Rolling off the start ramp for the Stage 3 time trial at Haute Route Asheville, only .88 seconds separated the top three riders in the Men’s Original competition. With 9 kilometers of climbing, including pitches up to 10% in the first two kilometers and nearly flat sections toward the finish, Kona pro Kerry Werner opened the gap to his nearest competitors to take the win by 19 seconds over Hamish Beadle.
The Stage 3 time trial is the one stage where Original and Compact course riders complete the same distance. The Compact format, introduced to 3-day Haute Route events this year, was instrumental in attracting new riders to Haute Route.
Robert Moore told us, “I’m doing the Compact course. This is my first time I live in Florida and started cycling about a year and a half ago. This is my big challenge to come to the mountains and give it a shot. It’s been a great experience and I learned a lot about gear, set up and approach and the atmosphere has been really great. This format is a great way to discover the Haute Route. My next challenge will be a 3-day event, but Original course. I’m going to keep training!”
For some riders, Haute Route Asheville was the realization of a hard-fought goal. For others, like Santiago Lyon, it was an important stepping stone on the way to other goals. “I did Haute Route Pyrenees 3 years ago. I live in New York, so Asheville was close. Last year I didn’t race or ride much and I was fat, out of shape and I needed something to motivate me. So I signed up and here I am.”
Catching her breath at the top of the Town Mountain climb, Ryan Streiker told us, “I like time trialing, it’s fun. An all-out effort was a great way to end the event. I’ve never done an uphill time trial before, and it’s fantastic!”
Asked about her favorite part of Haute Route Asheville, Ryan picked Stage 1, saying, “I had no idea what to expect going in and I loved every second. I’ve never spent seven and a half hours on my bike and enjoyed it that much.”
For Hannah Eckstein-Gowans, the atmosphere of the event was a highlight. “I really love the international flavor of this. I’ve been to Europe quite a few times and done many gran fondos, and I love being together with a group of cyclists who all love… cycling. It’s a lifestyle and a perspective, and we all have that, so it was great being with like-minded people from all over the world.”
The international aspect of Haute Route was evident in the final standings, as well, with New Zealand, Mexico, Netherlands, Great Britain, Uzbekistan, France, Colombia, Canada, and the United States represented on the age-group podiums. View complete results