New Gran Fondo Pages

As an ongoing display of “Too much time on my hands”, “I have no life” and “Do you not understand the futility of what you’re doing?”, the answer to that being “Bite me – I know you love it”, I have added pages for my favorite Gran Fondos.

They are: the Maratona dles Dolomites, the Marmotte Alpes and the Sella Ronda Bike Day.

Yes, I could have spared myself the effort of creating a page for the latter, as it is part of the long version of the Maratona.

Did you not understand the first sentence of this post?

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Marmotte Alpes

Another one of these Gran Fondo’s on many cyclists’ bucket list: the (Lepape) Marmote Alpes. I am one of them and I’ve been considering riding it several times.

Like for the Maratona dles Dolomites, it’s almost impossible to get a ticket. You either need to win the lottery, or sign up for an all inclusive package, which will bring you more, but set you back (up to) thousands of Euros.

So, when we had our Tour de France 2021 base camp along the route, I decided it was now or never, as it was earlier in the year (August) then back in 2017, when we were located in Briançon.

While that offered a similar alternative as to what I did this year, the days were just too short (and cold).

I eventually completed my Marmotte Alpes during stage 11 of the 2021 Tour de France, albeit I started and ended at my doorstep, in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

Yes, that means I didn’t finish on the Alpe d’Huez, but ascended and descended it and concluded my version with the Glandon.

It did add to the total distance, though, but – as mentioned in the report – I suppose most participants will have to descend the Alpe too after their finish.

Then again, as I descended towards Villard-Reculas, my descend wasn’t a total freebie, as you get to cross the “Pas de la Confession” – together with the short uphill sprint into Villard-Reculas, it adds about 100 alimeters to the ride.

Which more than makes up for the lost altimeters not having to climb up the Allemond dam 😎

Other than in my report, you can find all info on the official Marmotte Alpes pages.

PS. I’ve uploaded my (Strava) GPX for this course, as the export from OpenRunner looks like shit once imported into my OSM plugin, while on screen it looks just fine.

Tour de France 2021 – Recap

Tour de France LogoAs promised, I will conclude the reporting on my Tour de France 2021 with a recap.

I cycled 14 out of 15 available days and have my own stupidity to blame for having a “rest day”.

While I guess this Tour de France once again showed I’m (still) capable of pushing myself through – and over – my limits, there’s no denying that I will have to take it down a notch.

How much will also depend on my capability to keep enduring the back pain on every climb.

Sure, taking in the mostly overwhelming landscapes, the feeling of tininess when looking around and the stunning views are great “distractors”.

But I keep increasing the number of short breaks to ease the pain, which eventually do not help very much any more either.

On the upside, these enable me to take in more of the views and make pictures too 😂

Anyway, lets get to the recap…

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Tour de France 2021 – Stage 11 (Marmotte)

Marmotte or Bust

Yes, I did use that phrase before. Thank you for so closely following / reading my blog 😂

However, at the time I spoke about my plans to do two of them, Sestriere (La Marmotta) and the classic Marmotte Granfondo Alpes during that Tour de France of 2017.

Both were a bust, whereas I didn’t even start the classic, due to the (general) weather conditions and had a flat with no spare tube(s) during the La Marmotta.

This year, being located at an even better spot to start it, I finally did ride Marmotte Granfondo Alpes, but with a twist…

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Marmotte or Bust

Podium of the 2017 TDFNow that the UCI Tour de France of 2017 is over, it’s just a short countdown to this year’s Vuelta.

I’m a bigger fan of that race – and an even bigger fan of the Giro – than of the Tour, but I have to admit that this year’s Tour was not as boring as I expected.

Sure, at the end of it, we still saw the predicted winner, although I’m sure Froomey will be disappointed with his not taking any stage win(s) this year.

But I doubt Uran was on many people’s favorites list and Bardet was maybe less of a surprise, but he had to deliver a great fight until the end to cling on to 3rd.

And Froome was faced with the same problem Wiggins encountered (with him) in 2012: Landa seemed to be the better rider on several occasions.

Other than disputed decisions like sending Sagan home or not awarding the tirelessly attacking de Gendt the ‘Super Combative’, we saw Richie Porte crash out of the race.

As did Kittel while in the green jersey and I would have loved to see the battle between him and Matthews be decided on the bike instead of like this.

Sadly, neither Contador nor Quintana were able to make a dent – not for lack of trying, at least on Contador’s part.

But the wins by guys like Barguil, Calmejane, Groenewegen, Roglic and Boasson Hagen made up for that.

Anyway, the Tour’s done and the Vuelta will come to a conclusion by the time I start my own ‘Tour de France’ – it’s time I reveal more of my stupid plans for that event…

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