We get news of hundreds of sportives but this one – the Haute Route – immediately grabbed our attention. Run over seven timed stages from Geneva to Nice, the 730km ride scales 15 Alpine cols, climbing 17,000m.
The inaugural Haute Route takes place from August 21-27, starting from the Jardin Anglais on the edge of Lake Geneva and finishing on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, just metres from the the Mediterranean sea.
The sportive includes five classic stages, the shortest being 78km and the longest 140km, one 162km marathon stage and one mountain time trial, tackling a 12km, 1,200m ascent of the Col du Granon, which, summiting at 2,413m, hosted the highest ever summit finish in the Tour de France, with Spaniard Eduardo Chozas winning after a solo break in 1986.
Stage three is essentially the Haute Route’s Queen Stage, with more than 4,000m of ascent between Bourg St Maurice and Serre Chevalier, climbing the Col de la Madeleine, Col du Telegraphe and Col du Galibier.
Participants can register individually, with a partner or as team of four to nine. Entry costs 630 euros per person and closes on July 31. Accommodation is an additional 260 euros for the ‘comfort’ package or 630 euros for the ‘premium’ package.
Head to www.hauteroute.org for more information or to register.
Haute Route in numbers
1 – First edition of the Haute Route, August 21-27 2011
2 – Countries, starting in Switzerland and finishing in France
3 – Classifications: solo, duo and team
4 – Summit finishes
7 – Stages in seven days (five classic stages, one marathon stage, one mountain time trial)
7 – Host cities: Geneva, Megève, Les Arcs, Serre Chevalier, Pra Loup, Auron and Nice
9 – Maximum number of riders in a team
15 – Mythical cols in the Alps
18 – Minimum age to participate in the Haute Route
20 – Nationalities to have entered thus far( from across Europe, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australiaand New Zealand)
630 – Entry fee in Euros
730 – Distance covered in the Haute Route
17,000 – Ascent (in metres), the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest twice