Last week Haute Route, best known for the week long European Haute Route Alps gran fondo, abruptly cancelled their 2020 USA events, Haute Route Asheville and Haute Route Boulder, effectively ending their USA expansion.
After their first USA event, Haute Route Rockies, was well received by over 300 participants in 2017, Haute Route hired staff, opened headquarters in Colorado Springs and added events.
But Haute Route’s gran fondo concept never caught on with American riders and participation dwindled.
For 2018 the schedule included not only the 7-day Rockies, but also 3-day events Asheville(North Carolina), San Francisco and Utah. Attendance at the Rockies plummeted to 100 riders, with Asheville 150 and San Francisco 125. Utah was cancelled.
In 2019 they cancelled Haute Route Rockies and the head of USA operations, Micah Rice, left. While Asheville grew to 200 riders, San Francisco only attracted 80.
On the cancellation of Haute Route Rockies, CEO Matt Holden told VeloNews, “I think we probably went a bit too quickly. We did the Rockies, it went really well in year one. We had a lot of Europeans come over. But I don’t think we marketed enough or consistently enough.”
In September Haute Route announced their 2020 events, including two in the USA, Asheville in May and the new 3-day Haute Route Boulder (Colorado) in October.
Now, those events have been cancelled and removed from the 2020 schedule entirely.