The Haute Route and The Amateur Boom

Away from the Vuelta and USA Pro Cycling Challenge there’s an event in France called La Haute Route, literally “the High Road”. It’s not a pro race, it’s part holiday tour, part cyclosport and goes across the French Alps. And it’s this that gives us interesting glimpse of the future because it combines several aspects of sport, business, tourism and more into a seemingly winning formula.

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Where the pros can’t ride

Nove Colli Gran Fondo

There are UCI rules restricting the events a pro cyclist can ride meaning that if one wants to join a local event they could fall foul of the rules and risk a suspension. Here’s the relevant bit:

1.2.019 No licence holder may participate in an event that has not been included on a national, continental or world calendar or that has not been recognised by a national federation, a continental confederation or the UCI. A national federation may grant special exceptions for races or particular events run in its own country. 1.2.021 Breaches of articles 1.2.019 or 1.2.020 shall render the licence holder liable to one month’s suspension and a fine of CHF 50 to 100.

In simple terms it means a rider is restricted from taking part in non-UCI approved competitions. It’s an interesting idea with the idea of a breakaway league being discussed but let’s put that aside.

Because right now it means some pros are barred from taking part in local events that might already taking place near you unless they get special clearance from the highest levels. In particular local cycling bodies are interested in enforcing this. US pros for example have been warned about consequences if they take part in non-USA Cycling approved events.

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The Future of Road Cycling?

Slowly but surely the gran fondo scene is spreading from Italy to the US. There’s a thriving scene in Britain although this is hamstrung by local laws preventing riders from racing and it’s beginning to take of in Australia with the Alpine Classic and races like Grafton – Inverell being open to all. Gran fondo … Read more

L’Etape du Tour Mondovélo unveiled

In a change with previous years the 2011 cyclosportive run by ASO on the route of a Tour de France stage will be a double-header with two rides. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s an open ride where anyone can register to take part and ride the route of a Tour stage on closed … Read more

Mont Ventoux Madness

Mont Ventoux is part of cycling legend. The mountain is unlike others in France because it stands proud of the land, famous passes in the Alps and Pyrenees like the Galibier and Tourmalet merely snake their way from one valley to the next. Instead Ventoux dominates the terrain it occupies and the road reaches the … Read more