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Haute Route 2014 - Dolomites, Alps & Pyrenees

hatonehatone Posts: 228
There are rumours the Haute Route will include 1 week in the Dolomites before the Alps week, making it a 3 consecutive week race across the Dolomites, Alps and Pyrenees. This probably the closest thing to a grand tour for us amateurs, except there are no flat stages.

Who would be up for considering all three races?!


  • Someone with a vey large disposable income and lots of spare time?

    To be honest I'm sure it would be great, a mate did the Pyrenees one this year and loved it, but even if I could afford it I think a week would be enough for me. If I wanted to spend three weeks on the bike I would rather do it as a tour and see a bit of the local area at leisure - after all when you are "racing" one mountain is very much like another.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Actually, it looks like you can don single weeks, which is infinitely more feasible for those of use with jobs, families and a life.

    My question is whether or not this is feasible for me. I've done an alpine sportive, regularly do UK ones, and fast club runs with my local club. As ex-mountain biker I can sit and spin in a saddle all day long up a mountain, and on my summer road bike I have the ratios to let me do this and am untrouble by anything less than 10%. I have toured in the mountains fully laden and know what it is like to do 7 or 8 hours in the saddle every day for a week.

    The feasibility question is really because of

    a) my worry I will not be quick enough
    b) I will not be able to recover well enough for the next day

    a) and b) are in a sort of balance - after all how defensively do you ride at the start of the week so that you're not on your last legs at the end? How do you know without trying?

    Really interested in your personal experiences
  • richaricha Posts: 1,631

    From the paragraph of your Palmares sounds liker you will be fine. These events have a broad mixture of riders from the fast to the slow. And you have almost a year to build towards it. Go for it.
  • mrc1mrc1 Posts: 852
    Having run countless Raid Pyreneans and tours of the Alps and Pyrenees, the best bit of advice I can give is to train for multiple days on the bike and to pace yourself early in the week, particularly if you haven't ridden much in the mountains before - though it sounds like you have experience in that regard. That way you reduce the chance of getting a niggling injury that will spoil the week (we see lots of sore knees for instance owing to the low cadence climbing) and you give yourself the best possible chance of really enjoying the week as opposed to dreading getting on the bike each day.

    The multiple days on the bike training doesn't have to require masses of time in the saddle (though the more the better), but I always recommend that riders try to avoid the huge ride on Sunday but then nothing for the next three days mentality, in favour of getting back to back rides in, even if the back to back element comes from a cycle commute or quick turbo session. This will get you used to the feeling of getting on the bike day after day and prepare you for the first few miles each morning, which will invariably have you feeling a bit stiff and sore. A favourite version of this for me is a long ride on one day, followed by a 2x20 say on the turbo the next day. The long ride means I start the 2x20 with tired legs and the 2x20 acts as a great "bang for your buck" session which maximises the work down in a minimal amount of time.

    Beyond that, it is just a case of getting in as much riding as you can manage, while erring towards a focus at sustained high pace at threshold level, as opposed to lots of short sprints and intervals.

    Given the amount of time you have until next summer I would say to definitely go for it!

    Le Domestique Tours - Bespoke cycling experiences with unrivalled supported riding, knowledge and expertise.

    Ciocc Extro - FCN 1
  • Mrc1 & RichA

    Good responses, well considered advice thanks. Always good to hear from people who have actually done it, and watched muppets like me attempt to do it.

    I am glad in a way that nobody immediately responded with something like "well mate, I did the marmotte in under 10 hours and I didn't get past day two of the haute route..."

    thanks again. any further ideas or thoughts much appreciated as I am still weighing this up...
  • If anyone fancies the Haute Route Pyrenees this year, we're running a free competition for 1 full package, including accommodation.
    Competition winner will be picked by Greg Lemond, I kid you not! ... e-pyrenees
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