OC Sport, a global sports marketing and events company specialising in professional sailing and outdoor events, has announced today 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 from the 1-7 September 2013, crossing a legendary course from Catalonia (Spain) to the Basque Coast (France), featuring seven timed stages, 800 kilometres, 20,000 metres of ascent and 20 legendary Pyrenean cols.
The concept of the Haute Route Pyrenees (Catalonia-Basque Coast) will be identical to that of the Haute Route Alps (Geneva-Nice), with both events being held annually. The peloton will consist of hundreds of cyclists from all continents across the globe, traversing this stunning mountain range in seven timed stages, which will include an individual time trial mid-week. Riders’ first motivation will be to finish the race and to share an experience of a lifetime. All participants will be ranked individually (Solo) and as part of a team between 3 and 9 cyclists (Team).
The course has been once again designed by Race Director Jean-François Alcan, who described his inspiration for the route. “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 Haute Route Pyrenees will link two dynamic, world-famous and iconic cities, which offer excellent accommodation and international airports.
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, with a limited number of participants to ensure the quality of the event and unique atmosphere amongst the riders who will be ranked as both individuals and teams.
Rémi Duchemin, CEO of OC Sport, commented “Our objective is to offer a unique experience and total safety, to hundreds of dedicated cycling enthusiasts. Previous riders of the Haute Route have claimed it to the best, or one of the top three, experiences of their lives. With editions in both the Alps and the Pyrenees, we hope to inspire millions of cycling fans worldwide but only 1,200 participants can be on the start line in Geneva or in Catalonia.”
OC Sport will announce the Start and Finish host cities, the details of the course for the Haute Route Pyrenees along with registration conditions in the coming weeks. It has been confirmed the 50 entries will be reserved for participants who wish to take on the ultimate challenge of the Alps and the Pyrenees in the same year, with the start in Catalonia one week after the finish in Nice.
Peter Pouly, one of the winners of the Haute Route Alps’ inaugural edition, and returning in 2012, welcomed the creation of the Haute Route Pyrenees. Pouly said, “Taking 14 days to cross both the Alps and the Pyrenees with a week off in the middle is the dream for all cycling enthusiasts. Only the most determined will succeed in completing both the Geneva-Nice and Catalonia-Basque Coast events with 1600km, the equivalent of 5 ascents of Everest from sea level and back, and 40 mythical cols before they can claim the ultimate accolade!”
- Haute Route Alps 2013 (third edition) – 18-24 August 2013
- Haute Route Pyrenees 2013 (first edition) – 1-7 September 2013