Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Someone asked, so here it is...

The bike races that we are doing in France this summer all fall within one week. We arrive in Vaujany on the Saturday in time to register and then we will be face with the first big test the following day. The route is 174km long with about 4500m of ascent within that. The biggest obstacle being the climb through Alpe D'huez and beyond to the Col de Sarenne although I am sure that the last climb up to the village we are staying in will also be hard work at the end of it all. To get the gold award for this one I have to complete it in 8 hours and 11 minutes. Last time it took me 8:29 so I hope to be able to improve on that and move from silver to gold this time but I don't really know how my fitness is compared with 2005.

On Wednesday we are riding the Prix des Rousses which is a much shorter ride of 40km starting at the bottom of Alpe d'Huez and riding up the famous 21 hairpins and then back downabout half way then up to Vuajany. in 2005 it took me 2½ hours and I don't expect much difference this time.
Then comes the big one. Saturday morning at 07:00 we start the 175km Marmotte with many thousands of other cyclists and head almost straight up the first of 3 BIG climbs of the day (5000m in total)- The Col du Glandon, then there is a short rest before the Col du Galibier which is very long and very steep. There is a long descent after that before the final climb to Alpe d'Huez for the finish. Last time I got the silver award in 9:54 but this time I want to get the gold which means that I have to finish within 8:49. This difference may seem enormous, but I know that I spent at least 20 minutes sitting at the bottom of the last climb eating, drinking and resting last time along with several stops along the way. I think I have a shot at getting the gold this time, but it will certainly not be easy.

The morning after the Marmotte is the last race which is a short little 14km up to Alpe d'Huez again although I guess we may then ride back to the house to save anyone driving over to fetch us.
Over the 4 races there are well over 10 000m of vertical gain and that is why I am trying to shed as much weight as possible in the few remaining weeks before it all begins.


  1. Anonymous3:03 pm

    have you worked out the hp required to lift the additional lard up that distance? You should therfore be able to deduce the calories and the weightloss it will induce? Help........BEN!!

  2. Have a look here and you can calculate it. Assuming various things, given the average gradient of 7% over a distance of 79km climbing, then losing 5kg will save me 18 minutes or there abouts.
    I think I posted about this sometime towards the end of last year.

  3. Anonymous4:20 pm

    That's answers alot. Is this filmed or on the internet?

  4. Anonymous8:11 pm

    Tut-tut how could we have forgotten!
    Doesn't answer the question though. How much energy will doing the event consume-therefore assuming youdo not pig your way round how much lard will you lose en route? Calculable?

  5. You will be able to follow the race here

    I don't have a start number yet, but I will try to remember to post it here when I get it (if I can)

  6. Anonymous11:09 pm

    This all sounds horendous.
    I cannot understand you wanting to cycle uphill - what's wrong with "flat"?