By now the sun was shining and all there was left was a gentle roll down the hill (finally) to the official finish on the Promenade des Anglais. Looking at this year’s stages in the Alps, the one which is worrying me the most at the moment is Stage 4 – Alpe d’Huez to the Col du Granon. As the road opened this summer, the tarmac was beautiful and smooth. Luckily I had a wheel or two to follow for most of it even if my legs were too tired to stick with the bigger groups. Luckily it wasn’t as hot as we feared it could be as Alpe d’Huez can be like a furnace in the afternoon. It was a real novelty to be eating lunch at lunchtime – the more usual HR stages usually sees me eating lunch sometime in the mid to late afternoon. With the continued warm weather, thankfully only a few small patches of snow are left to cross. St Martin was another long climb at around 15km but for the last several km i found myself in a nice group of people, led by Swedish Dan, who I had been cycling on and off with all week so we made a good pace for the top. Published on Aug 26, 2019 The Col des Saisies awaited the Haute Route Alps peloton this morning as they left Megève to start Stage 2 and headed … It was extra fun riding with friends. More valley riding! With a clearer sense of reality, we both addressed day 2 with caution. It’s a busy road that links Bourg d’oisans with Briancon. Tip for anyone doing a HR in the future – everyone turns up first thing in the morning to register and pick up their kit bags and jerseys resulting in long queues practically stretching out of the sports centre. I managed to cling onto a massive group going at 67kph down the valley. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. 9th September 2017. Sure – we knew that it was split into 2 stages, and that the first part involved going over the Cime de La Bonnette which at 2802m is the highest road in Europe. The Haute Route’s objective is to deliver an unparalleled 'professional' experience for amateur cyclists. Stage 3: Courchevel to Alpe d’Huez (144km/4500m). A long neutralised descent into St-Étienne-de-Tinée followed where we all regrouped for the start of stage 7B at 1045. Wait until the late afternoon – it’s much much quieter. This means not only delivering first class hospitality and event management, but all the key ingredients that make up the culture and experience of professional road racing. 2:12. So the legs will be particularly tired and heavy. The first hill over Le Bettex showed us where we live in the peloton food chain… neither T-Rex, nor ocean krill – maybe somewhere in range of a moderately dangerous marsupial with claws and a bad temper. Cue lots of passing of bikes over the barriers and sneaking under the tape when the organisers were distracted in order to gain a few valuable seconds (which actually didn’t matter anyway as timing didn’t start for another 8km). It was one of those days which made me feel extremely lucky to be out here in the Alps doing what I love. Last time, I was plagued by injury – neck and shoulder pain with pins and needles down my arm meant that for weeks I was unable to ride outside properly – however this meant that I was more focussed and my training more structured on the turbo as a result. Snow crossings If you do find yourself at a snow crossing, it can be about 30 – 40 feet long (~9 meters). 4th September 2019. Geneva August 2017. Our main obstacle was the Vars, but the peloton started with real intent to race. However today was the first and last short stage (except for the ITT which comes on Stage 5) – from tomorrow onwards the epicness scale ramps up. Published on Aug 28, 2019 A cloudy and cool morning greeted the Haute Route Alps peloton as they started Stage 4 from Alpe d’Huez to Serre … Today was the best stage yet. It didn’t help the stage started with another frenetic group ride down the valley, but punctuated by some climbs including the punchy and little known Col du Pallon – only 1.8km but at 10%. The altitude was such at the summit that most riders resembled 2-pack-a-day smokers late for the bus. Posted on September 2, 2019 September 2, 2019 by Stuart Morgan Ok so yes, it was 12km/hr and handlebar sandwiches. Not sure about the legs however. As we started down the ramp in reverse GC order, as an extra bonus we got to see the faster guys TTing up whilst descending back to the race village in Briancon. The Haute Route Alps is a cycling event that hosts approximately 500 riders who start in a 7 day bike race from Megève to Nice covering 800 KM over 20,450m including some of the most iconic Alpine Cols. It firmly remains on my list of climbs I never want to do again however! One guy said to me as he passed me (as everybody else seemed to do) how easy I made it look as I was “so light” on the pedals – because my legs were exerting very little power. Riders filtered into familiar groupings on the main climb. For some time during this wet descent it was a reunion of the HR riders from Norway from just over months ago – Caroline, Amandine, Anders and myself. This year's edition will run north-south from Megève to Nice over seven timed stages on some of cycling's most famous Alpine climbs. Stage 4. Unfortunately my worst fears were realised – with legs tired from the first 3 stages it was a toss up between sticking with a group and risking blowing up the legs before the Granon, or losing time by battling solo into a headwind. Nine hours on the bike today. From the Alpe over the Sarenne, a drag up the Lauteret and a summit finish on the Granon. And somehow, even though it was day 7, that’s how I felt for the rest of the stage. The pressure is well and truly on Maps to come good with that Fendi… kidneys or not. The practical element to holding Herve’s wheel was that he was easily the most efficient rider to follow on the subsequent fast, sketchy, and generally insane 30km descent down the back side of the mountain into the steep edges and Mediterranean weather of the final run to Nice. Haute Route Alps BOOK NOW 22nd - 28th August 2021 (Arrival 21st August for registration, departure 29th August) The Haute Route is, quite simply, the best amateur cycling event that we've come across. A 3am alarm to catch the early flight to Geneva meant that I was fast asleep by 1945 yesterday evening. After a solid 10 hour sleep the day began with dragging my bike bag 1.5km downhill to the HR village in the centre of Megève over cobbled pavements to load it into the lorries. Let us … How could you not – just look at these views…. HR Norway at the beginning of August was a great training block with 3 days of spectacular riding amongst the fjords near Stavanger. Then it’s the 1830 briefing, dinner, repack bag and sleep ASAP before the alarm goes off at 5am. But, 24km at minus 8-10% grade, with ribbon-like switchbacks decorating a mountain of astonishing beauty was nirvana. Next it’s off to the hotel (you have to find it first; I’ve been lucky in that my hotels have been within a kilometre of the race village; one some days people have had to ride another several kms), find your bag, check in. The answer was to, as Nemo would say, just keep pedalling, up. All Images. By now it was really hot – luckily Pra Loup is only a 6km climb. *Climbs I never want to do again – the Granon, the Mortirolo, the Muro Di Sormano, and now the Col de la Loze. I spent a rather miserable an hour and a half, often by myself, trying to hold any wheels that came by for as long as I could but letting them go before doing too much damage. We were taken unawares by the Loze’s final act of brutality – 23km at 6.6% hid ramps of 20% over the final 4km. Results were academic, however, and crossing the finish line brought us both immense satisfaction. It was fast and pushy as Maps sidled up to me, grinning “I’m here”. “Just” the Cime de la Bonette and a few other lumps and bumps between us and the finish line on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice tomorrow. The Granon stage comes the day after the Queen stage where we will tackle the Madeleine, Glandon (both from the tougher North side) and then Alpe d’Huez with a total of 4600m of climbing. And sure enough they did – what then followed was the most fun part of the HR so far – being in fast and cooperative chain gang and overtaking other groups in the valley. With overContinue reading “Haute Route Alps 2019” The standard of climbing is incredibly high so I was pleased to even come in 23rd in the women’s GC, gaining 3 places on the final stage and significant time gaps. 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