Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Haute Route Day 1

by Andrew Palfrey on 22 Aug 2011
Haute Route 2011 Helena Darvelid
Coach of Artemis Racing Andrew Palfrey shares with us the experience thus far in the Haute Route cycling race taking place in the French Alps.

Greetings from Megeve, which is located in the French Alps.

I am going a crazy bicycle race called the 'Haute Route'. It is from Geneva, Switzerland to Nice on the Mediterranean coast. It is 730 km over seven days. However, there is over 17,000mtrs of vertical ascent, which is largely divided amongst 15 fairly major mountain passes, or cols.

I arrived in Geneva on Friday evening and spent all of Saturday just taking care of all the details for entering the race, organising my food etc and some final bike tweaking.

Today was day one. I have added a link below from my little gps unit which details the route and other details. My aim was to take it quite easy today, as there are some heinous days coming up. I must say that I failed a little on that aim. I was feeling really good up the Columbiere (approx 1200mtrs of climbing over approx 16km. This took me around 75 mins.. My heart rate was higher than I would have preferred, but it did feel ok.


The views were incredible and the descent quite amazing. The next climb up the Aravis was tougher. It was a smaller climb. But seemed to drag on and the day was getting hotter. The descent from Aravis was reasonably tricky, but very enjoyable. From there it was approx 15km to the finish at Megeve over rolling terrain. It was tough going, as I was very short on fluids. But I got the finish line in reasonable shape after getting dragged along by three other riders for the final 5km. My time was approx 4hrs, 38 mins. Click here to view Garmin mapping from day one.

Weather-wise, it was a glamour. We started this morning on the banks of Lake Geneva as the sun was rising. Not a cloud in the sky and no wind for the entire ride. It was really hot at the finish. Did a lot of recovery at the finish with drinking, eating, massage and compression clothing.

The result page is below. Looks like I came 113th out of 300 or so riders. I have never raced before, so happy with whatever it says. I am part of a team of sailing people as well. Paul Larsen also comes from the Melbourne area and has been based in Cowes. He is involved in a project to set a new speed record for a sailing craft (see Sail Rocket). Mark Turner is well known as running many sailing events through Offshore Challenges (now OC Third Pole - who run the Haute Route). Fraser Brown is a Kiwi sailor that is now Cowes based. Simon Morgan is a yachtie from Cowes, and we also have Jim Thomas.


Paul did the best in our team. He has spent the last three weeks in the Alps training and holidaying. It has made a big difference to his riding. Does not seem that long ago that I was dragging him up hills on the Isle of Wight. He finished 12 mins ahead of me today. Mark and I rode together for the whole climb of Columbiere. I finished a minute ahead of him. Fraser was another 20 mins or so back, which was a bloody good effort. Simon had bike dramas halfway up the Columbiere and actually swapped bikes with a guy that was already in the sag-wagon (having given up for the day). Simon and Jim had a big day after all that, finishing in just a tick over six hours. We have just done some team-bonding fixing the gear shifter on Simon's bike. He is all good to go tomorrow.


Tomorrow is tougher than today. Today we did 2200mtrs of climbing. Tomorrow is 3000mtrs over three climbs with a heinous uphill finish. I have attached the route profile. It will be important to leave something in reserve tomorrow, as Day 3 is a shocker. But more about that in tomorrow's report....

Haute Route website

Wildwind 2016 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Mackay Boats

Related Articles

RC44 Sotogrande Cup – Rain does not stay on the plain
Rain of Old Testament magnitude descended on Spain's Costa del Sol for day two. While the wind was not excessive Even as RC44 crews and race management surfaced for their breakfast this morning, it was evident that the onshore easterly breeze, that had been blowing all night, had caused the sea state to build to the extent that waves were already breaking over the harbour wall.
Posted today at 3:05 pm
28th May announced as the America’s Cup Endeavour Day
The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is the America’s Cup’s ambitious youth sailing and educational program The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is the America’s Cup’s ambitious youth sailing and educational program, dedicated to inspiring everybody who engages with the initiative and to leaving a sporting legacy in Bermuda that has a strong, positive impact on the community.
Posted today at 2:51 pm
Challenging Qingdao tests Extreme Sailing Series fleet in Act 2 opener
As the fleet of seven crews hit the water the wind was down to just a couple of knots, delaying the start of racing. China's Olympic Sailing City is renowned for its tricky weather conditions that can catch sailors off guard with sudden changes – and the opening day of Act 2 Qingdao 'Mazarin Cup' was a prime example.
Posted today at 2:12 pm
Extreme Sailing Series – Team Oman Air promise to bounce back
Qingdao is notorious for delivering tricky conditions that can change in an instant, and that's just what happened today After almost two hours of bobbing around waiting for enough wind to allow action to commence, a solid 15-knot breeze swept over the seven-strong fleet allowing three races to be held.
Posted today at 1:35 pm
Antigua Sailing Week – 8 teams contest Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge
Racing is done in two preliminary heats of three races each. The two top finishers of each heat go to the final round Racing is done in two preliminary heats of three races each. The two top finishers of each heat go to the final round, which also consists of three races. All races are approximately 15 to 20 minutes in length keeping them challenging and exciting to watch!
Posted today at 11:50 am
RYA announces new Olympic Performance Manager
The RYA is delighted to complete its World Class Programme management team with the appointment of Mark Robinson Robinson, who joins the British Sailing Team in June from a Performance Manager role at Australian Sailing, takes on the post vacated by Stephen Park OBE and will lead the world’s leading Olympic sailing nation as it continues its quest for medal success in Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
Posted today at 11:40 am
Marion Bermuda 2017... an Extravaganza
Entries now stand at 60 yachts for the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race and there is still time to get off the fence Entries now stand at 60 yachts for the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race and there is still time to get off the fence and enter this classic, 40th Anniversary Race.
Posted today at 4:32 am
RC44 PRO earns his bucks on snakes and ladders opening day
Sotogrande, Spain laid on a tricky first day of the 2017 RC44 Championship. Sotogrande, Spain laid on a tricky first day of the 2017 RC44 Championship. Nonetheless Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio read his crystal ball well enough to stage four races on this course which uniquely has Europe, Gibraltar and North Africa as a backdrop.
Posted today at 3:57 am
North Sails - 60 years of sailmaking - 1986 12 Metre Worlds
In early 1986, a series of races were held off of Fremantle as a precursor to the 1987 America’s Cup. In early 1986, a series of races were held off of Fremantle as a precursor to the 1987 America’s Cup. Dubbed the 12 Metre World Championship, a dozen syndicates competed in what they considered a “shakedown series” to test their boats against the competition. Some of the teams had new builds, their first development boats.
Posted on 27 Apr
Heiner's consistency pays dividends in Sailing World Cup Hyères
Heiner has been one of the most reliable performers with a string of top five finishes to lead in the Finn. Out of the 534 racers from 52 nations, racing across the ten Olympic events, Foiling Formula Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, Heiner has been one of the most reliable performers with a string of top five finishes to lead in the Finn.
Posted on 27 Apr