Ventouxman L distance – June 4th 2017 – Piolenc
Race reporter: Gérard
A friend and I looked into the Ventouxman L distance on June 4th. It was the 2nd occasion of the race, the 1st being 2015.
We knew the bike course consisted of climbing Mont Ventoux by the “Bédoin” side (harder than “Malaucène” or “Sault” sides). It looked like a nice challenge, so we registered!
Piolenc is far from Paris, so we decided to rent an RV.
We had a double bed, a shower, WC, a fridge and the possibility of cooking unbelievable dishes of pasta in it!
The race organisation was a little messy, maybe because it’s only the 2nd race (cancelled last year because of the weather). You have to take a bus at 4:30 AM to be at the lake at 7:00, then, start at 7:30 for non elite (like me :). So we woke up at 3:30 AM for the breakfast. It was psychologically a difficult situation to go through for me. Usually I start working at 10am…
A picture from the place where we slept at 7PM and 9PM.
The swimming part was nice with no difficulty. I tried to remember the advice that Sylvain, Aytug and Bernard have given me and I completed the 1900 meters in 43:25.
It was definitely the hardest part! 7.6% average elevation for the 20 last kilometers… When we got to the start of the hill, they were at the end of their food supplies; they just had water and energy water left.
Many bikers where shocked when they found out. I always have a lot of banana flavored gels with me, so I was OK. The weather was really good, sun all the time!
The Ventoux was my hardest mountain cycling experience to date. Really different from the Alps because it never stopped climbing even in the turns. In the Alps, the turns are flat because of the snow and security reasons. I was back in transition in 5:24.
I really disliked the run! It was a 4 loops of trail on rolling rocks with a 400 D+. Hard for my old knees and I twisted my right ankle at the Friday run session one week before. I did it in 2:51.
I finished the race in a total of 9:17 and my friend Pierre-Alain in 6:46!