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Stephen Roche leads Haute Route peloton to finish in Nice

Former Tour de France winner Stephen Roche joined the Haute Route peloton as the 300 riders crossed the line in Nice to complete the seven-stage cyclosportive.

Stephen Roche tackles the Col de St Martin

The 730km ride scaled 15 Cols from Geneva to Nice in what has been dubbed by the organisers as ‘the hardest and highest cyclosportive in Europe’.

“It’s great to see so many people having a go at the Haute Route,” said Roche, who won the triple crown – the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and World Championships – in 1987. “To get over 17,000m climbing in seven days takes a lot of training and a lot of suffering.”

Stage three proved to be the toughest day’s riding, climbing the Col de la Madeleine, Col du Telegraphe and the Col du Galibier in extreme heat, forcing many riders to treat stage four as a rest day – despite having to ride a 12km individual time trial up the Col du Granon.

After climbing Europe’s highest road, the Cime de la Bonette, on the penultimate day, Roche joined the peloton for the final 140km leg to Nice.

“It was quite tough,” said Roche. “Riding into Nice with the tailwind on the sea front was great, but the climb in the middle of it [the 1500m Col de St Martin] was a surprise for me. I got over everything alright, but I suffered a lot.”

As part of the Haute Route, each stage featured timed sections where riders competed for a variety of jerseys. Full results are available on www.hauteroute.org

Final results

Solo men
1. Roux Michel
2. Blaugrund Benjamin
3. Trauchessec Jean Baptiste

Solo women
1. Gros Stephanie
2. Fedyna Marg
3. Laurendon Amélie

Duo men
1. Scales Richard – Broudeur Jean
2. Gilly Hervé – Roux Jean Pascal
3. Chavanne Joris – Tamanini Marc

Duo women
1. Girdwood Lynn – Green Joanne

Duo mixed
1. Pouly Peter – Saysset Karine
2. Greco Paolo Nicola – Vaccaroni Dorina
3. Scharrrer Andrea – Rembold Mario

Team
1. Team Thames Professional
2. Team Cyclosailors
3. Team Yo Basta Projecto

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