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Haute Route Watopia challenge kicks off this Friday on Zwift

Participants competing in the three day virtual event, from 26-28 February, will receive a virtual Colnago bike

The second edition of the Haute Route Watopia is kicking off this Friday, 28th February, with three days of racing. Competitors will cover 149.9km and tackle 3,783m of climbing on the Zwift virtual cycling platform.

The first edition of the virtual event took place in April 2020 and saw 69,000 cyclists from 20 different countries signing up to participate.

“Despite it being a virtual event, Haute Route Watopia contains all the elements which the Haute Route cycling races have become famous for: a challenging course, a number of climbs, as well as a route through exceptional and iconic destinations, with Zwift having customised the roads of Watopia, the platform's virtual volcanic island, especially for the occasion,” says the organisers.

“On the day before each stage of the race, a briefing will be given to the riders on Instagram, led by Fergus Grant – the official spokesperson for the Haute Route – who will give all the information and advice required to make the race a success.”

Nutritional tips will also be provided by Haute Route’s partner OTE Sports.

Let’s take a look at what is in store for the competitors this year…

2021 Haute Route Watopia profile

Friday 26 Feb, Stage 1: Mega Pretzel route, 51km, 800m elevation gain - ends at the top of the KOM volcano

Saturday 27 Feb, Stage 2: Pretzel route, 53km, 1300m elevation gain – ends at the top of the Epic KOM Reverse

Sunday 28 Feb, Stage 3: Quatch Quest route, 45.9km, 1683m – ends at the top of Alpe du Zwift

All participants will receive a virtual Colnago bike and a new virtual jersey from Le Col.

2021 Haute Route Kit

The Haute Route celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and as well as this virtual event to kick off the year, promises six “real-life” 3-7-day events, around the world in 2021.

Sign up to the Haute Route Watopia here.

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wycombewheeler | 3 years ago
1 like

Want to ride this, but also want to ride outside for a change now the weather is good, and also this is not going to help to me clear off the last 6 zwift routes that I haven't ridden.

JohnMcL7 | 3 years ago
1 like

I was curious what the rewards are, from what I can see you ride the bike when doing the stages but don't keep it and you get the kit if you do all three stages.  

Secret_squirrel replied to JohnMcL7 | 3 years ago

Thats my understanding too.   the article is wrong in this respect.

jasecd | 3 years ago

Dumb question but I can't seem to find an answer on Zwift. I'd like to ride this but I've not ridden in a group or an event on Zwift before - I've signed up for the three stages but how exactly do I join the session?

Is it just a case of logging into Zwift a few minutes before the start or do I need to do anything else?

JohnMcL7 replied to jasecd | 3 years ago

Not a dumb question at all, you log into Zwift and start a course then when it's near the event start time you'll get a pop-up in game (on the PC it's on the bottom left) giving you the option to go to the event.  When you click that you'll be taken to the race starting area with a timer ticking down and you can chat to the other people then when the timer hits 0 the barrier is dropped and the race starts.

I'd recommend giving yourself plenty of time before the race starts to ensure Zwift is working and all your sensors are good.  I've lost out on a few races because Zwift needed a restart and was taking its sweet time or it was ignoring my power meter.  There's lots of races every day on Zwift so it's well worth entering one just to see the process so you're ready for this race.

I'm not a racing person normally but been doing a few events on Zwift and generally finding them quite fun and gives a new challenge, it pushes me a bit harder than I would normally ride.  

wycombewheeler replied to jasecd | 3 years ago

As Johnsays log in at least 5 minutes before, maybe 10, start riding any route it doesn't even need to be in the same world.

Then there will be a message to go your your immenent event.

jasecd replied to wycombewheeler | 3 years ago

Thanks John & Wycombe - very helpful and much appreciated.


PRSboy replied to jasecd | 3 years ago

One thing that you do have to do is enter each stage at your chosen time ( which you may have done, but I'm not sure if you've just registered for the overall event). Haute Route seems to be running every hour on the hour. If you have the phone companion app you can easily find the time you want and select, or do it via the main app from the events menu. 

If you start warming up beforehand the system will then invite you to join your event, from about half an hour before. 

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