September 20, 2017 at 3:42 pm #19328
A late report addition for an alternative Weekend experience – Les Cingles du Ventoux (crazies of Mont Ventoux) in Provence challenge: Three times up and down the mountain via three different routes equating to approximately 5736 metres (the giant is 1912m high) over a cumulative distance of 150 Km within one day. (Stamp the randonneur Brevet Card as proof at local shops)
My work colleague and I set of to Provence (southern France) on Friday 15th with the motor loaded with the bikes and gear. We recovered with a gentle leg spinner of 2 – 3% continuous climbing/descending in a scenic gorge (Gorge de la Nesgue) of approx. 40 miles in total as per the Saturday tradition, but in preparation for the assault on Ventoux the Sunday 17th.
The PLAN was to ascend from Bedoin to summit(25Km Av 10-12%), descend to Malaucene (25Km Av 10-13%), ascend to summit again, descend to Sault (25Km Av 6-7%), ascend to summit again and then finally descend back to Bedoin. A late news flash from our host forced a change of plan – there was a Super Car Experience and rally planned for Sunday at the Chalet Reynard – 6Km from the summit, with the remaining route to summit this side of the mountain closed between the hours of 0900-1200 & 1400-1700.
Sunday 17th: Mountain forecast 1-3 degrees wind chill -3 deg, lower slopes max. 18 degrees (cold for the time of year)
We started from Bedoin just before 0700hrs with a view to clear the Chalet Reynard to summit section just before 0900. The tough ascent was marred by at least 50 or so super cars (Porsche, Ferrari, Mustangs etc.) ascending at racing speed at different times – it was like cycling on Brands Hatch on a proper race day… the smell of fear, burnt fuel and rubber providing a noxious cocktail that I am sure Kim Jong Un would like to bottle into a ICBM warhead. I arrived a little ahead of my mate at 0820 and was let know in no uncertain terms (by a private security guard armed with a muzzled Alsatian) that I couldn’t access the summit route until after midday. So, after a brief wait and change of plan, we descended to Sault – a beautiful ice cold morning with sun and smooth switchbacks to glide around down to the town which offered respite from the cold in the form of a café stop which had central heating. Re-ascended in time to see the end of part 1 of the Super Car experience, which I was getting a little sick and tired of seeing to be honest.
When the road to summit opened, we went the 6Km over the top and down approx. 25Km to Malaucene in a really fast scary descent and hit the town for a carb fest in the local pasta house. The ascent from Malaucene proved the toughest and because of the change of plan due to those ****ing super cars we had to go back up the 6Km from Chalet Reynard to the summit; before we descended back to Bedoin, in order to obtain the three summits and required distance for the ‘honest’ Cingle award. I left my mate Gary really early on the 3rd ascent only to find he re-appeared smiling at Chalet Reynard car park just behind me – to my disbelief and after a perplexed chapeau greeting… Anyway, he confessed to hitching a lift from a friendly van driver to the top whilst walking aimlessly like a bewildebeest’ 6Km from the top; after bonking and having nothing left in the tank – he decided to bail out to the Bedoin descent for the hotel. This left me to make the 6Km to the summit alone again and with the elements closing in it was a bit weird – the famous Tin Tin weather station was completely invisible, enveloped in cloud until the last bend into the car park. I found myself alone in the clouds at 18:45hrs with a wind starting to howl and -3 wind chill… just get the photo and get out of there I told myself. The final descent into Bedoin was an incredible fast affair and the brakes needed to be feathered to ensure no meltdown or blow outs due to hot rims – the dangers were all too real… I met with blue flashing lights about half way down where a group of four guys I saw at the top at the 2nd Summit, taking photos, were now in the woods having presumably overshot the bend – the ambulance and police car were just leaving and someone was in the back of the ambulance… I followed this convoy for most of the rest of the way down at a good speed until they could accelerate away. That just left me to get my Brevet card stamped at the Bedoin Tabac and now wait for verification to become a full Cingle club (nutter) member of Ventoux. Formidable weekend!!!
I did have an Avanti shirt on (acting as a Gilet layer) and so advertised the club too – just to add to the total success of the weekend in the TT’s – congratulations to all.
- This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Steven Butler.
September 19, 2017 at 7:50 am #19321
To add my notes to a great weekend. Won’t repeat everything, but had a great 4UP with Toby, Hamish and Paul on Saturday. Despite best intentions we found teamwork hard on the hilly winding course – decent time, but reckon that 4 of us would knock a lot off with practice!
As to Sunday – what a fantastic day. I teamed up with a great friend (and now Avanti member) who I have cycled with over many years – Simon.
We were never going to team up with the three other Avanti teams who were working in lines of three as well as the duo element. Just too quick (and for me, this course is really hilly).
Anyway, Simon and I got into a great working pattern – keeping up a great pace. As the six hours went on, we started ranking higher and higher up the table. In fact, another few minutes and we would have edged 4th place out of 72! We were helped by admiring the Avanti train – clearly the strongest, best organised…….and most competitive.
Simon and I managed an average pace of 31.2kph over the six hours and 187km – not to mention 7000ft of ascent. Our only disappointment was the lack of a Vets/Age adjusted award.
Thanks to all the Avanti squad – brilliant support and encouragement all day!
Love this event – might be back for more next year!
September 19, 2017 at 12:07 am #19311
I’m not sure I can add much more to the write-ups from my fellow Avanti Revolvers from the weekend.
It was a punishing circuit – which I knew as I had already ridden it solo 2 years ago. Now I remember why I thought it was madness.
I managed 46 laps – 2nd solo rider and 4th overall.
The winning duo that year came in with 53 laps, with 2nd and 3rd places both coming in on 46 – but within seconds of each other overall.
Last year the 1st place 54 laps, 2nd in 50, 3rd in 47, 4th in 46.
For Avanti to step up and smash that with 55(new record!), 54(faster winning time than 1st in 2016) and 53 laps (and a faster time than the winning 1st in 2015) – and for Chris+Simon to have a result that would’ve secured a podium finish in those last 2 years was quite an achievement.
Riding it as a duo is much more fun – and manageable. Although you end up riding harder when you’re out there, so it hurts just as much.
Riding it with a well-matched team of riders in teams of duos is even more fun – you can make such good pace in comparison – and it’s more social.
The event is extremely well-organised – and hopefully Huw+Vicki Bunn will keep improving it year after year.
Thanks to my A-Team team-mate Johnny – I love it when a plan comes together – or falls apart 😉 and to the rest of the crew – cracking support through a really memorable day of cycling.
- This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Steve Rodgers.
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September 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm #19326
Looks like everyone has summed up the event perfectly so I’ll just add my short contribution.Saturday marked the return of the hopefully now annual 4up TTT competition. Needless to say it was fun but hard, so much so that I dropped off towards the end of the third lap and soloed home as fourth man.Lee’s calls of “easy” stating he was putting out too high a wattage a few times now make me realise perhaps I do need to look into a power meter of some kind. Surprisingly the team managed to gain 3rd place overall, which was my first ever podium, albeit by proxy. Well done lads
The Sunday was equally great fun and equally hard work. What made this as enjoyable as the Saturday affair was the mix if team work combined with competitiveness (although it was a foregone conclusion that I would eventually drop back from the machines Lee and Marek). The second half was all about finding other riders to work with. This was a mixed affair, but I had spotted a couple of faces I knew would be happy to work together and not just draft and then bugger off when I flicked my elbow. The strange thing was that I always eventually caught up with these riders despite their desire to take a draft and not chip in. Particularly strange in that we were not even in the same category either!
Considering my very mixed year and compete lack of training I am very pleased with another 3rd place and my second ever podium experience, with massive thanks to Steve R for not only bring my stronger partner in crime, but also for organising the event entry.
Can’t recommend this double track day weekend enough. Add it to your 2018 diary.
September 19, 2017 at 12:24 am #19317
One further thing to add that I just noticed – we were all handicapped by 2 mins by being held up at the race start – you can see our first laps were 8mins plus:
Had we all started at 9am and ridden 6 hours instead of 9:02 and ridden 5h:58mins max – teams 2 and 3 could’ve notched up another lap 🙂
If we do this again next year – tip is to get to the start line early!!
September 19, 2017 at 12:25 am #19318
And can anyone beat the Jet+Lag 55 lap record?
September 19, 2017 at 12:35 am #19319
Amazingly – check out the lap times for the winning 24 hour team – 4 person relay – Team Hunt Cycles:
They were pulling 10 lap stints – with a faster average lap time than any of our teams! For 24 hours!
September 18, 2017 at 7:15 pm #19309
Tony Le VeyParticipant
A massive congratulations to all Avanti who took part over the weekend. I would hazard a guess that it is probably the most successful couple of days the club has had. Four teams in the top five places in the six hour in a field of seventy teams is fantastic. Well done to you all….
September 18, 2017 at 5:24 pm #19300
Lee’s description is pretty accurate. Out of Top 5 spots we took #1, #2, #3 and #5 out of 70+ teams. And there were some punchy looking guys out there.
It was one of the hardest days on the bike but at the same time one of the most enjoyable days on two wheels.
We worked well together and everyone went to his limit. The whole relay was six to seven 15km time trials in a row!
The best thing was the atmosphere – lots of high fiving, encouragement, good banter and friendly competition. A brilliant day on the bike! Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t feel completely shattered in the evening – physical pain was compensated for by the final result and all-around experience.
Thanks to Lee, Johnny, Graham, Steve, Paul, Chris and Simon (Chris’s friend) for a great company!
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September 18, 2017 at 11:48 am #19298
A weekend of downs and ups.
Saturday 16th – Early start to get signed on for the Interclub 4up Team Time Trial Finally, but excellent espresso, Followed by warm up routine on the rollers whilst others hit the circuit to see how steep it was up to druids and find the fastest line into Graham hill bend.
Regrouped with the team @Johnny Edwards, @Bill Fitzgerald and @Andy South for track safety briefing and then using the next 30-40 minutes productively with inter team banta.
At 09:48 was off from the start line and onto the circuit; 24 minutes and 6.9 seconds later crossing the finish line to fist bumps and high fives. The time was good enough for us to be the fastest road bike team and 3rd overall, behind 7oaks and Sydenham pointy bars and helmets teams, allowing us to claim the final step on the podium and much coveted Revolve24 cycle cap.
Sunday 17th – Another early start (not my favourite), followed by ripping the pocket of hoodie, dropping morning coffee smashing cup, losing Revolve24 cycle cap (won yesterday) and damn it is cold this morning. Not a great start for me and I’ve now no idea how those Revolve 12 & 24 hour riders managed to ride all throughout the night.
Thankfully, 4 teams of GS Avanti had entered the “The 6” hour challenge:
Simon+Chris (@Chris Dine, @Simon Sayer)
A Team (@Johnny Edwards, @Steve Rogers)
New Kids on the Block (@Marek Sasura, @Graham Channon)
Jet and Lag (@Paul Delves, @Lee Staples)
After reviewing Paul’s pre-race buildup, a week of sin working in Toronto and flying back Saturday afternoon, he set of with in the GS Avanti train with Graham and Steve. After four laps the GS Avanti train switched over to Johnny, Marek and Myself; the GS Avanti train was working well as a unit switching every four lap and steam rollering the brands hatch lumps until lap 31 were Johnny told us to crack on with the GS Avanti train now dropping to two.
This lasted until Lap 41 when Graham had decided to switch down to three laps, pushing the pace and go solo putting “New Kids on the Block” out front. At the next switchover Graham had a 50 second lead over Paul, this had Marek coming out the pits near Johnny. I now had to put in a big solo effort, to catch Marek and Johnny on the 2nd of three laps and then broke away on the 3rd lap into the wind at Surtees bend.
“Jet and Lag” now having a 20 sec lead Paul defended well and came into the next / penultimate switchover on Graham’s wheel. I started to cramp on the push up to Druids but Marek was also tiring, by the time we reach Dingle Dell I had recovered enough and was able ride on solo. With the clock counting down to six hour mark was also time to changed the strategy and stayed out for an extra lap to consolidate the lead.
Paul pushed on cross the line for a final time for “Jet and Lag” in 5:58:44 with 55 laps completed;
‘Hangin Tough’ “New Kids on the Block” just behind at 5:53:13.2 with 54 laps;
and ‘I love it when a plan comes together!’ the A Team getting third spot on the podium 5:55:21 with 53 laps.
Almost making it an Avanti Red White and Blue wash “Simon+Chris” took fifth Duo spot in 5:59:40.0 with 48 laps.
Awesome ride by all, and massive high fives all round – I’m sure others will follow up with more write ups of the atmosphere and attach photos from the event.
September 17, 2017 at 7:44 pm #19296
Please share your weekend of sport below.
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