace for three days.”
The feelings were the same for all the riders, proud of their achievements over the past three days in this stunning environment. Most were already thinking of their next challenge for the coming months. “I’m delighted to be at the top and to have finished and met so many nice people. I will come back on the 3 or maybe 7 days,” said the Briton Suzy Robinson.
After the final massage and an enjoyable lunch, riders celebrated at the final closing ceremony.
At the front of the race Fortunato Ferrara took his third stage win and the overall win. For the women Helen Warner won the stage and Christine Hemphill took home the overall win. In the Duo competition, the British team Wyndymilla processcc pickupcoaching also took their third stage win and the overall classification.
After three days of incredible riding in a stunning environment, the Haute Route Dolomites came to a close in Predazzo. One more event remains this season, the Haute Route Ventoux from the 5th to 7th of October.