Could La Haute Route be the toughest cyclo-sportive yet? The new event takes in 720 kilometres and 17,000 metres of climbing over seven days between Geneva and Nice in August 2011.
Starting from the shores of Lake Geneva and finishing on the ‘Promenade des Anglais’ in Nice, the Haute Route has been named after the legendary mountaineering route across the Alps, first charted in the mid-19th century by the UK Alpine Club and dubbed ‘The High Level Route’.
“The Haute Route will be one of the biggest challenges the sportsmen and women will face in their lives so it is important that we offer a service that measures up during the racing but also in our host venues each night,” commented event director Jean-François Alcan.
The Haute Route competitors will race at high altitude over a week, with seven timed stages, showcasing various formats – in line stages, marathon leg and a time trial.
With 720 kilometres to cover and around 17,000 metres altitude to climb and as much to descend, the competitors will have the opportunity to measure themselves against 14 famous cols, including the Madeleine, the Galibier, the Izoard and the Cime de la Bonnette on a route that climbs above 2,800 metres.
The first edition of the Haute Route will stop in the ski resorts of Megève, Les Arcs/Bourg-St-Maurice, Serre Chevalier, Pra Loup and Auron.
La Haute Route: Itinerary
Saturday 20th August 2011, The Haute Route Village, Geneva
Sunday 21st August 2011, Geneva – Megève (97 km)
Monday 22nd August 2011, Megève – Les Arcs (103 km)
Tuesday 23rd August 2011, Bourg-St-Maurice – Serre Chevalier (162 km)
Wednesday 24th August 2011, Serre Chevalier – Col du Granon (12 km, time trial)
Thursday 25th August 2011, Serre Chevalier – Pra Loup (119 km)
Friday 26th August 2011, Pra Loup – Auron (78 km)
Saturday 27th August 2011, Auron – Nice (145 km)
The event is open to individuals (solo), pairs (duo) or groups of four to nine riders (team). The event will be timed and jerseys awarded to the leaders in each category.
Entry costs €595 if you register before December 31 2010, or €630 if you register from January 1 2011. The fee includes food, support, transfers of luggage, massages and accommodation options.
The event is organised by OC ThirdPole who specialise in a range of outdoor events, including cycling, running and biathlon.
La Haute Route website