Following the success of last year at Tour du Mont Blanc, Hammer Sport CC was well represented in the 2018 edition.
Promoted as 'The World's Toughest One Day Bike Race' - 330 km & 8,731 m of climbing. 3 countries, 9 climbs, (including 5 super category climbs in succession), the Tour du Mont Blanc is, without doubt, an Ultra Mountain Race.
Hammer Sport CC is the UK's premier continental sportive club and team and has fielded multiple entries to this amazing event in recent years. Last year, seven riders succeeded in both Solo and Duo classes and were a testament to the quality of support, training and guidance that Hammer Sport provides to potential riders of the Tour du Mont Blanc. Find out more about the club at http://hammer-sport.co.uk/european-sportive-team-club/ and rider's experience in 2017 at The Magnificent Seven Rode Le Tour du Mont Blanc 2017
Tour du Mont Blanc 2018
With the weather forecast looking dire and a greater than 51% chance of heavy rain & thunderstorms for the whole day, things did not look good the day before the race!
Leaving the pre-race briefing on the Friday evening and heading for dinner, the heavens opened with torrential rain and a spectacular thunderstorm lasting well into the night. Trying to get to sleep at 22:15 for a 03:15 alarm with the prospect of starting down a 1st category descent in the dark and heavy rain is not a comforting thought!
However, at 03:15 on saturday morning the rain had stopped and the cloud cover had kept the air temperature high. The roads were very wet, which made for a slightly more cautious descent than usual, but we were all on the start line for 04:45, excited and ready to go!
The climbs don't start for roughly an hour into the route, and from St Gervais Les Bains, they come thick and fast. Conditions were improving and the roads were drying well.
Temperatures were generally good throughout the morning and didn't heat up until the Aosta valley in Italy. This did mean the chance of a storm increased and I had to descend the Col du Petit St Bernard in a rain storm best described as biblical. It was horrific! This continued until the top of the Comet du Roseland, but thankfully the final descent and climb were dry. Safe to say everyone had to contend with terrible weather at some stage during the day.
- Stats for the race are:
- 650+ starters (solo)
- 16 nationalities
- 44 years average age
- 38 women
- 408 finishers
Hammer Sport CC results:
Andrew Thompson - 14:26 - 49th overall - 2nd Brit
Mick Whitacker - 16:17 - 165th overall - 1st Australian
Alex Cridlow - 17:45 - 328th overall - 13th Brit
James McDiarmid - 17:52 - 347th - 15th Brit
Francesca MdDiarmid - DNF - started but returned to collect the car and spent the day supporting James & Alex
Tour du Mont Blanc 2019?
Club members are already making plans for 2019 to be on the start line including Jez Meades of Sportive Cycling, a sponsor of the Club and Team, who successfully completed the 2017 edition as part of a Duo team.
Will you join us?
To make contact go to https://www.sportivecycling.uk/about-sportive-cycling
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