The Haute Route. As far as cyclosportives are concerned, this is the granddaddy of them all. As of last year there are now 3 events, all taking place in August, somewhere in the vicinity of Switzerland, France, or Italy, taking place over seven days, and covering upwards of 899km but taking in upwards of 23,500m of elevation along the way.
If you compare any one of the stages to the Peaks Challenge Falls Creek, it falls a bit short. The elevation is still immense, but the distance is roughly half.
What makes this hard – really, really hard, is that you do this for seven days straight. Like a pro. On a Grand Tour. Averaging 3000 meters of elevation every day for a week is hard to imagine.
In any case, the fact that it is hard is one thing, but the places that it takes you are not only to the end of your physical and mental endurance, but also to some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring places on the planet, where mythical climbs and descents live.
This is an event that I have earmarked as something I will do in the next ten years (though I probably have 20 if I need it). It’s the big one. The best mixture of travel and challenge and deep satisfaction that I can think of. The Race Across America is just ridiculous. The Trans Am is hard. The Haute Route is hard, but you are taken care of. Pampered, even, and not quite hard enough to take all the the enjoyment out of it or block out the view along the way.
“There is just nothing like feeling good on a bike, and feeling good going up in this beautiful scenery – it’s amazing.”
One day. Who’s with me?
Header image: source