Posts Tagged ‘event’

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.

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