The 2014 Haute Route Pyrenees course unveiled

Barcelona to Anglet Basque Coast, 2nd edition

After the success of the inaugural edition of the Haute Route Pyrenees, the details of the new route for 2014 can be revealed today with more than 80% of the course introducing new terrain and climbs to the riders compared to last year. 450 riders took part in the first Haute Route Pyrenees this year and were blown away by the natural landscapes and testing ascents that forced them outside of their comfort zones. Iron Rider and cancer survivor James Golding, who took part in both the Alps and Pyrenees in 2013, claimed at the finish: “I’ve always seen the Alps as my wife, but the Pyrenees is now my mistress!”

The Departure and Arrival cities for 2014 remain the same as the iconic city of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) will, once again, welcome the 500 amateur riders as the starting point of the 2014 Haute Route Pyrenees, finishing in the beautiful resort of Anglet (Basque Coast, France) along the Atlantic Ocean.

The event organisers, OC Sport, is proud to announce a truly exceptional course for the second edition of the Haute Route Pyrenees taking place from Monday 1st to Sunday 7th September 2014, combining 778km cycling distance and 18,300 meters of vertical ascent, crossing 21 challenging Pyrenean cols and ascents between Spain and France. The route rediscovers the legendary ascents of Tourmalet, Peyresourde, Soulor and Aubisque and introduces new legends, such as, Port de Pailhères, Ax 3 Domaines, Hourquette d’Ancizan and Marie-Blanque.

On Sunday 31st August 2014, the event village located on Barcelona’s Mediterranean shores will be in place to welcome the 2014 Haute Route Pyrenees riders. One week later, 500 riders from all continents will celebrate the end of their epic cycling journey in Anglet Basque Coast, beside the rolling waves of the Atlantic. Between the sea and the ocean, the first and last stage will cross Spanish terrain whilst the other five stages will roll across France. Nine different venues will welcome the Haute Route Pyrenees peloton including five new venue partners for this edition: Ripoll, Font Romeu, Ax les Thermes, Luz-St-Sauveur and St-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

Rémi Duchemin, CEO of OC Sport, stated: “Our Race Director, Jean-François Alcan, has done an exceptional job in creating this new course, 80% of which is totally new, minimizing the logistical constraints for the riders so that we can provide a challenging and seamless event for the riders. One of the key highlights for 2014 is a double ascent of the Tourmalet – ‘Giant of the Pyrenees’. The riders will climb the Tourmalet for the first time during Stage 4 by La Mongie, and then again a day later in an epic individual time trial starting in Luz-St-Sauveur and finishing at the summit at 2,117m. The playground in the Pyrenees is incredible as the 450 riders discovered this year, and the Haute Route Pyrenees cyclists next year will have the same opportunity to see the very best of this wild and protected mountain landscape, just as the main tourist season comes to an end.”

The 2014 route offers seven different timed stages in the following formats - 5 ‘classic’ stages (averaging 120km with 3 main climbs), a ‘marathon’ stage (150km with 4 cols and 3,350m vertical ascent) and an individual time trial (Col du Tourmalet, from Luz-St-Sauveur).

Ascent of Tourmalet © Manu Molle
Ascent of Tourmalet © Manu Molle

Jean-Francois Alcan, Haute Route Pyrenees Race Director, and the brains behind the route design, explained: “I believe we have put in place an exceptional route for 2014 that will challenge the riders abilities but at the same time allow them to experience the beauty of the Pyrenees. Three of the stages will have mountain top finishes – Font Romeu, Ax 3 Domaines and Tourmalet – which always provide an incredible experience for the riders. Overall, the Pyrenees are lower in altitude than the Alps, but no one should underestimate the level of difficulty.”

Three weeks ago OC Sport confirmed the addition of a new event – the Haute Route Dolomites & Swiss Alps – putting in place three incredible events back to back in 2014, spanning the Italian Swiss Alps, the French Alps and the Pyrenees - so far 12 intrepid riders have decided to take on the ‘Triple Crown for Amateurs’ in the same year. The Haute Route Pyrenees course is the first route of 2014 to be unveiled with the Haute Route Alps and the Haute Route Dolomites & Swiss Alps to be announced in the coming weeks, unlocking the full secrets of the 2014 courses to the riders.

The third and final phase of entries for the three Haute Route events opened on Tuesday 3rd December and to date 38 nationalities have signed-up, cementing the true international status of the Highest and Toughest Cyclosportives in the World.

Haute Route Pyrenees 2014 Stage by Stage:

  • Event Village
 Sunday 31st August: Barcelona (Spain)
  • Stage 1
 Monday 1st September: Ripoll to Font Romeu (93km, 2500m D+)
  • Stage 2 
Tuesday 2nd September: Font Romeu to Ax-3-Domaines (120km, 3000m D+)
  • Stage 3 
Wednesday 3rd September: Ax-les-Thermes to Bagnères-de-Luchon (162km, 2550m D+)
  • Stage 4 
Thursday 4th September: Bagnères-de-Luchon to Argelès-Gazost (119km, 3600m D+)
  • Stage 5 
Friday 5th September: Individual Time Trial – Col du Tourmalet (18.5km, 1500m D+)
  • Stage 6 
Saturday 6th September: Argelès-Gazost to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port (150km, 3350m D+)
  • Stage 7 
Sunday 7th September: St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Anglet Basque Coast (115km, 1800m D+)

Haute Route Pyrenees 2014 Cols & Ascents:

  • Stage 1: Merolla 1090m / Creueta 1888m / Font Romeu 1750m
  • Stage 2: Moulis 1099m / Garabeil 1262m / Port de Pailhères 2001m / Ax 3 Domaines 1378m
  • Stage 3: Port 1249m / Portet d’Aspet 1070m / Menté 1349m
  • Stage 4: Peyresourde 1569m / Hourquette d’Ancizan 1564m / Tourmalet 2117m
  • Stage 5: Tourmalet 2117m
  • Stage 6: Soulor 1474m / Aubisque 1709m / Marie-Blanque 1035m / Ahusquy 1078m
  • Stage 7: Ispeguy 672m / Otxondo 602m / Ibardin 317m

Haute Route Pyrenees 2014 in numbers:

  • Total distance: 778km
  • Cols & Ascents: 21
  • Total Ascent: 18,300m
  • Total Descent: 16,700m
  • 5 Classic stages + 1 Marathon stage + 1 Individual Time Trial
  • Highest col: Tourmalet 2117m
  • Marathon stage (stage 6): 150km, 4 cols, 3350m of climbing

See the 2013 in all its glory,with this documentary: