Vail Today: The Mavic Haute Route cycling tour rolls into Avon (video)
By Tricia Swenson | Vail Today
Since 2011, the Pyrenees, Alps and Dolomites have all played host to the Mavic Haute Route road bike tour. Now, the Colorado Rockies can be added to this list of challenging terrain. The Mavic Haute Route global cycling series gives amateur cyclists a taste of the professional experience, with seven days of fully supported rides over some of the world’s most iconic roads. Haute Route Rockies started in Boulder on Saturday, June 24 and will finish on Colorado Springs on Sunday, July 2 with riders traveling over 500 miles and climbing 49,300 feet in elevation throughout the week. The group made Avon their home for three days. Riders crossed the finish line at Nottingham Park after leaving Winter Park on Monday morning, June 26. A time trial was held on Tuesday, June 27, ascending some of the valley’s steepest grades up to the Mountain Star and Wildridge neighborhoods. On Wednesday, June 28, they will travel over Battle Mountain, Tennessee and Independence Passes before and uphill finish at Snowmass ski area. Only about a third of the 400-plus cyclists are from the United States. Many have traveled from the United Kingdom, France, Portugal, Poland, Norway, Chile, Brazil, and Canada, which is indicative of the area’s appeal to cyclists worldwide. Colorado’s elevation is a bit higher than some of the rides in Europe, so some of the international riders were wary. “A number of riders came out in advance. One rider from Norway actually spent a week prior in Avon to acclimate,” said Chris Lyman, a spokesperson for Haute Route Rockies. Why Avon? “Avon is ideally situated between some of Colorado’s best terrain, and of course Eagle County has a history of hosting road biking events. It also has a great variety of lodging and restaurants for people to choose from and can accommodate our large group,” said Lyman. “The cool thing about this event is everyone from a former pro rider to weekend warrior will find the challenge and the experience they’re after. It’s unique in that way,” said Lyman. To learn more about Haute Route Rockies, visit http://www.hauteroute.org.