Great things happen in pairs, like with Batman & Robin, Mario & Luigi and riders at the 2019 Haute Route Stelvio in Bormio, Italy.
For the final edition of the event (it won’t be back in 2020), Haute Route limited registration to teams of two. A field of 154 international riders paired up into 77 teams to tackle the iconic climbs of Stelvio, Motirolo and Cancano over three stages. Although only 193km in length, the stages challenged teams with over 7300m of classic Italian climbing.
Landslides over the past few weeks forced Haute Route to change the original routes, but with the help of local authorities the event went off without issue.
Pro Tour Professional Tiesj Benoot (LOTTO SOUDAL 2019, TEAM SUNWEB 2020) used Haute Route Stelvio as training for the end of season Fall classics and paired with good friend Killian Michiels.
While most teams stuck together like glue – helping, encouraging and supporting each other in a spirited fun way – others wished their counterparts good luck and dropped them as soon as the road went up.
Benoot said he did a little of both, “On the first part of the Stelvio I lost my partner, but I waited for him at the feed zone and we came together for the last part.”
On the time trial stage Team of Two rider Philippe Béchet rode a speedy 31:39, with teammate Linda Farczadi at 38:04, helping them win the overall Mixed category with a total team time of 13:23:03.
Team Asterix & Obelix riders Michele Antonioli and Daniele Schena won the Men’s category with a total team time of 12:17:35, followed by GDR Canaviais at 12:22:06 and Challenge Family 12:37:52.
In the Women’s category Bethan Hopewell and Christine Ford, riding as team Your Pace Or Mine?, won in 16:23:41.
GRAN FONDO CALENDAR NORTH AMERICA here
GRAN FONDO CALENDAR EUROPE here