The beautiful town of Bormio welcomed around 200 riders from around the world today ahead of Haute Route Stelvio. With the Bormio Terme Wellness Spa hosting the Haute Route event village, participants collected their bibs and their riders pack ahead of their 3-day adventure, before taking a peek inside the spa to discover the thermal waters they could look forward to recovering in post-stage.
Despite the beauty and charm of the area, including the medieval buildings, the cobbled streets and the beautiful fountains of Bormio, riders were all too aware that some tough climbs were waiting for them amongst the Stelvio National Park, including the much-anticipated Mortirolo and the Stelvio Pass.
“We are a little bit scared about Mortirolo, we think that is going to be a real challenge,” said Daan Coenen as he checked out the course profile in the event village along with his duo-partner, Freek De Ridder.
When asked about their tactics for the weekend and Haute Route’s first duo-only event, Freek added: “I think we will ride together for most of it. I am a slightly better climber than Daan but he is better at the descents so I am sure he will catch me up. We are also looking forward to getting to know all of the other riders out there too.”
He added: “We actually won our place here thanks to Haute Routes beer partner, ABLOC. We were both on holiday at the time so we are not as prepared as we should be and we are not going for the win but we will definitely enjoy having a beer after each stage to celebrate.”
For David White who is from the UK but now lives in Bormio, this event proved a great opportunity to catch-up and ride with his friend and long-time training partner from the United Kingdom: “It is my first Haute Route so I am looking forward to it. My friend has come over from the UK and we are going to do the event together. I think on the climbs we will go as hard as we can and then ride together in the neutralized sections.”
“I live here so I know the climbs well but the loop we are doing for Stage One is definitely one of my favourites. I have never done it as part of a race though so that is going to be quite interesting,” he added.
After attending the riders briefing to get the low down on the logistics and organisation, as well as the details of the first stage, riders were able to enjoy the traditional pasta party and take the opportunity to meet fellow riders before parting ways to enjoy a good night’s sleep ahead of the first stage.
Tomorrow riders will take on both the Passo Umbrail and the Passo Stelvio, with the chance to enjoy the incredible views at the summit before cruising back down to the race village in Bormio to enjoy the post-race services.