Cognac le Foret VTT Randonnee

Took part in the VTT (MTB) event down at Cognac le Foret yesterday. It’s billed as a randonnee, not a race, and it’s as much not a race as the Meridas. In other words there’s always riders at the front who wanna be the first home. It was an early start (08:30), quite chilly, with some mist. I opted to do the longest 44km route.

Anyways, the Gran Depart (mass start) was the usual chaotic every man for himself, and I rode very hard for the first few km to get away from the traffic. In fact I actually made it off the front, possibly because I knew the trail section, or more likely because I’d gone off course despite the ample markings!!! Sensing that something was wrong I retraced.

I managed to work my way back to the front, and rode straight past the revitalment (food stop) without stopping. I’d been going for about an hour by now, and was caught by a trio of French riders. They were going a shade faster than me, but I latched on limpet stylee. They were damn fit, with whippet builds. It was agony on the climbs, but I’d get a little rest on the descents (I’m on my Epic).

At the second revitalment the marshal confirmed that we were the first riders through. A quick drink and a bite to eat and we were on our way. We’d been out over two and a half hours now and I was cooked. Hanging on, just staring at the wheel in front hoping that the pain would end soon (great fun). I was third rider home, as two of them dropped me up the last climb.

It’s the hardest I’ve ridden since the Runners Riders, and just the workout I was hoping for. Later, in the afternoon I watched the Paris-Roubaix on Franch tele with a couple of beers!!!!!

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