Riders from 17 countries and 23 states arrived in Boulder, Colorado for the second edition of the Mavic Haute Route Rockies today. The seven-day event will cover over 500 miles and 54,511 feet of climbing, taking riders from Boulder to Winter Park, Avon, and Breckenridge, before an epic climb to the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak and finish in Colorado Springs.
For many, it will be their very first Haute Route experience. Below is everything you need to know if you’re new to Haute Route.
First, let’s start by getting the pronunciation of Haute Route straightened out. You have probably heard the name in quite a few different ways. Haute Route is French for “high route,” and if it’s been a while since you took French in high school, the easiest way to approximate the correct pronunciation is to think of “oat” as in oatmeal and “root” as in root beer. In other words, “Haute Route” should sound very similar to “Oat Root”.
The Mavic Haute Route Rockies is a competition, but it is very different than a traditional road race. Each rider’s standing in the competition depends solely on their combined time for designated sections of each stage. Between timed sections, riders can wait for friends, stop at aid stations, and regroup to ride to the next timed section together. One of the best aspects of timed segment racing is that getting dropped from the front group doesn’t mean you’re out of contention. This gives more riders a chance to compete each day, whether it’s against yourself, among your friends, or for the stage win. The ability to regroup with companions or teammates also opens up opportunities for new and interesting tactics and strategies. Remember, only the timed sections count!
Mavic Haute Route Rockies riders are supported by TK vehicles, including police, moto marshals, and Mavic Neutral Support. Riders are responsible for following the rules of the road and having the tools and knowhow to change flat tires, but this flotilla of support vehicles is there to help keep everyone safe and give riders confidence knowing support is never very far away. Such a high level of support on the road is typically reserved for top-tier pro races in the United States, and for a full week that support is there for our riders.
Haute Route brings together athletes who are passionate about cycling, and the unique stage format and “team hotel” environment encourage camaraderie. Riders don’t hide in their hotel rooms, but are welcomed to come hang out and swap stories with other people who love cycling. You can ride with new people each day and make friends that will last a lifetime.