Haute Route’s worldwide gran fondo series wrapped up its abbreviated 2020 season in grand style at Haute Route Mexico in the magnificent Valle de Bravo mountains west of Mexico City this past weekend.
With three stages over three days the multi-day gran fondo took riders on a journey through 290km of demanding climbs, thrilling descents, and stunning scenery while gaining almost 8000m of elevation.
The racing was just as exciting.
Stage 1 set the stage for an epic general classification battle between Mario Zamora and Miguel Angel Diaz. Brutal grades up to 20% tested the resolve of both riders, but in the end Diaz won and gained 26 valuable seconds on Zamora.
Stage 2 was the queen stage as riders tackled the category 1 ascent up a volcano – Nevado de Toluca. At a height of 3534 metres above sea level, it’s the highest point ever reached by any Haute Route event.
Wearing the leader’s jersey, Diaz fought hard to keep the wheel of Zamora on Nevado de Toluca, but eventually watched Zamora ride away to stage victory and into the leader’s jersey with a narrow 1 minute 38 second advantage over Diaz.
The final stage, a 17km time trial up 1062m to San Simon de la Laguna, would decide the general classification and who would take home the coveted Haute Route leader’s jersey.
Miguel Angel Diaz was not about to concede defeat and rode the time trial of his life, winning the stage in a very impressive 39:30 with a VAM (average ascent speed) of 1613m/hr – just below Tour de France climbing specialists.
With the overall title on the line Zamora fought for 17km to limit his time loss and in the end finished in 40:44, giving up over 1 minute to Diaz, but narrowly retaining the leader’s jersey and overall victory.
Worldwide Gran Fondo and Gravel Fondo Calendar