The IRONMAN Group Acquires Premier Cycling Brand and Series Haute Route

August 19, 2021

Multi-day road cycling event series, Haute Route, along with gravel cycling event series, Gravel Epic adds to The IRONMAN Group portfolio of iconic mass participation sports brands and events

LAUSANNE, Switzerland / TAMPA, Fla. (August 19, 2021) – The IRONMAN Group is pleased to announce today the acquisition of premier multi-day cycling event series Haute Route®, as well as the Gravel Epic®, a soon-to-launch multi-day gravel race event series.

With the acquisition of these two brands and series, the world’s largest operator of mass participation sports events adds eight new cycling events to its portfolio of iconic brands and events that includes triathlon, road running, mountain biking, trail running, road cycling and gravel cycling.

As part of the acquisition, CEO for the Haute Route Group, Julie Royer, will also join the leadership team at The IRONMAN Group as Senior Director of Road Cycling, and along with her team will continue spearheading both series to carry forward and ensure the premium event experience amateur cyclists have grown to know and love.

“We are pleased to add Julie, her team, and the exceptional brand and series of events of Haute Route and Gravel Epic to The IRONMAN Group family as we further establish our position in cycling events globally,” said Andrew Messick, President and Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “These two premium cycling brands further enhance our events ecosystem, reaching new athletes in new geographies as we look to serve cycling enthusiasts with racing experiences that are challenging and fun with a full support network so they can focus on having their best race possible. We look forward to the continued leadership Julie will bring to ensure exceptional road cycling and gravel racing experiences in iconic locations where amateur cyclists feel like professionals.”

As a leading premium multi-day cycling series, Haute Route is well-positioned to develop The IRONMAN Group’s experience in the road cycling category. This epic collaboration is also set to bring thrilling new opportunities to both the Haute Route and its riders.

“Over the past 10 years, the Haute Route has become a ‘bucket list’ and an inspiration for riders across the globe,” said Julie Royer, CEO for Haute Route Group and new Senior Director of Road Cycling for The IRONMAN Group. “We are thrilled to be integrating into The IRONMAN Group and continuing to inspire generations of amateur athletes. We couldn’t dream of a better partner to support our vision and deploy the full potential of the Haute Route and Gravel Epic events as we share the same passion and dedication for supporting athletes through life-changing challenges and races. We are excited about the strong international position The IRONMAN Group brings to the table and the scope to take the Haute Route experience to the next level. Haute Route’s community of cyclists has always been at the centre of this experience and by joining forces with the talented team at The IRONMAN Group, we are going to be able to deliver an event series that is unprecedented in the cycling and gravel events industry.”

The announcement of the acquisition comes as Haute Route celebrates the 10th anniversary of its flagship race, Haute Route Alps, which has earned a reputation as the hardest and best organized multi-stage amateur road cycling event in the world. Since its beginning in 2011, the single event has expanded to a series of races across the world designed to give riders a challenging, immersive, and premium experience through the world’s most iconic cycling destinations. By participating in Haute Route events, cyclists can ride like a pro with premium level services while riding key stages of the Grand Tours. In 2021, events range from seven-day race (Haute Route Alps) to five-day events (Dolomites & Pyrenees) and three-day stage races (Ventoux, Crans-Montana and Brazil).

The Gravel Epic is a new multi-day gravel racing series set in premier destinations like the Atlas Mountains, Swiss Alps and other incredible gravel destinations. Created in 2019, Gravel Epic was acquired by Haute Route earlier in 2021 and currently has events scheduled for Switzerland and Morocco with plans to expand and meet the growing demand of cyclists globally. The series caters to both cyclists looking to embrace full race-mode all the way to those simply looking to try something new at their own pace off the beaten path.

The 10th edition of Haute Route Alps kicks off this Sunday, August 22, for the toughest week of cycling.

For more information on the Haute Route brand and event series, visit www.hauteroute.org. For more information on the Gravel Epic brand and event series, visit www.gravelepic.com.

For more information on The IRONMAN Group portfolio of brands and events, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group. Media related inquiries may be directed to press@ironman.com or media@hauteroute-group.com.


About Haute Route

Born in the mountains and raised on the road, Haute Route® is driven by a passion for soaring heights and personal feats, paving the way to the best experience of people’s lives. With events lasting 3, 5 and 7 days held in iconic cycling destinations around the world, the Haute Route is the world’s leading prestige stage race circuit for amateur cyclists. The Haute Route aims to provide unrivalled support and service at a professional level. This is made possible through a high standard of hospitality in addition to an excellent attention to detail, which together guarantees an experience akin to a professional racing circuit. Since 2011, the Haute Route has gradually expanded to a total of 7 races, the first of which – the Haute Route Alps – will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. For more information, visit www.hauteroute.org.

About Gravel Epic

Building a multi-day gravel race series for a lifetime of memories, Gravel Epic® provides cyclists fast paced racing, scenery, people, and memories that will stay with you forever. With races in premier destinations like the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, Swiss Alps in Switzerland, and other incredible gravel destinations. Gravel Epic was created in 2019 before being acquired by Haute Route in 2021. The series caters to both cyclists looking to embrace full race-mode all the way to those simply looking to try something new at their own pace and off the beaten path. Whether it is the freedom, the environment, or the feeling of treading uncharted territory, everything about gravel riding shouts adventure and at Gravel Epic, we believe everyone should have the chance to experience it. For more information, visit www.gravelepic.com.

About The IRONMAN Group

The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf®, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events including Haute Route®, and gravel racing like Gravel Epic®, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.

About Advance 

Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 17,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com.