For those cyclists and Poli aficionado’s wishing to relive the moment, or those who weren’t able to attend, here are our highlights from the evening.
Ian Holt, founder of La Fuga, kicked off the evening by praising Haute Route’s approach to the multiday sportive and discussing his own taster of the Haute Route experience last August:
What I experienced at the Haute Route Alps was nothing short of electric. Riding in a 600 rider field and witnessing the camaraderie built over the preceding six days was fantastic. This was all before we hit the last mountain – where the fun really started! The roll into Nice was amazing and felt like being in the Tour de France rolling into Paris.”
Each stage of Haute Route Dolomites, Alps and Pyrenees were explained in detail by Matt Holden and Alexandre Blanc from OC Sports along with the importance of the La Fuga support to riders looking for an exclusive, pro-style support to tackle the toughest and highest cyclosportives in the world.
Matt and Alex delved into the brand new Haute Route Dolomites route, announced just last week. They also revealed the reasons behind the new additions to the established routes, such as the double Tourmalet on the Haute Route Pyrenees and the La Ventoux climb at the Haute Route Alps. The profiles certainly made a few people get excited, and a few others gasp!
However, the real highlight of the evening had to be Monsieur Ventoux with his musings on his racing career coupled with his incredible ability to keep his wine in the glass, even when gesturing manically with this hands! Our favourite tip of the evening had to be his secret energy snack – dried apricots – which we promise to provide at our Haute Route feed stations from now on in honour of Eros!
Eros disclosed that despite a strong desire, he never imagined winning a climb stage in his career, especially not the La Ventoux stage at the Tour de France in 1994. When asked if he had any particular race rituals, it’s fair to say that we were surprised to hear that ahead of winning the La Ventoux stage he stayed up until 1.30am to watch the Brazil-Italy World Cup final! He elaborated on his hunger to win the stage by saying that he did it so that he could be a star for once, instead of being just one of many in the crowd.
We were also amazed to hear that Eros Poli hadn’t returned to La Ventoux for 15 years until he joined one of La Fuga’s training academies in 2009. He explained his experience in the dreaded wooded section of the climb had put him off! When Eros was asked to give riders some advice about tackling the epic climbs in the Haute Route this year, he responded philosophically:
Remember you’re in a beautiful place: take a deep breath and enjoy it’.
What is certain is that the Haute Route is not for the faint-hearted, so for the special few who choose to take on the challenge, we salute you. And for those wishing to remove the stress of your challenge, we support you.
We aim to give our riders the closest experience to being in a professional cycle team as possible. We have sourced the best accommodation for each stage and will also provide swift transfers between starts and finishes; qualified mechanics and masseurs on hand; fresh riding kit every day; nutritional advice; exclusive refuel / kit drop zones during the race; route guidance and personalised ride strategy. Then at the end of the each day, there will be great company and delicious dinners. The devil is in the detail and our experienced staff will be on hand at every step of the journey.
So all you need to do is ride, relax and escape, and we’ll take care of all the rest.
View photos of our Haute Route evening on our Facebook pages.
Interested in taking on the Haute Route challenge? Visit our tour pages for more information and to book your place.