Haute Route 2014 – route announced
So this was going to be a post about my goals for the Haute Route but I'll have to come back to that. Earlier on today the route for the 2014 edition was announced on their website – HR 2014 Route
Initial thoughts…. blimey. A double ascent of Alpe D'Huez, the Madeleine, and Mont Ventoux. I didn't expect that one to be on there. I don't know whether to be delighted or afraid. I've done Ventoux once before and it was a dark, painful place.
It also looks like an Haute Route of two halves. The first three days feature the bulk of the climbing but no stage longer than the 130's in km. The second half features longer stages with less climbing and the looming spectre of Mont Ventoux. Splitting the course in two is the time trial up Alpe D'Huez. My first reaction was that the first half is the more difficult one but on reflection they both look pretty painful. Day two and three involve a total of 8500m of climbing, nearly the height of Mt Everest. However day five and six involve a total of 347km of cycling, all on the back of the time trial up the Alpe.
This will mean some interesting things for both training and kit choice. I think this years edition was much more about all out climbing. Next year will involve both climbing and distance. Finishing inside the time limits will involve being able to keep the pace up as well as hitting good VAM numbers.
Big question is, do the long days with less climbing in the second half of the course justify a set of carbon aero wheels? Actually that decision might be down to the wife!