Euro Sportive – Haute Route Nor­way

Sign up for the in­au­gu­ral edi­tion of this awe­some bucket-list chal­lenge in stun­ning Scan­di­navia

Bikes Etc - - CONTENTS -

Three days of stun­ning scenery, epic moun­tains and not to men­tion the fjords!

What is it?

Dat­ing back to the mid-19th cen­tury, the orig­i­nal Haute Route was a cross-coun­try ski­ing trek from Cha­monix in France to Zer­matt in Switzer­land, via Mont Blanc and the Mat­ter­horn. Since 2010 it has also been the name of what is prob­a­bly the tough­est se­ries of multi-day sportives in Europe, tak­ing in seven-stage epics over hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres and as many as 20 leg-bust­ing moun­tain passes to chal­lenge even the tough­est of rid­ers. No won­der they’re re­garded by some as be­ing even harder than the Tour de France! The three flag­ship rides are held in the Alps, Pyre­nees and Dolomites, but 2018 sees a ma­jor ex­pan­sion of the se­ries to in­clude sev­eral new events around the world, in­clud­ing one in the Rocky Moun­tains, in Colorado, USA, as well as this epic tour of the fjords and moun­tains of Nor­way. Partly in­spired by Ber­gen host­ing the 2017 UCI Road World Cham­pi­onships, this aims to show­case some of the most beau­ti­ful and chal­leng­ing cy­cling ter­rain in the world.

What’s the route?

While the three flag­ship Haute Route events are a week long, this is more of a long week­end com­pris­ing three stages all based around the pic­turesque port city of Sta­vanger – which is home to 2012 Olympic road-race cham­pion Alexan­der Kristoff. Day one is a 127.7km loop that takes you as far north as Hjelme­land, fea­tur­ing 2,134m of climb­ing and fin­ish­ing with 15km of traf­fic-free roads along the shore of Øvre Tys­dals­vat­net lake (cars are now di­verted through a mo­tor­way tun­nel) and a ferry ride back to Sta­vanger. Day two starts with the ferry cross­ing and heads in­land along Ly­se­fjor­den fjord, hemmed in by tow­er­ing walls of rock that fun­nel you to­wards some se­ri­ously tough climb­ing – around 2,200m in to­tal. The third and fi­nal stage is a rel­a­tively short up­hill time trial that sticks close to the city, get­ting you back to base in time for the home­ward jour­ney in the af­ter­noon – un­less you’ve brought the fam­ily along for an ex­tended stay in splen­did Sta­vanger.

Is it well sup­ported?

Like all Haute Route events, this one prom­ises the full pro-rider ex­pe­ri­ence, with sup­port cars fol­low­ing you along the ride, pro­vid­ing me­chan­i­cal and med­i­cal as­sis­tance when needed, as well as all the food and drink you re­quire to keep you fu­elled along the way. And be­cause con­di­tions can be pretty in­hos­pitable at the top of Nor­way’s rugged, un­tamed moun­tains even at the height sum­mer, they’ll be on hand to pro­vide ex­tra warm lay­ers for the de­scents. At the end of each day, you’ll have the op­por­tu­nity to treat your weary legs


to a post-ride mas­sage and en­joy a nu­tri­tious meal fol­lowed by enough down­time to re­lax, see the sights and take in the nightlife in Sta­vanger be­fore re­turn­ing to your lux­ury ho­tel. This in­cred­i­ble level of sup­port al­lows you to just chill and en­joy the ride, in the com­pany of like-minded cy­clists. How do I en­ter?

You can sign up now for en­try to the 2018 event by go­ing to the web­site at hauter­oute. org/nor­way_2018 – but get in quick be­cause it looks like be­ing a very pop­u­lar ad­di­tion to the Haute Route se­ries, with over 550 pre­reg­is­tra­tions within days of be­ing an­nounced. The full pack­age costs 4,750 Nor­we­gian Krone (around £445 at cur­rent ex­change rates) and en­try is ei­ther for solo rid­ers or duos, which is per­fect if you have a mate or a part­ner in mind to share the ex­pe­ri­ence with.

These epic roads and spec­tac­u­lar views are just 2hrs away by plane

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