Sunday, May 18, 2014

Cyclotour du Leman 2014

Here is a report of Marcus and Agata's 180Km Sunday cycle race:

Cyclotour du Leman 2014

We've talked about the race in previous years so this year we have a different angle.   We'll talk about just about everything except the actual race!   Why?

Well, we believe anybody with reasonable fitness can attempt and usually complete the 180Km course.   You might be so sore that you could not work or move the next day, but you would probably finish.  We have different goals:

a) To turn up at work Monday, fresh as a button, Nobody will know that we did not spend all weekend sunbathing by the pool
b) We don't want to get injured or tired
c) We need to recover fast to repeat this level of exercise next weekend and every weekend.

Here then are the behind the scenes considerations:

The Weather
Cycling for more than 5 hours is tiring, but in the rain it is misery.  We've been studying the forecast and though we have had dramatic winds for the last 3 days, intermixed with showers,  Sunday is predicted to be dry and calm.  

This means taking no wet weather clothing and not attempting to fit race mudguards. (the guards look ridiculous, but are slightly less ridiculous than cycling for hours in torrential rain)

Which Bicycle to Take

Due to the cycling accident of about 1 month ago,  Marcus has  been desperately rebuilding a new bicycle from the salvaged components of the older Condor cycle.

Despite my condition I made some slow test cycles last week. For the race

+ It would be the ultimate shakedown run
- Bicycle contains some damaged components because new ones did not yet arrive or not yet found for reorder
- What if something fell apart on the cycle!
- Some geartrain components still not exactly working right

With these deficiencies Marcus fell back to using his 2011 Dedacciai /race/ bicycle

Here you see that food gels and energy drink powder is stuck to the frame with masking tape.  Race number stuck to rear seat.

We spent Saturday evening checking every nut, bolt, spoke bearing was in good condition and made some small test cycles in the Garage.


On Saturday we went to pickup race Numbers.   Crazy shirts were also on sale, though officially you should use the shirts that comes with the race.  So that in the case of an accident or rescue, the ambulance can clearly see you as a race participant

We actually studied the route!

Marcus's race bike uses Continental Supersonic 150 gram tyres.   They puncture in the wet or on any sort of road imperfection e.g. roadwork debris!  Need to be very careful then.

Race Food: Powerbar Powergel Shots 7.90 CHF in Athleticum  (5.25 GBP).  Price in England is 1.50 GBP.  Price in Switzlerland >300% price in England.  Powerbar is currently part of Nestle, a Swiss company.  It irritates me when a Swiss company, selling Swiss products, often made in Switzerland, charges me more in Switzerland than the same product exported to the UK, then mail ordered and flown back to me in Lausanne Switzerland. Very annoying.

So, instead, we chose to use the rag-tag of existing energy gels and powders that we have at home already. Not perfect, but Marcus vetoes paying these ridiculous prices.

Don't do what we do
As late as Friday Marcus was advised not to participate due to his medical condition.  These things are always a gamble.  If you win, you finish the race,  your recovery is little or not affected

Any pressure or exertion here, really, really hurts

Gamble badly:   You collapse on the race when the exercise significantly affects your condition, and your medical recovery is severely impacted by your stupid decision.

Currently: If Marcus does not breath deeply, or pull on the handlebars, or generally any motion causing sharp movements or ribs, it is relatively okay, pain not so noticeable.

Marcus decided to gamble and race.

Getting there on time

Race start is 06.15 we had to get up at 05.00.   Since people had come from Geneva and further away,  we have it quite easy.

Pre Race Video

Race Report
Not much to say:

We started on time

We did not join any group, and so actually pedalled on our own power round the whole lake. 

[A lot of people draft their way around the whole course, we did not]

We only stopped 2 times: Evian and Nyon.  About 10 minutes

The weather was fantastic. Dry.  About 9 degrees at start, and over 15 degrees at finish.  Indeed there was only a moderate to light wind.

We finished with big smiles on our faces

No injuries, only a little tired, all good.
Thanks are due to
Our fantastic bicycles which did not let us down

The perfect weather

The hundreds of volunteer marshals on the course

Cylotour sponsors


Food and Drink
Marcus ate 4 random energy bars and drank 500ml orange juice and 500 ml water with High 5 Energy Source powder.

Agata drank 1.5 litres of Water mixed with Overstims and other energy powders

To Close
In 2015 we plan to be significantly fitter and free-er .   Our times will improve, but this 2014 year we are very happy with our sub 6 hour performance. Next race .. 6 days.

And now since it's only mid Sunday afternoon we plan to relax a little with:

Some Afternoon Delight