So here’s a little report about my La Marmotte.
Was allowed to take place in the 1st “competition” section of about 400 riders at 7 o’clock in the morning. Luckily we got there in good time and we were about position 30.
First up Croix de Fer, the plan was to drive up there nice and quiet, but somehow that doesn’t really work. I had 34x28 as the smallest and I soon sat on it and kept driving a bit faster than I liked. The fact that everyone passed me by didn’t help either. Arrived at the 1st village even more caught my own rhythm. After the reservoir comes a bit of descent for the last part from Glandon to top CdF. I got into my rhythm there and started to overtake riders again. Time stood still on top of the CdF, so i took the time to piss, fill water bottles, eat a snack and continue. Calm down the descent because there was nothing to gain anyway. Col du Mollard went well, although you noticed that it was starting to get warm… the end was quite irregular, but it was still possible to keep driving. I did notice that there were already a lot of cramps there. Probably all started too hard. The descent was neutralized again and just before the time started again I saw a person next to a car waiting with water bottles. Stopped and asked for water. With that the bottles are filled. That would save me a stop later. Every hour a 1-2 gel went in and had 80 grams of carbs in the bottles. That went pretty well and my stomach kept everything inside well.
After the descent of the Mollard we had to go through the valley for 15km. There were 2 riders in front of me that I couldn’t just ride to, so I looked back to see what happened, there was a nice group with about 15 riders and after a couple of seconds, they already passed. That worked out well and before we knew it we were at the foot of the Telegraph. During that climb I noticed that things started to get better and better. I started picking up more and more riders, while I didn’t run over myself.
On top of Telegraph passed the aid station and went straight to Valloire. There a little longer off the bike, piss, drink, put in a gel and continue. Oh yes, also stretched the back, because it was starting to get a bit stiff. Then my worst moment of the day on the Galibier, on that long straight “runner” towards Plan Lachat. I just couldn’t get into it, was just grinding on the slightest gear and really thought, fuck that Alp and go straight back to our apartment.
After Plan Lachat you turn right over a bridge and the Galibier actually really starts and amazingly it really started to get better there. Apparently at 66kg I have more of an advantage when it goes towards 9-10%, so started overtaking riders again. The power did go down considerably, but that was probably due to the altitude. I also had that experience in the dolomites above 2000m. Filled bottles again just before the top at the care and continued immediately.
The descent of the Galibier runs wonderfully and after Lautaret I saw a group ahead of me, but you don’t drive there on your own. At the back came 2 riders who really flew down like a comet, picked up there and rode to the group. We were now again with about 15 riders, 5 worked very well together and head over head we drove to the foot of the Alp.
The first corners of the Alp went well, but after that I got a bit over the boil. I got short off the bike and at the water point I got a bowl of water over me. After Huez it started to turn nicely again and finally came up in 1h13. Good for a net time of 7h46.
I am perhaps most satisfied with the fact that I did not get a cramp, that was different at the GF Schleck June 4, so I was a bit afraid of that. Next time I want a lighter gear than 34x28, because with 60-70 rpm it was grinding on the Galibier and Alp.