Today OC Sport, the global sports marketing and events company specialising in professional sailing and outdoor events, confirmed the creation of the Haute Route Dolomites-Swiss Alps for 2014. In 2011 came the inaugural edition of the Haute Route Alps and in 2013 the Haute Route Pyrenees, now the Haute Route Dolomites-Swiss Alps is another event to add to the world’s highest and toughest cyclosportives. All three events will be held back-to-back next year, offering a few hardcore riders the tantalizing prospect of a Triple Crown challenge and, at the same time, offer up the opportunity to hundreds of amateur riders the chance to traverse either the iconic cols of the Alps, Pyrenees or Dolomites-Swiss Alps. The first edition of the Haute Route Dolomites-Swiss Alps will take place between 16-22 August, 2014. This truly exceptional new course will run from the Adriatic Sea (Italy) to the shores of Lake Geneva (Switzerland), combining 900km cycling distance with 21,000 metres of vertical ascent and crossing 20 mythical cols in 7 timed stages.
The concept of the Haute Route Dolomites-Swiss Alps will remain the same as the Haute Route Alps (Geneva-Nice) and Haute Route Pyrenees (Barcelona-Anglet Basque Coast). A peloton of 500 amateur riders will cross the Dolomites and the Swiss Alps in 7 timed stages, including an individual time trial in the second half of the week. Each rider, aiming to finish all stages and living an unforgettable sporting and human experience, will have their own individual ranking but will also compete as part of a team.
Laurent Bezault, Race Director and the brains behind the route design, explained: “Besides the breathtaking beauty of the landscape, Dolomites and Swiss Alps offer a perfectly suited playground to the Haute Route. The route, linking the Adriatic Sea to the shores of Lake Geneva, features 900km distance and 21,000 metres of ascent The most iconic cols will be included - Stelvio, Gavia or Furka. Riders must particularly beware of the first stages in the Dolomites with their long and steep climbs, and manage the 9 cols over 2,000 metres”.
Ascent of the Stelio © Anita Stizzoli
Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, the Dolomites are amongst the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the world. Cliffs hang out of nowhere, flower-filled pastures are surrounded by forests and the famous - really steep - cols make this area one of the world’s greatest cycling meccas. On the other side of the border, the Swiss landscapes are dotted with deep valleys, glacial lakes and traditional chalets. The cols are less frequented in this section but have some very nice surprises in store. Another UNESCO-protected site, the Aletsch Glacier region will be on the menu, preceding the famous ‘4000 of Valais’ – a string of unique and majestic high altitude peaks. The Haute Route Dolomites-Swiss Alps will link two international and iconic cities, with easy access to an international airport and premium accommodation facilities.
The formula that has contributed so strongly to the success of the Haute Route will remain the same: a seven day cyclosportive consisting of timed stages, featuring a carefully chosen selection of world-famous cols and ascents, with the riders fully supported en route as the organisers manage all the logistics of accommodation, baggage transfers, mechanical support, safety, medical support, meals and the much-appreciated massage at the end of a hard day in the saddle. Rémi Duchemin, OC Sport CEO, stated: “Our main objective is once again that a few hundred privileged riders live a unique and safe experience. 50% of riders rated the Haute Route as a top three or best ever life experience because the Haute Route events simply offer amateur riders the chance to ride like a pro for a week. The Haute Route now crosses four countries, traverses the best mountain ranges in Europe, and include the world’s most famous cols. The Haute Route is already top of the bucket list for keen cyclists from London, Sydney, New York or Singapore. But only 1,500 lucky riders will start the Haute Route next year, from the shores of the Adriatic Sea, Geneva or Barcelona”.
Start of the Haute Route Alps 2013 in Geneva © Manu Molle
The full course details of the Haute Route Dolomites-Swiss Alps will be revealed before the end of the year. What can be assured is that 7 top-level cities and resorts will host the riders, further reinforcing the premium image of the Haute Route.
The most motivated will again be given the possibility to take part in several events or, the ultimate challenge, to link all three Haute Routes, 60 legendary cols, 2400km and 60,000 metres vertical ascent in three weeks. The equivalent of seven ascents of Everest from sea level. “This Triple Crown is the challenge of a lifetime for an amateur cyclist,” said Christian Haettich, finisher of all the Haute Route events since 2011 and first rider registered for the three weeks in 2014.
Places on each event are limited to 500 riders. Keen cyclists can register at http://www.hauteroute.org and riders from over 35 different nationalities have already signed up to date. The second entry phase for the 2014 events opened on the 10th October and closes in just a week’s time on Friday 14th November, 2013 (2000 CET). Entries are priced at 1500 Euros per event (not including accommodation), with a discounted price at 1350 Euros for previous riders. A discounted rate is also offered to all riders who sign up to two or three of the Haute Route events. The choice of accommodation package (Basic, 2-Star or Excellence) can only be guaranteed in the second entry phase so it is important to not delay registering. A final entry phase for the remaining places will open on Sunday, 1st December (1200 CET) but choice of accommodation package cannot be guaranteed.
• Haute Route Dolomites-Swiss Alps
1st edition from Saturday 16th to Friday 22nd August 2014 (Race Village on Friday 15th August)
• Haute Route Alps (Geneva to Nice)
4th edition from Sunday 24th to Saturday 30th August 2014 (Race Village on Saturday 23rd August)
• Haute Route Pyrenees (Barcelona to Anglet Basque Coast)
2nd edition from Monday 1st to Sunday 7th September 2014 (Race Village on Sunday 31st August)
• Official website: www.hauteroute.org
• Official magazine: http://hauteroute.org/docs/HR_MOUNTAIN_ADDICT_2013_WEB.pdf
• Official video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T4j6fbiOwQ&feature=share&list=UUq9YlBCKsbfksBNHwT78U8A