Yesterday was the first CycloSportive of the season - "A Travers des Vignobles de Saint-Mont", which took place near the Madiran wine region (about 1½ hrs north of Chez Passet).
400 competitors and 2 routes available - 65kms or 100kms - I have done this one before but this time it seemed to attract a few more of the "top end racer types" along with their attitudes and their very flash bikes - is there a recession going on??
As it's the first one season everyone was keen to see how fast they could go - needless to say it was quick... 100kms at an average of 36.6 kph over rolling terrain - I didn't even have time to eat, because if you didn't stay with the group then you'd be left in "no-mans land" with a head-wind to ride on your own. This is a different style of CycloSportive as it resembles a one day classic as everyone seem to go full gas from the drop of the flag. A good experience for me but I prefer the long mountain climbs as it breaks the group up (I was riding with a group of about 30 riders so it can be quite unnerving as the French like to go fast downhill and complain going up!!).
Di brought Frankie along and enjoyed the "Village Atmosphere" as the locals came out and made a day of it... especially in the wine region...
Nice to get the first one under my belt and the next one is not until May.
We've had a good dump of snow in the mountains so we will be heading up to do battle with the French and Spanish (school holiday season) which will be fun - might even see the entertaining "punch-up" in the lift line - though I think this only happens in the Alps..
And The Season Starts...