115 km / 1800 m+ / 1900 m-
The latest race start at 8:30 am was appreciated with the extra hour of sleep. Super quiet area for accom again. Rode the 1 km to the race start with Vanessa.
Warmest start with leaving the jacket and arm warmers behind. Humid and could feel the ocean air already.
|Departing the medieval town of St-Jean-Pied-de-Port|
- photo Manu Molle
|photo Manu molle|
|My fav descender in no-sleeves jersey (yellow shoes) who gave me cheers while I was leading the climb - photo Haute Route|
|Team For Adventure - Paul Hamblett (UK) Triple, Steven Richard (CH), Cyril Tiné (FR), Marg Fedyna (CA), Nuno Luz (PT) Triple, Sergio Costa (PT) Triple - photo Manu Molle|
|Comforting to put my bike and gear in the secure corral while I tour the village|
After receiving my finisher medal and shirt, I walked down the main street crowded with tourists. Straight to the beach and into the Atlantic Ocean!
|Heading into the Atlantic!|
|My second dip in the Atlantic!|
|An honour to lead the peloton into the finish - Marg Fedyna & Andrea Nicosia from Italy - photo Fabrice Calatayud|
|Arriving to Anglet Day 7 - photo Fabrice Calatayud|
|The Triple Crown Challenge Finishers!! - photo Manu Molle|
Nine Triple Crown challenge riders finished all three events! As well as the Lanterne Rouge Fergus Grant. Pretty good stats and stories.
|Amy in 2nd place after ascending 60,000m!!|
A few comments and observations from the Triple Crown Challenge riders:
Amy – At first concerned about not finishing at the beginning of the first event; gained confidence realizing she was a strong rider in the women's field each event.
Amy mentioned she had not one flat, mechanical, or major issue throughout the 3 events.
Nuno Luz – Gave the funny comment to “bring the ship to port” in the first day of the 3rd event. He's a tough endurance guy who may change his mind later. Maybe Chris Fisher as well.
Nicolas Raybaud - Prior to the Pyrenees event, I asked him if he would do the Triple again. He, too, excitedly knew he would like to race next year's Triple. Nicolas unfortunately hurt his collarbone on a sketchy corner descending Tourmalet Day 4 and could not complete the full Triple.
Of note... Paul Hamblett, Nicolas Raybaud were consistently in the top 10 men's GC in the first two events, and Sergio Costa joined them in the top 10 men's field at the Pyrenees. Paul finished 2nd in GC in the Pyrenees event by 54 seconds!
Will Levy - Always cheery, will likely join in future Triple events getting to ride alongside his Tour clients from Two Wheel Tours out of Australia.
|Christian has a sticker from each Haute Route race on his #plate|
Briefly met Jean-Paul Schaeffer from France when Vanessa introduced me to him, as they were riding close to each other each day.
Congratulations to all that took on the Triple Crown challenge. Stuff happens and getting through it best as possible makes for learning and a stronger next attempt.
Personally, it is enticing for me to want to take on all three events. The highlight is living in the bubble world of cycling for 3 weeks. If only there was more rest in between each event... I'd consider it. Mostly need more sleep, rest & recovery time.
Concluding feelings was this Pyrenees race had a real nice atmosphere about it. There was opportunity to meet most every rider at some point or another, and volunteer or staff. The groups of riders I got to ride with were great!
Big thanks to OC Sport for fantastic organization to get everyone through point-to-point. The opportunity for massages and osteopath treatments was welcome for recovery. Mavic provided awesome service on the spot. Great support from the transport team to get our luggage to the hotels and our backpacks to the finish line each day. The volunteers manning the race feedzones were quick to get us on our way. Kudos to Manu Molle for his incredible photographs.
I know I'm on a different path for food and nutrition than most with the raw food lifestyle, though I really wish for green salads and more raw veggies in the lunch provided. I did manage to get to the market most days to purchase my own super yummy raw veggies.
The same rotini noodle each day was not too appealing for pasta choice! I will put in the post-race survey a request for gluten-free grains like quinoa and brown rice. There was a selection of fruit this year, though unfortunate they were rock hard and needed a few days to ripen!
I thought it was funny hearing Amy talk about the six-pack she had developed after a couple events. I admit, riding even one Haute Route event with 20,000m elevation gain is the best get-fit and toned-quick program!
All in all, the best part of the event is hanging out with a super group of people in a cycling bubble world! Check it out at HauteRoute.org
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