Cheltenham Triathlon Club
For experienced and aspiring triathletes
Brevet d'Or for Graham

La Marmotte is a 174km cycle sportive with 5000m of climbing over 4 of the classic climbs used in the Tour de France - the Glandon, Telegraph, Galibier and Alpe D'Huez. This year, on 22 July, stage 19 will go over the last three if you want to get an idea what they are like. Alternatively ask Sue, Ellie or Phil who have all ridden the race.

Last year I rode the race for the first time with the aim of just getting round having never attempted such a challenge. This year I started training on the 2nd January with the aim of achieving the gold standard time for my age group building on all I had learnt last year. For those of you who are not regulars on the formal club bike training rides such as the Double Whiteway and Stanway sessions these or similar rides formed a key part of my weekly schedule. The Whiteway sessions building to my target race effort level and the hills to 10 reps which is roughly the distance of each of the climbs.

On top of those sessions were Collin's Sunday rides early on but building to well over a 100 miles by the end. I topped off my training with a couple of weeks climbing practice in the Alps followed by a taper week.

The final result was that I had a near perfect race in which I felt strong all the way round and, with the exception of the Galibier descent back to the foot of Alpe D'Huez where a fierce head wind cost me about 3 to 4 minutes, I pulled out time against my planned schedule all the rest of the way round ending up 18 minutes inside the gold standard time. Apart from that head wind the weather was perfect. Clear blue sky but with a top temperature of only 24 degrees. I started out with a short sleeved jersey and arm warmers which I rolled down on the climbs and with the direct heat from the sun they were enough to cope with the descents without the need for a jacket. It was a far cry from the 43 degrees we had last year up the final climb of Alpe D'Huez.

Even if you do not feel like tackling La Marmotte I can thoroughly recommend a cycling holiday in a place like Bourg D'Oisans as not only can you tackle the famous Tour de France climbs but there are lots of others that are equally challenging and more spectacular from a scenic point of view.

Cheltenham ladies at the velodrome 18 quite nervous Cheltenham Triathlon girlies arrived at Newport Velodrome for a 6-9pm training...
article thumbnailA fairly cold morning greeted runners on Sunday - with a hardy few still opting for tiny singlet...
Chilly Duathlon The 3 amigos (James,Mary,Cam) tackled the Castle combe duathlon. Mary successfully defended the...
article thumbnailCheltenham Tri Club had four members competing in the 30th running of the Stroud Half Marathon ,...
Paul in America Hope all is well back in Cheltenham and the club had an enjoyable and successful triathlon season. Thought...
Swanage What turned out to be one of England's' warmest summer's days 6 triathletes from Cheltenham...
Swimming in the swell The very British summer did not disappoint we had wind, rain and 4 foot swells in the sea, but...
Ellie   Anyone who has ever considered doing an Ironman distance race is likely to have heard of the...
Liz runs into transition It was a lovely day for a Triathlon and what better way to start than with a precarious climb into mud...
Brevet d'Or for Graham La Marmotte is a 174km cycle sportive with 5000m of climbing over 4 of the classic climbs used in...

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. To find out more about the cookies we use or how to delete them, see our cookie information.

   If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies from our website.