• Today is: Monday, May 29, 2017

La Marmotte – 5 go French.

July12/ 2011

5 foolish members of SAC entered a bike ride to end all one day bike rides. It is classed as the hardest sportive ride in Europe, it is basically one of the stages on this years Tour D’France but harder (errr but note they ride for 3 weeks at double our speeds or triple as in Marks case ha…).

Anyway we piled down in 2 vans (as there were 2 other non SAC members with us), the journey down to France took around 13 hours door to door including a detour thanks to James Walker’s dodgy navigation.

Race day was on Sat 2nd July and consisted of 107 miles over 4900 meters of climbing in the Alps, including mountains Col Du Glandon, Col Du Galibier and finally finishing on the Alpe Duez. Riding over the mountains was a truly breath taking experience due to the spectacular views, great atmosphere as there were 6000 fellow riders from all over the world and the very very fast sweeping descents.

Mr Simon Turkey breath, put on his tires incorrectly and as such one of them came off at a the top of a decent, luckily not at a dangerous point and he ended in a ditch with just his pride hurt (don’t worry we wont tell anyone ha ha). To say the ride was tough is a major understatement.

Gary Brind 8hrs 33min
James Walker 8 hrs 36min
Shane Bridgman 9hrs 12min
Simon Turkey 10hr 15min
Mark Tyler 10hr 36min
Winners time was a humbling 5hrs 32mins (if we had a more expensive bike like his, we would have beat him no problem!).

The total times were actually about 30 mins more, but the race organizers took out the decent off one of the mountains as it is classed as very dangerous, (riders during previous years races have died!), so the race organizers don’t want riders racing at this point and just neutralized this part of the race. In fact at the bottom of the mountain a rider was out cold on the road with medics around him and the tunnel had been closed – not a nice sight.

Overall a fantastic experience and we would recommend it to others – but just don’t ask James to be your co driver, stick him in the back of the van and ask him to do “plank” all the way down !

Below are some pictures and the Garmin statistics taken from our ride.

  • laurence
    6 years ago

    Wow, what a fantastic experience, well done to everyone. You see these climbs on the TDF and you think ‘wouldn’t it be great to do it’ well you have.

    On that note me and my Dad (Steve C.Y) are off to do the Alpe D’Huez Triathlon at the end of July, so we will report back on our trip. I have to do the kids triathlon, but i’m hoping to beat him to the top of Alpe D’Huez when we do it together.

  • Mark T
    6 years ago

    Hi Laurence.

    Thanks. It was a great trip. You are right about the TDF but it never looks as steep on the TV!

    Best of luck at the Alpe D’Huez Tri. Hope you do beat your Dad to the top.

  • Graham
    6 years ago

    Great job guys – tough event – I know those mountains well so hence my respect :-) If you are doing it next year would certainly be interested or will it be an Etape stage???? Well done one and all

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