Posts Tagged ‘epic’

Cotty epic

Michael Cotty’s 666km Alpine ride in August was beyond epic…

Good article on about the tech set up too.

Tour du Mont Blanc cyclo

Just at home enjoying a couple of days’ Easter R&R following 2 days in the saddle on Friday and Saturday. I received an email from Sport Communication – those friendly but tech-challenged purveyors of tough French cyclosportives – and have been browsing their newest event:

The Tour du Mont Blanc Cyclo - one epic I won't be riding.

The Tour du Mont Blanc Cyclo is:

a new challenge for cyclists in search of high passes. To complete this trial, you will have to ride 330 km, cross 7 passes with summits from 1 400 to 2 469 meters and 8 000 unlevel meters. Le Tour Du Mont Blanc® Cyclo, in one stage, allow cyclists to ride the Mythical Géant des Alpes and the most reputed European summits, by crossing 3 different countries (France, Suisse, Italie), and 3 major regions of the Mont Blanc mountains (Savoie, Valais, Val d’Aoste).

SC have listed the following as requirements for entry:

  • To be awe (sic) the difficulty of the race.
  • To be a confirmed cyclist with a fine experience of long distances.
  • To know how manage the difficulties induced by this kind of race such as climatic conditions, altitude as well as the physical or mental problems emanating from prolonged and intense efforts in altitude.

La Marmotte, by comparison with this epic enduro, is 174km, with 5000m of climbing. That, emphatically, was enough. I am in awe of the difficulty of this kind of race; I do know the mental and physical problems of riding them; and for those reasons, I’m out.

There is a limit to sportives, beyond which (for me) their appeal diminishes. I want a challenge, I want some fast, competitive riding, and I want a scenic route. What I’m not so interested in is getting up at 3am to carbo-load, riding for more than 8 hours, vomiting, painful cramps, and the possibility of riding off the edge of a mountain in the dark. Call me a lightweight – but La Marmotte was my personal limit. I’ve no wish to ride it again, and I’ve no wish to out-do that achievement in the future.

Where Are You Go trailer

Another inspiring and tantalising preview of this September’s Bicycle Film Festival in London.

North Downs Century 1

View Larger Map

Here’s the route I rode Saturday with Jock and Millsy. I started out from Archway at 8am, stopped off at Regent’s Park to pick up Mills, then met Jock at 9.15 at the café on Richmond Park. I made it all the way round Crawley and back to Epsom for about 3.30, I guess with about 30 mins of breaks / map-checks along the way.

Unfortunately it was a day of injury niggles for my two comrades. Jock actually bowed out after riding 2 sides of Richmond Park – he has shin-splints and an Ironman to do in 3 months. Mills had a back-of-knee issue that saw him head back north from Rusper for a more sedate 80-miler.

The 100 mile route (which includes the 6 miles back from Waterloo to Hornsey Lane) takes a pretty decent line out via Richmond Park, Kingston, Esher and Cobham, where it finally gets properly rural. The big drag over to Ewhurst from Shere gets you going, then it’s mainly flat until the little spikes around Ardingly. The killer is the climb up Pebblemill Road from the station at Betchworth. I’d swapped my 13-29 cassette for my older Veloce 13-26 so it was a real grinder. Then I sat down for a break on an ants’ nest.

If this route sounds like your cup of lukewarm SIS maltodextrin, check out the route of the Granfondo Luciano sportive on 28 June, which I followed parts of.