OC Sport has announced the creation of the Haute Route Pyrenees a year after its twin sister, the Haute Route Alps, was established as the ‘Toughest and Highest cyclosportive in the World’.
The first edition of the Haute Route Pyrenees will be held 1-7 September 2013, crossing from Catalonia (Spain) to the Basque Coast (France). It will feature seven timed stages, 800km (500 miles), 20,000 meters of ascent and 20 Pyrenean cols.
The concept of the Haute Route Pyrenees will be identical to that of the Haute Route Alps (Geneva-Nice) – as ridden by our man Jo Burt last year – with both events being held annually. The event will comprise seven timed stages, which will include an individual time trial mid-week.
The course has been once again designed by Race Director Jean-François Alcan.
“The Pyrenees offer an ideally suited profile for the Haute Route, with the exceptional beauty of the landscape and the authenticity of the valleys crossed,” said Alcan. “Our journey links the crystal Mediterranean waters to the shores of the Atlantic, from East to West, via 800km and 20,000 metres of ascent.
“The highest cols of the Pyrenees will feature in the challenging course, including the mythical Tourmalet, and riders must be wary that these climbs are even steeper than the Alpine ones.”
The formula that has contributed strongly to the success of the Haute Route Alps will be replicated for the new Haute Route Pyrenees: a multiday cyclosportive consisting of timed stages, featuring a carefully chosen selection of world-famous cols and ascents. The organisers will limit the number of participants with the aim of keeping the quality of the event high.
“Our objective is to offer a unique experience and total safety to hundreds of dedicated cycling enthusiasts,” said Rémi Duchemin, CEO of OC Sport.
OC Sport will announce the start and finish cities, the details of the course and registration conditions in the coming weeks. Fifty entries will be reserved for participants who wish to take on both the Alpine and the Pyrenean events in the same year, with the start in Catalonia one week after the finish in Nice.
• Haute Route Alps 2012 (second edition) – 19-25 August 2012
• Haute Route Alps 2013 (third edition) – 18-24 August 2013
• Haute Route Pyrenees 2013 (first edition) – 1-7 September 2013
For more information go to the Haute Route website.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.