The 2017 edition of the Haute Route Alps – the founding event in the European Haute Route multi-day cyclosportive series – is set to feature the most climbing in its seven-year history.
Announcing the route for another classic week of fully timed and ranked cycle racing from Nice to Geneva, Event Director Benjamin Chandelier said he and his team had produced what they believe is perhaps the best blend so far of hard days on the bike, classic Alpine climbs and race villages set in Pra Loup, Serre Chevalier, l’Alpe d’Huez, Megève and Morzine, some of France’s most famous ski resorts.
“The 2017 Haute Route Alps looks set to be a phenomenal week of racing that will test everyone in the 500-strong peloton, whether they be hardened campaigners or people looking for their first taste of the majesty of one of Europe’s greatest cycling playgrounds,” said Chandelier.
“Once again we have laid on a spectacular course with no less than 22,200 metres of climbing, featuring some new ascents that we are trying for the first time and an Individual Time Trial from Bourg d’Oisans to Alpe d’Huez which is already one of the most famous tests in cycling,” added Jean-François Alcan, the Haute Route Alps Race Director.
The 2017 Haute Route Alps begins on August 21 in the elegant Mediterranean resort of Nice as it has done for the past two years. But there is no easy warm-up at the start. Instead riders begin their 896-kilometre journey to Geneva with a tough opening stage to Pra Loup that includes three big cols, amounting to 3,700 metres of ascent.
Stage 2 from Pra Loup to the Col du Granon is a cracker with three challenging climbs in the Cols de Vars, Izoard and then a summit finish on Granon. Stage 3 is almost as demanding, as the peloton makes its way from Serre Chevalier to Alpe d’Huez via the Lautaret, the Sarenne and the climb to Alpe d’Huez itself.
Then comes the Individual Time trial before the riders tackle Stage 5 to Megève. This is the Queen Stage featuring 182kms on the road and 4,500 metres of climbing with the three classic summits on the agenda – the Glandon followed back-to-back by the Madeleine and then the Saisies.
Stage 6 takes the peloton for the first time in the Haute Route Alps to the elegant ski resort of Morzine on a day that will dominated by the challenges of the Col de la Colombière and Joux Plane. From Morzine the peloton heads to Geneva but the last stage is also far from a pushover with four climbs in total, three of which are new to the event.
In keeping with the Haute Route’s unique proposition, riders on the 2017 Haute Route Alps will benefit from the Haute Route’s usual professional level of rider support on each of the seven timed and ranked stages. This includes fully authorised stages, mechanical and safety support on the road, massages and a rider’s meal after racing and full logistical support meaning that the focus is always on the riding.
Hundreds of riders have already signed up for the 2017 Haute Route Pyrenees (August 13-19), Haute Route Alps or Haute Route Dolomites (September 2-8) - join them on the startline by clicking here to sign up and remember the current price structure changes at midnight CET on December 6.
Registrations for the inaugural Mavic Haute Route Rockies are also open. Taking place from June 24th to 30th 2017 in Colorado, the final registration phase is already in effect as places are selling rapidly.
And don’t forget that the inaugural Haute Route Ventoux, a new three-day racing sportive based in the town of Bédoin and featuring three climbs of Mt Ventoux, will be staged from 6-8 October. The second registration phase will close at midnight CET on December 22. Register here.
Haute Route Alps 2017 stage by stage
Stage 1: Nice – Pra Loup (173km, 3,700M+)
Cols: Ascros 1,160m / Cayolle 2,326m / Pra Loup 1,592m
Stage 2: Pra Loup – Col du Granon (127km, 3,700M+)
Cols: Vars 2,109m / Izoard 2,360m / Granon 2,413m
Stage 3: Serre Chevalier – Alpe d’Huez (112km, 3,200M+)
Cols: Lautaret 2,058m / Sarenne 1,999m / Alpe d’Huez 1,850m
Stage 4: ITT Bourg d’Oisans – Alpe d’Huez (15.5km, 1,100M+)
Col: Alpe d’Huez 1,860m
Stage 5: Alpe d’Huez – Megève (182km, 4,500M+)
Cols: Glandon 1,924m / Madeleine 2,000m / Saisies 1,650m
Stage 6: Megève – Morzine (145km, 3,400M+)
Cols: Epine 987m / Colombière 1,618m / Joux Plane 1,700m
Stage 7: Morzine – Geneva (140km, 2,600M+)
Cols: Encrenaz 1,433m / Ramaz 1,619m / Feu 1,117m / Moises 1,121m