Venice to Geneva, 1st edition
This summer will see the first edition of the Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps - one of three Haute Route events in 2014 - with the eagerly awaited course being confirmed today. This truly exceptional new course will start from the iconic city of Venice, Italy on Saturday 16th and finish on Friday 22nd August in Geneva, Switzerland taking the 500 riders from the shores of the Adriatic Sea to the beautiful shores of Lake Geneva across 7 timed stages, 933km, 17 mythical cols and 20’350m of vertical gain.
The breathtaking landscapes of the Dolomites and Swiss Alps will come to life in their most challenging form for the amateur riders. Seventeen cols and ascents including some legends on the agenda: Passo dello Stelvio, Passo di Gavia, Passo Pordoi, Passo di Giau or the Furkapass. Nearly 50% of the cols exceed 2,000m on this 933km course that includes two marathon stages (Days 3 and 5), an individual time trial in the middle of the week, and two mountain top finishes at Passo dello Stelvio and Crans-Montana. “This could be one of the hardest Haute Route courses yet,” commented Race Director, Laurent Bezault. “There is no easy warm up, the riders will be straight into a very challenging route from day one but it is a well balanced course and will be an unforgettable journey.”
One of the highlights of the Haute Route is the individual time trial - often a ‘first’ for many amateur riders. The time trial will be staged on day four from Bormio climbing 21 km to the top of the infamous Passo dello Stelvio at 2,758m – the highest point of the entire Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps course.
Along the course the riders will stay at the premium international host venues of Venice, Conegliano, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Merano, Bormio, Saint Moritz, Andermatt, Crans-Montana, Martigny and Geneva: “The riders will stay in a different location every night of this seven day event, the first half of which is in Italy and the second half in Switzerland; we thank these new venues for supporting the Haute Route and for opening up new riding opportunities to our very international peloton.”
The organisation will take care of all the riders needs from booking accommodation, transfers, medical and safety support, baggage transportation, mechanical support and recovery: “The riders will only have to think about their time on the bike, how they will tackle the course, how they will recover and to soak up the incredible beauty of the Italian Dolomites, the Swiss cantons of Grisons, Uri and Valais, the Rhone and Aletsch Glaciers, and the world-famous Valais 4000m peaks,” concluded Bezault.
The start city of Venice will host the Haute Route Event Village and the Riders Briefing and for two days the number of bikes might outweigh the number of gondolas! Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world, renowned for the beauty of its setting, the outstanding art and architecture and the network of canals that connect the 118 small islands – it is the the perfect opportunity for riders to enjoy a weekend away with loved ones before setting off on the challenge of a lifetime.
At the riders finish the Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps on Friday, 22nd August on the beautiful shores of Lake Geneva - a welcome sight for the riders after 933kms of hard riding - another 500 riders will arrive for the Haute Route Alps starting on Sunday, 24th August and Geneva is set to become the world capital for amateur cyclying during this transition weekend.
The final entry phase is still open for the three events of the Haute Route 2014. To date more than 1,000 riders from 38 different countries have confirmed their participation, 50 of them have even decided to link events (Venice-Geneva and/or Geneva-Nice and/or Barcelona-Anglet). Among them 15 high performance cyclists will face the ultimate challenge of the Triple Crown by taking on all three weeks back to back, and crossing all the mythical passes of the Dolomites, Swiss Alps, French Alps and Pyrenees.
Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps 2014 - Stage by Stage:
Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps 2014 - Cols & Ascents:
Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps 2014 in numbers: