Gonzalo at Triathlon Alpe d’Huez

Triathlon Alpe d’Huez – 3rd August 2018 (M)

Race Reporters: Gonzalo

First all of all, I want to say thank you to my wife and my little daughter for their everyday support in the, triathlon practice. Also, I want to thank all the Expatriés for the amazing welcome when I move to Paris last November. To all my coaches and the Expatriés fast runners that keep pushing me every Saturday in the Brick and the Mondays and Wednesdays in the stadium Emile Antoine, especially during this cold and rainy winter. To all the Expatriés that are doing the long Sundays rides, including the coffee stops in Dampierre. To my friend Leo for joining me in this adventure, arranging the car rental and sacrifice time with his family and work. Thanks to everybody who helped put me in shape for my race!

We arrived on Thursday 31st during the evening. On Friday 1st , we went to the “Palais des Sports et des Congres” in the Huez village to pick up our bibs. There was one couple from Sevilla (Spain) that drove for two days to see this place. In that moment, I understood the magnitude of this race. 1200 participants coming from different countries sharing the same dream; to climb the Alpe d’Huez. The famous 21 turns that you can see in “Le tour de France” that every rider has present in his/her mind.

One of the best organizations that I can remember in one race. Very carefully with little details.

  1. 2 separate transition areas with numbers very well organized by countries (nice to make friends) and plenty of space.
  2. Two plastics transition bags:
    a. The black one with your number for the swimming gear. The organization transports your stuff to the finish line in Huez and you can pick it up after the race.
    b. The white one where you can put your running gear. Very convenient as you didn’t need to leave your backpack or sport bag there.
  3. I found it personally very interesting that the dossard number had your country flag on it. Everybody can support you in your mother language when you are exhausted climbing the Alpe d’Huez.
  4. A lot of personal staff for massages after race. This was the first race that I can get it in less than one hour waiting. Jacuzzi (plastic) to cool your legs and share your experience with the other participants. Showers inside the “palace de sports” available if you have to travel after the race.
  5. The food post-race is good enough (a lot of fresh fruit; kiwi, watermelon). During the bike portion, water bike bottles were available and energy drinks in the drink points very well located. I recommend to take old bike water bottles to throw away at the drink points and get a new ones bottle from triathlon Alpe D’Huez.
  6. Fantastic event week program that included:
    Monday – Exhibitors Village
    Tuesday- Duathlon
    Wednesday-Triathlon kids
    Thursday-Triathlon L
    Friday-Triathlon M

Perfect for a one-week vacation with friends, kids and family.

The only not very nice part for me was that you had to ride to the transition 1 by bike.  This was a long descent and a bit risky, specially right before the race. I actually saw some guys with flat tires. On the positive side, there were bike mechanic points in T1 and T2. The company was from Barcelona with very fun people. They would fix your bike but for the service it was not free, you had to pay.

Triathlon M
Lac du Verney – Alpe d’Huez
Friday, August 3
Start Time: 14:00 women, 14:15 men.
Swim: 1×1,2 km loop
Bike: 28 km (climbing the epics 21 turns) + 1415M
Run: 6,7 km + 110 M

If you are thinking to do this race the next year, I found very interesting pro tips from Marcel Zamora (6 times winner of the Embruman, 5 times winner Ironman the France, 11 times competitor in Alpe d’Huez).

On the first part of the cycling circuit, hold back, otherwise, in the first two kilometers of the climb your legs may get tired.

It is very important to hydrate during the climb, because it is long and hard, and the last three kilometers before reaching Alpe d’Huez may seem endless.

On foot it is good to prepare a little for the climb because even if the race is short, it is very difficult to run at altitude, especially as the circuit is hilly.

Finally, I want to highly recommend this race for everybody.

Thanks again for being able to share my experience and trainings with all the Expatriés.

See you the next year climbing the Alpe d’Huez 😀