L'Etape du Tour de France

I’ve considered it, but it’d be mental.

The cut-offs and stuff aren’t posted for this, year, but if it’s 5 hours to do the first 60 miles, including 5000 feet of climbing, and 3500 feet of descent, it’d be way way beyond my abilities to even make the cutoff, let alone get to the finish after that. That Janklaas guy who’s obviously pretty nifty took 1hr 25 to do the 15km climb up l’Alpe d’Huez. Bearing in mind there are only a very small number of people in the world who can do 60 miles in 5 hours elapsed time on a coker on the flat. This ride is about half as far as Ken Looi’s world record, but it’s got well over 10,000 feet of climbing and almost as much descending in there. I’d be pleased to finish it in 20 hours.

Looking at Aspenmike’s statistics from Back to Back Epic Uni Rides he took at least 8.5 hours elapsed time to do 65 miles under similar conditions, and I don’t think the French / Swiss riders are much quicker up the hills, so currently I can’t think of anyone who’d be in with a chance of making the cutoffs.

The massive gears on road bikes are useful if you’re a super-fit road biker who’ll be riding up 10% gradients flat out in nearly the top gear. Unfortunately most of the entrants in l’Etape are super-fit road bikers and the cutoff times are set based on this. There’s also over 6000 feet of descent that some road bikers will probably be taking at 60 miles an hour in parts, even if the road is winding.

The other thing to remember is that being a road bike event, it may be run under UCI rules, which ban anything odd straight out, even recumbent bikes aren’t allowed in UCI rule events. It’d also be a bit silly, doing it in the actual event, because the roads will be crowded, and you’ll get in the way, this isn’t a charity event like the London to Brighton or something, this is serious nutter road bikers, unless you’re right at the back people really would push you off if you’re in the way. If on the first uphill you managed to beat some bikers, or they had mechanicals or whatever, you’d be right in the way on the downhill. It’d also be a big risk to just enter and turn up, as it’s £115 to enter (something like $200).

Joe