Euro Sportive – Haute Route Norway
Sign up for the inaugural edition of this awesome bucket-list challenge in stunning Scandinavia
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
WITH FULL PROSTYLE SUPPORT, YOU’LL BE LEFT TO JUST FOCUS ON THE RIDING…
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