Plans are already in place for the next Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps, to be held in the first week of September 2015.
This year’s inaugural event ended yesterday in Geneva after riders completed the final instalment of a gruelling seven stage parcours from Venice, which had included two ‘marathon’ stages and an individual time trial.
Survivors of the event, billed as one of the world’s toughest cyclo-sportives, had ridden some 933km over 17 cols, including the iconic Passo dello Stelvio.
A total ascent of 20,350m tested riders to their limits, with stage five, a gruelling 175km slog from St Moritz to Andermatt, laden with 3600m of climbing, among the hardest, as the video above shows.
Thursday’s fifth stage included the visually stunning but brutal climbs of the Julierpass, which soars to 2284m, the 1549m Lenzerheidepass, and the Oberalp Pass, which gains 907m in a 20km ascent that tops out at more than 2000m.
The stage arrived a day after a 21km time trial on the iconic switchbacks of the Passo dello Stelvio, where riders climbed for 1550m.
Provisional route information for the 2015 Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps suggests the event will follow a seven-stage itinerary over a parcours of more than 800km with 20 cols and more than 20,000m of climbing.
Organisers have yet to confirm whether the event will run from Venice to Geneva or from Geneva to Venice. Full details are to be confirmed by the end of next month.
The 790km Haute Route Pyrenees, an eight-stage event from Barcelona to Anglet Basque Coast with 19,500m of climbing, begins in Barcelona on Monday September 1.