Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cyclotour Leman 2016

Subtitle:  Marcus and Agata, Cyclotour 2016, tick !

Every year if we are in Lausanne we make a point to do the 180Km Tour du Lac, road cycle race.   We mean the Lake Leman that encompasses some big name towns including Evian (in France obviously), Lausanne and Geneva.

Here is the route and it basically pretty flat, well not mountainous so it is a pretty fast 180Km course.  What make or breaks it as enjoyable?

The Weather

Three things are a killer for Cyclotour ...

moisture  (dry or rain)
temperature (cold or hot)
wind (nothing or severe)

This year all we were primarily concerned about was the chance of rain.  It's been raining heavily for the last 3 days the promise was it would be dry today.  Good news .. It was!

However it was also super cold at 7 degrees at the start and it would transpire flippin windy for the first 100Km.

The Preparation

Cyclotour 2016: Pre Race Preparation

Marcus chose his green, more racy bicycle to race, however it was little used this year  (well none!) and so I did about 200Km last week in preparation.  Nothing dropped off so after more checking it was used for the race.  Agata only has one bicycle and so there was no choice.    (Side note:  this 10 year old bicycle needs replacing.  It's already fully upgraded and we were waiting for decent disc brake selections and standards to come out to buy in 2016.  But the recent decision of Pro race teams NOT to use disc brakes has in Marcus' opinion thrown a big spanner into the Cycle industry.  Hmm.)

Before the Race

This year Cyclotour has 2 big changes.  First recommended start times so faster riders should start earlier, secondly a Geneva start meaning many riders would do the 180Km loop from Geneva to Geneva.

And so it was a bit of a shocker that on our arrival at 06.45  (15 mins late already) to the start this Sunday morning there was no queue.  I said this ....

Start of the Race

Race Highlights

- We managed to stick in a group for about the first 40Km.
Staying in a peleton group has the advantage of drafting and being very easy to maintain a higher speed, however at the expense of some idiot or idiots suddenly braking and causing you to crash and visit the hospital.

- For the rest of the race, i.e. 140Km we were either just cycling as a team of 2, or from Geneva where Marcus did a lot of leading and a whole long line of people were slipstreaming their way behind us.   I did not mind.

- The cold and wind were pretty awful resulting in us wearing thin plastic jackets for 100Km.  In retrospect we should have taken then off by the 40Km mark, because we found out how much of a drag they were after the fact.

- At 100Km when we took the jackets off cycling was transformed and our new aerodynamic shape made cycling SO SO much easier, Marcus was cursing his stupid decision not to stop

- We came in with a moving time of just under 6 hours, and the official race time was 6 hours 4 minutes because of the 1 rather long stop we had at Km 100 or so.

This is a pretty good time considering the windy and cold conditions, obviously it would have been nice to be officially under 6 hours, but we are pleased.

More than the time is the fact that we had no accidents, or punctures, and finished the course ready to exercise again tomorrow without issue :-)

End of the Race

Recorded race time  6 hours 4 minutes
Moving Time  (i.e. 1 stop time removed) 5 hours 55 minutes
Marcus drank only 1.0 litres (!) and ate lots of apricots and 3 SIS gels, that is very little, perhaps good for my diet
Agaat drank at least 2 litres