Unprecedented ‘send off’ events planned in Venice and Geneva


08/07/2014

The Haute Route organisers are going the extra mile again to provide hundreds of amateur riders with dream routes and unique experiences. Just like the pros, Haute Route riders will begin their weeklong challenge with a non-timed parade in the iconic city of Venice on the Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps and a timed prologue along the Geneva Lake on the Haute Route Alps.

For the inaugural Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps, the City of Venice has granted permission for the Haute Route peloton to ride in Venice on Friday 15th August. “On the eve of the first Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps with the exceptional city of Venice as our backdrop, it will be an incredible sight to see the parade of riders crossing the Ponte della Liberta bridge, which is the only access road to the historical centre of the most romantic city in the world”, explained Race Director Laurent Bezault.

Starting from Isola Nuova del Tronchetto, the location of the Haute Route Race village, the peloton will head towards the Ponte della Liberta and the Parco San Giulano, situated at the entrance of the city, an area of about 700 hectares overlooking Venice’s lagoon. Riders will leave as a peloton at 4.30pm for this 12km non-timed parade, escorted by local police to guarantee their safety on one of the busiest weekends of the year. Cyclists from local clubs SC Favaro Veneto and Amici della Bicicleta Onlus will join the Haute Route riders for the parade.

On Saturday 23rd August, for the first time in the history of the Haute Route, riders will kick-start their challenge with an exceptional timed prologue in the heart of Geneva. The 9km Individual Time Trial will start from the Gustave Ador quay and finish in the ‘Jardin Anglais, home to the Race Village. This prologue will provide a fantastic opportunity for riders to ‘ride against the clock’ on fully-closed roads in the centre of Geneva and along the lake.

This prologue will be a great opportunity for the flat road specialists to show their speed and power and for one rider to get his hands on the coveted yellow jersey before the start of Stage 1 the next day.

With the first rider departing at 12.15pm and each subsequent rider at 20 seconds intervals, riders will ride their Invidual Prologue in front of a large crowd of locals, tourists, as well as friends and family visiting Geneva for the weekend. A rider’s time on this prologue will be added to their cumulative time of the 7 other stages and is fully part of the racing program.

Jean-François Alcan, Haute Route Alps Race Director commented “It is only with the support of and the City of Geneva and all local authorities that we have been able to put in place this exceptional timed prologue for the riders of the Haute Route Alps. It is under very special circumstances that these activities can take place and will create an unbelievable atmosphere to kick start the multi-stage Haute Route Alps event.”