Hundreds of passionate amateur cyclists assembled in Nice today for registration day on the 7th edition of the Haute Route Alps. Setting off from the Promenade des Anglais tomorrow morning, the international peloton will cover 896km and climb over 22,000m in seven timed and ranked stages before reaching Geneva on Sunday.
The 2017 Haute Route Alps course will provide riders with an opportunity to ride some of the most mythical cols in the history of cycling, and benefit from services usually reserved for the professional peloton. From the Col d’Izoard and the two ascents up Alpe d’Huez, to the lesser known Col d’Epine and Col de Feu, riders will get to experience the best of the best in the French Alps.
Adding to the experience, they will be able to count on an unrivalled level of professional support both on and off the bike; from the mechanical support provided by Mavic, to the post ride massages, meals and briefings as well as the luggage transport and support available on the road, they will truly get to live and ride like a pro for seven days.
Event Director Benjamin Chandelier was looking forward to this seventh edition in the Alps “This year’s course really takes us back to the best of the Alps. It’s a challenging course, but with the support we’ve put in place we are confident everyone will be able to make the most of their Haute Route experience and cross the finish line with a smile on their face in Geneva”.
“Setting off from the Promenade des Anglais tomorrow, this event is a culmination of all the efforts put in by the organisational team year-round, and wouldn’t be possible without the support of our partners, sponsors, volunteers and host towns who really make this event special for the riders”.
The feeling on the Haute Route village today was one of excitement; riding his first Haute Route this week, Steve Mitchell from the UK was ready to get underway for this challenge of a lifetime after collecting his bib and riders pack. “I’ve already done London to Paris since recovering from Leukaemia so this is the next step for me. Someone told me if I did an Haute Route it had to be the Alps, so here I am!”
Steve travelled alone to Nice and was looking forward to meeting the rest of the peloton and riding with them this week: “I’m expecting some pain in my legs, but with the beautiful views and the new friends I’m going to make along the way it’s going to be a good week”.
Returning for her second Haute Route after riding the Pyrenees last year, Monica Stratton from the USA was also looking forward to taking on the challenge that lays ahead: “I’ve never been to the Alps before, but I’m expecting a beautiful adventure and some epic scenery this week,” she said, seemingly more than ready to take on the Haute Route Alps tomorrow.
Stephanie Lhomme from France is also a returning rider, having completed the Alps twice before as well as the Pyrenees event in the past. She was looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and getting back out on the road: “The Alps are without a doubt my favourite mountain range,” she said, “and to be back riding with my friends at Alpine Cols, it’s great to have the familiar faces with them and within the organisation as well who do such a great job to support us throughout the week”,
Having finished the Haute Route Pyrenees in Toulouse yesterday, Ian O’Hara from Great Britain was ready to line up for the second week in his Triple Crown challenge tomorrow “I rode the Alps last year and enjoyed it so much I’m back for the Triple this year,” he said, “I’m looking forward to Alpe d’Huez this week, that’s going to be a highlight for sure, but it’s the people you end up riding with that makes the Haute Route so special really,” he added before heading off to collect his number 1 bib.
Once he reaches Geneva on Sunday, Ian will have a week off before starting the Haute Route Dolomites on September 2nd. Leaving from Innsbruck, the 4th edition of the Dolomites event will head to Venice to close out the three weeklong European Haute Route events for 2017. The final Haute Route event of the season will take place in Bédoin from October 6th to 8th, with three unforgettable days of cycling on and around the legendary Mont Ventoux.
Follow the 2017 Haute Route series through our live coverage at www.hauteroute.org and through our official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.