Posts Tagged ‘red bull road rage’

Downhill Road Blitz – Victory for Black Sheep Bikes in Ireland’s first DH Road Race

March 12, 2015

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Hardly back from Colorado, with a little under two weeks to go, it was time to knuckle down to tie up a few loose ends and put the finishing organisational touches to the up-coming inaugural Downhill Road Blitz race I had decided to organise earlier in the year. The past six months had been when most of the graft had been put in and so most things were already teed up and ready to go, but I wanted to make sure everything would run smoothly on the day and so made the necessary phone calls and sent out some final communications. The concept was the same as the Red Bull Road Rage races, only this time, it was with the support of my racing club Bray Wheelers CC, and Cycling Ireland. It was a world first for a national cycling federation under the UCI to sanctioned such an event. The race village venue was in the Glenview Hotel, proud sponsor and the event’s official partner hotel, at the bottom of the race course, namely the Red Lane, which was chosen due to its proximity to the course.

Downhill Road Blitz event poster

Downhill Road Blitz event poster

This promised to be an event where the competition would be as high as any other Red Bull Road Rage events that had been held across the world over the years. Top riders from Europe including France’s Guillaume Gualandi (World #1 Road Rage racer in 2008 and 2009) and Fred Mazères his Cantal Team Road team mate and Germany’s Christian Lademann (ex UCI World Champion Team Pursuit in 1999) and his former professional team mate Mathias Kahl (National German Madison champion with Lademann in 2005 – beating the reigning World Champions in the process) were already confirmed to line up. A host of strong challengers from Ireland would ensure a top level in racing.

Riders listen to the pre-race safety briefing.

Riders listen to the pre-race safety briefing.

The day before the event, I had a professional road cleaning service sweep the entire section of the race course of all gravel and dirt along the sides, and especially in the bends. Safety for the riders was my biggest concern. On the morning of the event, I met my team at the race village at 7:00 sharp and got things rolling. The weather wasn’t great, with light rain falling, but it didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits. The first riders showed up for sign on around 8:00, where they were handed their numbers and tags and went through the mandatory bike safety check conducted by Bespoke Cycles. At this stage, the Red Bull crew had also arrived, including a team of hostesses, aka a team of Wiiings, a camera man and to set up the start and finishing arches, the technical contingent. At 9:00 I held the rider safety briefing. Once completed, the signed up riders were all shuttled up to the top of the Red Lane, where they were able to complete a number of official practice runs on a fully closed road.

Riders preparing on the start ramp ready for the qualifying heats.

Riders preparing on the start ramp ready for the open practice runs.

Lunch was served for the riders in the Glenview Hotel restaurant at 13:00, prior to getting down to the serious business of qualifying for the knock-out stages. At 14:00 sharp the riders were again shuttled up to the top of the course in anticipation of proper racing. Taking my lead from the Colorado Road Rage, I decided to run with 3 qualifying heats for all riders, mixing the riders between groups in each round of heats. I was happy enough at this stage that my able team on the ground were taking good care of the running and so was finally able to join the racing activities for the first time that day.

Start of a qualifying heat (l-r): Tadhg Sheehan (Trinity Cycling Club), Janos Köhler (Black Sheep Bikes/Bray Wheelers), Malcom Goggin (Bray Wheelers)

Start of a qualifying heat (l-r): Tadhg Sheehan (Trinity Cycling Club), Janos Köhler (Black Sheep Bikes/Bray Wheelers), Malcom Goggin (Bray Wheelers)

Racing was hard and fast, and I won my first and third round heats, but was edged out into second place during the second round heat, by an audacious move in the final stages of the run by Mathias Kahl. It was however more than enough to qualify for the knock-out rounds. Next up were the semi-finals, where I finish just ahead of Fred Mazières who took the remaining berth from our group for the final. In the other semi-final Mathias Kahl had some bad luck when his back tyre exploded coming into the last corner, causing him to lose control and crash, sliding into the perfectly positioned tyre wall. It was not long before he was back up on his feet, but missed out on a spot in the final, with Guillaume Gaulandi winning the heat and Tadhg Sheehan capitalising on Kahl’s misfortune to take the remain final berth.

The women’s final was run before the men’s minor and grand finals. Fiona Meade (Blarney Cycling Club) took top honours ahead of Joanne McCallum, with local underage rider Caoimhe Ivory (Bray Wheelers) showing her strength to round off the podium against strong senior opposition. In the minor final it was Mathias Kahl who bounced back after his earlier mishap to take the win for the minor placings.

Women's podium (l-r): Joanne McCallum, Fiona Meade (Blarney CC), Caoimhe Ivory (Bray Wheelers).

Women’s podium (l-r): Joanne McCallum, Fiona Meade (Blarney CC), Caoimhe Ivory (Bray Wheelers).

Next up was the men’s grand final, an exclusive Gallo-hiberno affair with two riders from each France and Ireland. I decided on going for a slower start to keep my powder dry by letting the other riders lead me out. Unfortunately, Fred Mazières suffered a puncture early on and was out of the running before he had a chance to challenge. I slotting into 3rd position behind Guillaume and Tadhg and bid my time to move up. Once we had safely negotiated the top section and passed the handful of bends leading into the middle straight, I rushed Tadhg from behind and executed the overtake. I knew I would need to be on Guillaume’s wheel exiting the main bend into the straight of the bottom half of the course and this is where I was now positioned. I stuck to his rear wheel like a shadow until we had about 250m to go and knew I had to make my move in order to be the first rider into the last steep section before the ultimate bend. Barring any mishaps this should pretty much guarantee the victory. I shot around Guillaume in a calculated move and took the race lead.

Leading out Guillaume Gualandi and Tadhg Sheehan down the final straight during the grand final.

Leading out Guillaume Gualandi and Tadhg Sheehan down the final straight during the grand final.

Carefully guiding my bike through the last section, I raced towards the finishing arch, around the last bend and took the chequered flag with my now customary one handed victory salute. I was delighted to finish off the season just like it had started, with a win to climb back on the top step of the podium after coming so close in Colorado. It meant that 2013 became my most successful season to date, in no small part because of the very best advice on training, injury prevention, psychological preparation and general support from world class coach Jonathan Gibson of the Athlete Clinic. It was undoubtedly the best decision I made to collaborate with him earlier in the year and my consistent results vindicated this choice.

Taking the chequered flag in the big Final ahead of Cantal Team Road's Guillaume Gualandi.

Taking the chequered flag in the big Final ahead of Cantal Team Road’s Guillaume Gualandi.

It was then straight back up to the race village for the prize presentations. All participants were guaranteed a prize thanks to the generosity of Black Sheep Bikes who had supplied enough high quality t-shirts and hoodies for everyone. Fiona Meade collected her prize of a Black Sheep Bikes hoodie for the fastest timed run, set in the final, along with her overall winner’s cheque (proudly presented by Bespoke Cycles who sponsored the women’s cash prizes) and her trophy. Guillaume Gualandi collected the prize for the fastest timed run in the men’s category, which he had set in his semi-final run, as well as his runner up cheque (proudly presented by The Athlete Clinic who sponsored the men’s cash prizes) and his trophy.

Elite Men's podium (l-r) Guillaume Gualandi (Cantal Team Road, France), Janos Köhler (Black Sheep Bikes/Bray Wheelers, Ireland), Tadhg Sheehan (Trinity Cycling Club, Irleland)

Elite Men’s podium (l-r) Guillaume Gualandi (Cantal Team Road, France), Janos Köhler (Black Sheep Bikes/Bray Wheelers, Ireland), Tadhg Sheehan (Trinity Cycling Club, Irleland).

Following the prize presentation, the riders returned to the Glenview Hotel restaurant where we had our lunch-time desserts still waiting for us (we never managed to eat them in the afternoon, as the road closure times meant we had severe time constraints with a strict schedule to adhere to). It was a relaxed affair as we all discussed the day’s events reminiscing on the good times we had and talked about planning another Irish downhill road race at some time in the future.

The full event clip produced by Black Umbrella Productions can be viewed by clicking here. Red Bull also put a clip together and can be viewed here.

I would like to give a special mention of thanks to Biking.ie who supplied logistical help as well as equipment to ensure the event ran without a hitch, the Glenview Hotel for providing an area for the race village setup and top notch catering for the riders, Red Bull Ireland for the media coverage and the great team they sent down, Black Umbrella Productions for the great clip they put together, Bespoke Cycles for doing the pre-race bike safety check and sponsoring the women’s prizes, The Athlete Clinic for sponsoring the men’s cash prizes,  and last but certainly not least, a huge thank you to all the Bray Wheelers members who came and gave up their free time to help marshal, ensuring impeccable safety throughout the event for riders and spectators alike. This event would not have been possible without all their support. Here’s looking forward to another one down the road (pun intended)!

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Red Bull Road Rage, Guanella Pass, Georgetown, Colorado – Runner-up & 2nd 2013 podium with Black Sheep Bikes

March 10, 2015

It was with great anticipation I awaited the season finale of the Red Bull Road Rage season. It promised to be an epic return back to US soil for the first time since 2005 where this event was born, at the time descending Tuna Canyon, Malibu, California. What excited me most about the event was the chance to race in front of my sponsors from Black Sheep Bikes in their very own back yard of Colorado.

I reached out to Red Bull North America in order to secure a place on the starting list in late August. At the same time, due to my extensive experience at these events over the past few years, I was consulted on several points in terms of format and event running from an athlete’s perspective, to which I obligingly provided feedback to the friendly event manager. Shortly after, the last details were hammered out between Red Bull and the local authorities regarding road closure and the green light was finally given for the event to take place.

Georgetown Red Bull Road Rage event poster

Georgetown Red Bull Road Rage event poster

Tickets were booked for the trip from Dublin to Denver. Due to the race being held at ca. 3000m, I had made the decision to go out a good 10 days before the event to help acclimatise to the high altitude. The morning of my planned flight, I received a phonecall at 4am  with an automated voice message informing me the flight had been cancelled (no reason given). I was to leave the following day on the next one, but with a sister airline and via London instead of Chicago. OK, it’s only one day, I’ll be fine. The following day the delayed trip commenced. Unfortunately, another obstacle presented itself in the form of a fire just outside the airport in London in an industrial park, but right in the landing flight path of incoming air traffic. The delayed take-off in Dublin meant I missed my connecting flight and had to stay the night in London. Finally, another day later, I got on the plane for the final leg, arriving in Denver 52hrs behind schedule.

The plan was to spend the first couple of days in Fort Collins, the home of Black Sheep Bikes, in order to settle in at 1600m altitude before heading further up to Georgetown, over 1000m further up at 2650m atlitude, situated at the bottom of Guanella Pass (3657m) upon which the Road Rage would take place. 5 days prior to the event, I arrived at The Georgetown Mountain Inn, checked in, went to my room, got changed and hopped straight on to the bike for a quick spin up to the top of Guanella Pass. The views from the top were breathtaking out across the vast expanse of the Rockies with the neighbouring peaks standing out prominently. After a quick stop to admire the view, the GoPro was switched on and it was back down to Georgetown. To view the full descent clip, click here.

Basking in the sun with the Georgetown Mountain Inn in the background.

Basking in the sun with the Georgetown Mountain Inn in the background.

After a plunge in the hotel outdoor hot tub, a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast the next morning, I explored the small town before heading back half way up the pass road to the get a few runs of the course under my belt. It was straight forward enough with a couple of hairpin turns at the top and a couple more nearer the bottom, the two sets of hairpins separated by a section of long swooping bends and the last set followed by a long straight that could be ridden flat out. The following day it was more of the same with another few runs just to embed the course in the mind.

All along, the weather was still very pleasant with mild temperatures and brilliant sunshine. The forecast however predicted a severe plummet in temperatures the day before the race, with some snow fall. True to predictions, the temperatures plummeted faster than a Road Rage racer in full flow. I dropped into the local mountain bike rental and ski hire shop at the end of town to see if I could pick up some thermal base layers to help stay warm in the freezing conditions. I spoke to the affable owner, Tom Seabrook, about the race and convinced him to sign up, reassuring him he would have an absolute blast, both figuratively and literally! Despite the treacherous conditions, I went up for one more shot, just to test out the course and my equipment in the changed conditions. I was grateful to Tom for driving me up, which made it just a little easier. To view the run in frozen and snowy conditions, click here. It took less than 3mins to freeze all my cables, as pictured below.

Frozen cables after sub-zero snowy recon run.

Frozen cables after sub-zero snowy recon run.

In the afternoon, I had some interviews scheduled with the Red Bull film crew, as did Tom. Naturally they were excited to learn more about my Black Sheep Bikes Road Rage Custom 2, especially since it was built and hand finished right here in the Centennial State. That night, I took my routine plunge in the hot tub, only this time I had icicles hanging off my beard at the end of it! It was an early night, as an even earlier morning rise was scheduled the following day, with a 7:00 sign-on, with uplifts commencing at 7:30 sharp. James Bleakley from Black Sheep Bikes had made the trip down from Fort Collins with a couple more supporters in tow, ready to witness the days racing. It was a fresh -5°C that morning, but thankfully it was bone dry.

Black Sheep Bikes - Road Rage Custom 2: Close-up of head badge and truss fork struts.

Black Sheep Bikes – Road Rage Custom 2: Close-up of head badge and truss fork struts.

A new race format would be run at the event, whereby every competitor would race 3 qualifying heats against different group competitors in a 4X format each time. A points system was in operation, 22 for 1st, 16 for 2nd, 12 for 3rd and 9 for 4th. In the case of a tie on points after three rounds, in order to differentiate the riders’ rankings, a coefficient based on the riders raced against and where they placed in the overall qualifying came into play. The top 16 ranked riders would then battle it out in the usual format in a bid to reach the final.

Lining up in the start gate waiting to start a qualifying heat.

Lining up in the start gate waiting to start a qualifying heat.

After the three qualifying rounds, I had won all my heats along with two other racers, yet had raced against more of the other riders who generally didn’t score as high in the overall points as the other two racers to also win all their heats. This meant I placed 3rd overall going into the quarter finals, but was exactly where I wanted to be for seeding purposes. The quarter final was an easy enough affair, a I worked with another competitor, local racer from Boulder, Dwight (Whitey) Debroux, after a quick pre-race chat to ensure we distanced the other two weaker opponents early on. Once we had gapped them, we continued to collaborate to ensure we rode over the line in positions one and two. We even had a bit of fun down the home straight as can be seen by watching the shadows in this race clip run.

Racing during the quarter finals with Dwight (Whitey) Debroux.

Racing during the quarter finals with Dwight (Whitey) Debroux (#11).

Things got a little more serious in the next round, with the second seed Kevin Soller in our group. Again, a tactical approach was hashed out, as I wanted one less competitor to keep an eye on in the final. The run started much faster than any of the previous rounds. I needed to be extremely vigilant and marked Kevin closely all the way down until we were in the home straight. I then made my move with only about 100m to the line, ensuring that once I got past him, he would not have time to counter. It worked a treat and it was into the grand final. To watch how the semi final action unfolded, click here.

It's all smiles as competitors wait to be driven up to the start.

It’s all smiles as competitors wait to be driven up to the start (l-r) John Kavanaugh, Santiago Garcia III and Celia Ferguson.

I knew from previous finals’ experiences, that this would be on the limit, with only the strongest and fastest riders left in the competition. There was one man I felt would pose the greatest threat, the number one seed in the form of professional rider and multiple US National Champion (Scratch and Criterium over the years) Dave McCook, also the only rider to return from the inaugural Red Bull Road Rage in Malibu, California, in 2005. I was proven correct as he powered out of the gate like a demon possessed. The pace was relentless from the start. I slotted into 3rd position and decided to stay on Dave’s wheel. It was close racing the whole way down. Coming into the last hairpin that opened out into the finishing straight, I drifted slightly wide, leaving the door open for the 4th placed rider Mike Mitchell to come up the inside and slot into 3rd. I stepped on the gas again and quickly reversed the order again.

Dropping that position momentarily, was to prove a decisive error, as Dave sitting on Whitey’s wheel took a quick glance behind and with his years of experience in track and criterium racing quickly sensed it was the moment to go, with a little gap having opened between us. I realised too late and he kicked hard shooting off around Whitey into first position. I was able to close the gap and power around Whitey, but with the course running out, Dave had done enough to stay out in front to cross the line in first position. I was nonetheless delighted with second place, especially that I had done so in front of the Black Sheep Bikes crew. It was also enough to retake the Red Bull Road Rage World #1 ranking which I had first held in 2010. To watch the red hot action from the final, click here.

Following winner Dave McCook across the line to take 2nd place, with Dwight (Whitey) Debroux rounding off the podium placings ahead of 4th place Mike Mitchell.

Following winner Dave McCook across the line to take 2nd place, with Dwight (Whitey) Debroux rounding off the podium placings ahead of 4th place Mike Mitchell.

The podium presentations followed under a clear blue sky with the sun beaming down from above. Then it was the customary interviews that wrapped up the day’s events.

Final Red Bull Road Rage podium - (from left to right) Janos Köhler (Black Sheep Bikes), Dave McCook, Dwight (Whitey) Debroux

Final Red Bull Road Rage podium – (from left to right) Janos Köhler (Black Sheep Bikes), Dave McCook, Dwight (Whitey) Debroux

To view the official Red Bull event clip, including all interviews and the day’s action, please click here.

The last days out in Colorado were spent unwinding back in Fort Collins, where James took me out to share some of his favourite local off-road trails. My particular favourite was a ride up Hewlett Gulch in Larimer County, a short drive north west of Fort Collins.

Red Bull Road Rage, Mont Ventoux – From disappointment to relief

July 12, 2013

In March of this year, the exciting news broke when Red Bull announced it was planning to run 4 Road Rage events in 2013. This was greeted with delight by the Road Rage faithful community, as 2012 had been completely barren and Road Rage aficionados were beginning to lose hope of seeing more events organised. Locations announced included Denver, France, Bosnia and Brazil.

After clarifying some communication points on the Red Bull press release, it transpired that the first event would go ahead in France, descending 6km and 445m from the top of the mythical Mont Ventoux. The excitement at a longer course was evident by the positive comments that floated about in the build-up. All the big names, including three of the top Road Rage racers from France, Guillaume Gualandi (World #1 2008/2009) along with his multiple podium standing team mates Frédéric Mazières and David Lacoste, not to mention ex track World Champion and 2 time Road Rage runner-up Christian Lademann from Germany and the most recent Red Bull Road Rage Champion Piotr Szafraniec from Poland, to name but a few of the stars, were all set to be on the start line.

Podium

Wild scences from the last Road Rage podium celebrations in France, with (l-r) Cédric Gracia, Guillaume Gualandi, Frédéric Moncassin, David Lacoste and Frédéric Mazières.

Then 10 days before the event an unexpected announcement came: The competent authorities had issued a non-favourable response to Red Bull in relation to the event and it was promptly cancelled. Naturally the riders were immensely disappointed at this turn-about, but there was nothing to be done, only wait for the next event.

Having booked my flight tickets 2 months in advance, I decided I would go anyway to test out my newly rebuilt Black Sheep Bikes Road Rage Custom 2. After riding the original bike for nearly two years, I provided feedback to the guys at Black Sheep and wanted to have a few things changed to be able to go even faster. The modifications were discussed and the bike sent back to the BSB HQ in Fort Collins where the rear triangle was rebuilt. I got the bike back the day before I flew out and so would have to wait until I was in France before I could unpack it and test it out.

Road Rage Race Day

Saturday 8 June was the planned race date, so I thought it would only be fitting to venture up on the same day for the first test run on the new machine. I drove up to Bédoin, with the intention of making one ascent to the summit of Mont Ventoux followed by a full descent. The weather had turned by the afternoon and not long into the start of the ascent, it started to rain. I toiled on up the climb until I emerged above the tree line only to be surrounded by thick cloud cover and ever increasingly strong winds. It was a struggle up to the top as winds gusted strongly between 80-100km/h, the rain driving down in sheets and the temperature barely 6 °C at the summit (not including the wind chill factor). My hands were completely numb at this stage and I was nearly blown over several times on the summit so strong was the wind.

To watch the clip to get a true sense of the terrible conditions on that day, please click here.

Under these conditions, the descent was incredibly dangerous, and on several occasions I got blown across the road without warning. Visibility was down to about 30m due to the thick cloud cover and the wind was driving the rain so hard it was cutting painfully into my face. It became abundantly clear to me that the competent authorities in the sous-prefecture of Carpentras had made the only sensible and correct decision by cancelling the event, which in hindsight was a big relief. It would have been irresponsible to hold the race under these conditions and emergency services would not have been able to respond effectively had someone gone over the side of the road. I was relieved to get back down to the shelter of the tree line. From here on it was business as usual taking a little extra care due to the wet road.

Black Sheep Bikes Road Rage Custom 2 Test Day

Two days later the weather had turned for the better and I decided to embark on a triple assault of Mont Ventoux, that is to say, climb every one of the three sides. Well, I really only wanted to cycling down each descent, but that inevitably meant I would also have to cycle up each side. I commenced in Bédoin and nearly failed on my mission before I got started. 2.5km into the climb I realised my bottom bracket was creaking a bit. Upon quick inspection I realised that the previous ride had probably been the nail in the coffin for my bottom bracket bearings, so I turned around straight away and went to the Bédoin Location bike shop to have a new set of bearings and cups installed. I received friendly, quick service and 45mins later it was mission on again and I commenced the trip in earnest. A little under two hours and the summit was reached. A short break later and I was plummeting down the western descent towards Malaucène a breakneck speeds. 20min34sec later I had completed the first descent of 21.6km at an average speed of 62.9km/h, currently 44sec faster than the next best time. I checked my Garmin to see I had hit and maximum speed 117.5km/h! Going in the right direction I thought, having bettered my previous PB of 115km/h set back in 2008 during the Ötztaler Cycling Marathon race in Austria while descending the Kühtai into Innsbruck.

To watch the full clip of the descent from the summit of Mont Ventoux to Malaucène, please click here.

After refilling my water bottles at the village fountain, it was back on the saddle for the slog back up. Again, it was around two hours of steady climbing before I would reach the top. It was also the first time I was able to admire the stunning views on the way up, that I had missed on the way down due to having to concentrate fully on the road. Again a short break was afforded, before I plummeted down in the direction of Sault. This is the longest descent at 25.1km, but with the least elevation difference, making the gradient somewhat gentler, a welcome relief after the first two tough ascents. Unfortunately my progress was interrupted by some roadworks which killed any chance of grabbing a triple crown of Strava KOMs for the descents. Well, it’ll leave something to aim for on my next visit.

Again a quick bottle refill was made at the village fountain, before the last climb back to the summit. With about 6km to go from Chalet Reynard, another cyclist I had passed at the beginning of the climb fell into pace with me. He had been shadowing me at about 100m back or so the entire time. As he drew level with me, my unusual looking bike caught his eye and was enough to start us chatting and I got to know him as Bernard. It turns out he is the cousin of a famous former professional road and track rider and multiple national French champion Charley Grosskost, from the era of  Eddy Merckx and Luis Ocaña, at one time even riding for 5 time Tour de France winner Jacques Anquetil. Bernard was no slouch in his day either, winning the Alsace 100km team time trial title and taking podiums in other notable races. We exchanged many cycling stories before we reached the summit for the last time that day. At the top he took the only photos I have of the day as he luckily had a camera with him. We exchanged emails and he left before me while I sent a quick text to my friend who I was going to meet in the village, to let him know I would be down in about 20mins. I also tucked in anything that might fly out on the super fast descent that was to ensue.

P1000601

Summit of the Col du Mont Ventoux (1912m)

Once ready, I clipped in, switched into downhill race speed mode and let rip. A nice 50km/h westerly tail wind meant that I had a wind assisted descent on the exposed top part, the same section the Red Bull road Rage would have taken place on. I picked up speed quickly and passed the Col des Tempêtes not long after, continuing to accelerate hard. I quick glance down at my Garmin where I spotting 108km/h on the screen and I was still picking up speed rapidly. I passed Bernard after a short while later flicking him a quick wave of the hand as I negotiated the bend. As he was in my racing line, I had to go wide in order not to cut across him. This also pushed me wide on the exit and made for an additional adrenaline rush. Back on the power and flat out the rest of the way, slowing marginally for the ensuing bends. Chalet Reynard was reached rapidly and from there on it was a roller coaster ride to Bédoin. 21min19sec later I had completed the final descent of 21.3km at an average speed of 59.8km/h, a mere 3sec faster than the next best time. Now for the moment of truth as I checked my Garmin to see my maximum speed: 131.8km/h! I could hardly believe it! Total trip distance was 139.3km, including 4463m of total elevation gain, taking me 7h18m to complete.

It was only then I not only understood, but could also fully appreciate just how significant the improvements and modifications to my second generation Black Sheep Bikes Road Rage Custom were in terms of performance. The guys in Fort Collins worked their magic like only they know how, using their decades of experience to pull the best out of the machine following the feedback I provided. In addition to the bike now being much much faster, it is also more stable at high speeds, handles better in corners, doesn’t lift the rear end under heavy breaking on extremely steep descents, but the nicest and most unexpected added bonus was that the bike is now also super comfortable on longer rides. To find out more about their wonderful two wheeled, creations of working art, just visit the Black Sheep Bikes web page.

To watch the full clip of the final descent from the summit of Mont Ventoux to Bédoin, please click here.

Red Bull Road Rage, Israel – Back on track with 4th place

July 3, 2010

A view of the course

Ready to put the disappointments of Latvia behind me, it was off to round three of the 2010 Red Bull Road Rage season. Another first in terms of venue, this time it was off to Israel. The venue could not have been better chosen, with the steepest road in Israel the course. A spectacular twisting descent including no less than 7 switchbacks along the Syrian boarder down off the southern Golan heights towards Jordan far below, would test the skill and nerve of every rider brave enough to take the high speed plunge.

Early morning sign-on

It was a 6 o’clock start to try beat the imminent afternoon summer heat that opened the day’s proceedings. The list of riders read like the “Who’s who” of Israeli cycling, with many past and current national road racing , cross country, marathon cross country and downhill mountain bike champions present. As an Irishman, I was the sole foreign rider to venture over for the event and was made feel most welcome from the outset. A pre-race safety briefing was held, with the most important information kindly translated from Hebrew for me by some of my co-competitors, including the following: “To the left of a road is a fence, behind which lies a mine field. If you land on the other side of the fence, don’t move! We will come and get you out. To the right of the road is a cliff with over 100m drop. Stay to the left of the barrier. If you fly out, you will truly fly. Just take care!”  Ironically the flying reference was not linked to the ‘Red Bull gives you wings’ slogan, although one might wish for those wings in this situation.

Pre-race safety briefing

Next up was a controlled pace course inspection and safety run, with scheduled stops to point out the most dangerous spots, including the signs that warned of mines and the tank crossing point where the road had been slightly damaged. Nothing was left to chance and every potential danger was address. Once done, it was time to start with the official practice runs, of which I got a couple under my wheels to properly familiarise myself with the course. It wasn’t long before it was time to get ready for qualifying. I was first up and so took up my position in the start gate. Heart rate sitting at 151bpm, my mind had informed my body of what was to come and yes, I was evidently ready for action! 5 beeps, the gate dropped and I was off.

Giving it all in qualifying

After qualifying, I waited in the racers paddock at the finish as the riders came down one by one. My time held for a long time until one other rider was finally able to snatch the top spot. It remained so until the end of the qualifying session, after which we were all bussed up to the start paddock again. It was decided to hold some pre-qualifier 4cross heats for the slowest riders only, to whittle it down to the desired 32 fastest riders. The top 16 fastest riders were able to rest as the others fought it out for the remaining 16 spots. This way it still gave everyone the chance to ride at least one knock-out round before the real racing would begin in earnest.

Ripping a hairpin bend.

Through the early knock out stages my tactic was simple: Use my power coupled with a 54-11 conversion to blow out a gap early on and then sit on that advantage conserving my energy for the next rounds. It worked well and I was still as fresh as an Irishman can be in the wilting 35°C heat by the time it came to final. With no weak riders left I really needed to be on top of my game to ride this one to victory. I sat in amoung the bunch watching for the danger men before I timed my attack in the chosen location. It stuck as I blew out a gap of 30m within a matter of seconds. So far so good! Around the next hairpin and down the steepest part of the course at 18%, around another couple of sweeping bends and into the next hairpin. Still holding my advantage I tackled one of the slight uphill transitions bringing me to another hairpin. As I entered it, my rear wheel monetarily lost traction as it slipped on the white line and out from under me forcing me to release the brakes and counter-lock the steering to catch myself… Saved! I desperately tried to get around to the exit of the bend, but the momentary releasing of the brakes had meant I was off trajectory and couldn’t avoid rolling with my front wheel into the gravel on the outside verge. The inevitable happened as my front wheel washed out on the ball bearing-like gravel stones and I was caught up by the protective straw bail that blocked my path to the guardrail and over the other side 100m down into the ravine. As I jumped back up onto my bike, I watched as my three competitors raced by. I started pedalling frantically, only to realise I had derailed, costing me an additional few seconds of valuable time. By the time I got going I was about 100m behind and faced an uphill battle if I was going to pull this back. Out of my rhythm and my concentration disrupted I mistimed the following right hand hairpin on the exit of a blind left hander. This cost me more time which didn’t help my cause. I gave it my all, but only managed to halve the gap before the finish line and so it was not to be this time as I took 4th place in what has to be the best Road Rage I have ever ridden.

Red Bull Road Rage podium, Israel (l-r): Janos Köhler, Daniel Eliad, Ohad Ben Hamo, Eli Wexler.

The prize presentation took place down in the valley, just across the Jordanian boarder in the hot water spring resort of Hamat Gader, where riders had a chance to refuel, refresh and relax. What a fantastic day!

Red Bull Road Rage – Cycle Inn / Trajectoires Cycles rider Janos Köhler victorious in Belgium

June 10, 2010

La Redoute

La Côte de La Redoute in Aywaille, Belgium saw the opening of the Red Bull Road Rage 2010 season. This steep hill features in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège, often used for the decisive move of many eventual winners with attacks coming at the steepest 22% gradient section about halfway up.

About to disappear over the edge of the 22% drop

Saturday 22 May was D-day. 80 riders turned up to test their descending skills and athleticism in the quest to become Belgium’s first Red Bull Road Rage champion. The weather was brilliant and set the atmosphere for the showdown. Sign-on ran smoothly, followed by the customary practice runs. For the first time, qualifying took place in a 4cross format, rather than the usual individual time trial. After putting in a solid run it was back down to the race paddock to wait for the results. Finally the moment of truth arrived and the news broke of the top four seeded places all being occupied by four veteran Road Rage friends: 1. Janos Köhler (Cycle Inn/Trajectoires Cycles, Ireland); 2. David Lacoste (Cantal Team Road, France); 3. Guillaume Gualandi (Cantal Team Road, France); and 4. François-Xavier Plaçais (Trajectoires Cycles, France).

Next up, the customary 4cross format knock-out rounds were held, with the top 32 qualified riders going head to head in groups of four, two riders progressing each time and the remaining two riders retiring from the race. All the top seeds had comfortable wins and progressed to the quarter final round. Again as expected the top four seeds ran in as winners of their respective heats and progressed to the last eight.

Power slide with counter lock through the chicane

The semi-final saw some drama unfold, as I punctured about a third of the way down hitting a bar of uneven road. As I came through the chicane halfway down, I could feel the back end starting to squirm and knew I would need more than just skill to reach the final. I continued to hammer down the mid-section straight towards the last corner, as the rim started to make more and more contact with the road. I brushed off a significant amount of speed approaching the last corner hoping to gently nurse my bike into the home straight. As I fought the back end around the corner, trying to stay upright, F-X Plaçais tore by me on his way to take the semi-final round victory. Little did I know that the next rider was breathing down my neck, but I had not need worry as he completely overcooked the corner and ploughed into the hay bail barriers (see below) to give me the chance I needed to clinch that last spot and qualify for the final. The other semi final saw the first top 4 seed fall, as Guillaume Gualandi was eliminated by 7/100th of a second at the hands of German ex-professional road and track racing multiple Olympian and former world champion, Christian Lademann (Wiki article Eng/De).

Fighting a punctured rear end through the last corner with crash sequence during the semi finals

The moment had arrived for the big final. The tension had risen to unparalleled levels, as we all knew there was only one chance now. The countdown kicked off: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go! The gate dropped and we tore off like thoroughbred race horses out of the box. F-X got the best start as he nosed ahead of me, using his extensive 4cross start experience. I bit down hard and pushed forward with everything I had pulling level with F-X. Around the first right hand bend neck and neck we raced. I was at an advantage sitting on his left hand side with the next bend giving me the inside line. I made it count as I pulled ahead and into the lead. The 22% chicane was upon us in no time and a sharp, quick, short engagement of the brakes brushed off just enough speed to safely negotiate it. Immediately again, it was head down and full on the power. The last bend approached with a rush. Just go for it! Full tilt, holding on for dear life right on the limit. Into the home straight, now only 150m to go. A quick flick over the shoulder informed me I had done it, with my rivals trailing 20m behind me. This was the moment I had waited for so long, as I raced towards the finish line raising my fist in victory, punching the air. I was overcome with sheer ecstasy. Behind me 2nd and 3rd place were decide by the closest of margins with Christian Lademann beating David Lacoste by 2/100th of a second! F-X who had unfortunately derailed through the chicane took 4th place having fought like a real champion until the end.  As F-X caught up with me he threw his arms around me and said “We won!!!” Indeed, this was Trajectoires Cycles best road Rage yet. I went immediately to congratulate both David and Christian on their podium places, before we were ushered up by the marshals and Red Bull organisational crew for the podium presentation. It was quite simply such a moving experience. Photo shoot and interviews followed the champagne fuelled podium celebrations.

Podium Red Bull Road Rage, Belgium: (l-r) David Lacoste (F), Janos Köhler (IRL), Christian Lademann (D), François-Xavier Plaçais (F)

Full list of results here.

Dream start to first ever road race

May 8, 2010

Thursday nights are traditionally known as club race nights for Bray Wheelers Cycling Club members, the club of which I am a long-standing member on and off since 1992. Despite this, until Thursday gone by, I had never competed in a traditional road race, having always preferred off-road riding and more recently the thrill of the Red Bull Road Rage competion.

Sign-on was held from 19:15 and the racing began shortly after. As a handicapped race, I was placed several groups back, yet not quite in the scratch group. The course, a 30km out and back round trip, was relatively flat with a couple of drags along the way. It took me a while to settle down as the complete novice, but with a few friendly tips from fellow riders I integrated well and the group worked seamlessly maintaining the Belgian circle in fluid motion.

Nearing the turnaround point the earlier groups of riders came against us. It would only be a matter of time before we would catch them on the return leg. The pace picked up and caused a split, with a few of the weaker riders unable to maintain the increased effort. As the race continued to near the finish, we managed to integrate into the front running groups. The nearer we approached the finish line the more frantic the peleton became, with attacks being launched ever increasingly. None stuck, but pulled the main group apart, stretching it back down the road.

I sat awaiting the moment of destiny, positioning myself to strike when the time came, as we pulled around the last bend and into the long finishing straight. Watching, waiting, watching… Then the decisive attack was launched and I somehow instinctively sensed it was now or never and pounded into the pedals with what I had left, head down going for the line. I surged by the the initial protagonist of the move and suddenly found myself out front. A final burst for the line and I was able to start my road racing career in a fashion I could only have dreamed of moments before.

Taking victory in the sprint during my first ever road race

7Stanes – Scotland’s biking heaven (Part 2)

April 21, 2010

Friday past, the time finally arrived, when I had a chance to face my mountain biking nemesis and go for a third time lucky, filing previous mishaps away for good in the bad memories cabinet. I refer to Dalbeattie, Scotland. Click here for previous Dalbeattie episode.

I arrived fresh off the ferry to be greeted by the beautiful Scottish sun, as it shone unperturbed by the masses of Icelandic volcanic ash in the skies. A short drive brought me to the trail head of Dalbeattie. Out came the bike, my combat gear was thrown on and off I went. The trail brought me back to the Qualifier, a very steep and technical rocky drop, which leads on to the infamous Slab. I easily nailed the Qualifier, but when I got to the Slab, I began to have second thoughts. I began to wonder what had possessed me to attempt this in the rain in the first place. I sat at the top for quite a while psyching myself up for the plunge. Eventually I relented after a thorough risk analyses weighing up the pros and cons. I felt I could live with myself not riding it and leave it for another day, especially since I didn’t want to jeopardise being able to race the next Red Bull Road Rage event in Belgium, just five weeks away, as well as potentially not being able to do my scheduled SMBLA Expedition module course on the following two days. So it was down the short cut to the right of the Slab, which in itself is still very steep, with plenty of gnarly rocks scattered the whole way down and also graded black like the Qualifier and the Slab. The Terrible Twins, another black graded couple of consecutive rock face drops were a little further on and demanded both skill and concentration. The rest of the 25km passed without incident and I was content with the first 1.5 hours of riding back in Scotland. I will say I found this trail to be one of the most demanding of the 7Stanes I have ridden, with a lot of the red course verging strongly on black grade and generally being quite a punishing course, for both bike and rider.

I hopped back in the car for a short trip up the road to tackle the next trail by name of Mabie. The red loop, at 18km with 65% single track, is a pure fun trail. If you are looking for a  ‘flowy’ trail then maybe Mabie may be the one for you. This was a nice change after Dalbeattie. Not too technical, but with a few challenges thrown in to keep your attention, this is a 1 hour blast that leaves you with a smile once you roll back into the trail head. The highlight has to be at the top of the first climb, a panoramic view over the Solway Firth right across to England and the hills of Cumbria over the sea divide to the south.

Trajectoirescycles.com announce sponsorship deal for 2010

April 2, 2010

In Rengg, Switzerland, at Red Bull Road Rage 2009 with François-Xavier Plaçais of Trajectoires Cycles

In anticipation of a brand new Red Bull Road Rage season, I am delighted to share Trajectoires Cycles recently issued press release on a 2010 sponsorship deal:

Trajectoirescycles.com Snap up Irish Road Rage Downhill Ace

Trajectoires Cycles Nantes, France have agreed a sponsorship deal with the undeniably quick Irishman Janos Köhler. The deal is initially for the duration of the 2010 Red Bull Road Rage downhill road racing season which kicks off in Belgium this coming May. Trajectoires Cycles were eager to have Köhler on board after he turned heads by beating the likes of Cédric Gracia and Frédéric Moncassin as a newcomer to the international downhill road scene in 2009.

With the fastest time against the clock in Rengg, Switzerland (2nd overall) and fastest time in the wet in France (6th overall), François-Xavier Plaçais, owner and managing director of Trajectoires Cycles, believes it’s only a matter of time before Köhler graces the top step of the podium. ‘It’s great to have such amazing talent wearing our colours and we’re really happy to be able to help him in what are difficult times for new athletes finding sponsorship.’

Trajectoires Cycles shop in Nantes are France’s leading fixed wheel and single-speed retailer and are also stocked with the latest high end mountain and road bikes. As part of the deal with Köhler they will be providing all on-site parts, mechanical assistance, and local transport requirements at the Red Bull Road Rage races.

Red Bull Road Rage – 2nd in Rengg, Switzerland.

October 27, 2009

red bull road rage

Leading Mauro Bettin in the Semi Final

I’ve decided to make an effort this time and write the blog myself. I’m just back from Switzerland where I took on a bunch of Euro speed junkies and won (well almost). After posting the top time in qualifying covering the 2.1km course in just 99 seconds (top speed 90km/h and an average speed of 76km/h) my confidence was given the boost  it needed after being snapped by the sheer scariness of the descent. The course featured 6 hairpin turns in the top half with sections of road at nearly 20% gradient, with the average at 10%. On top of that the surface was wet from the rain the night before. Turns out it seems to work in my favour. Must be the Irish in me!!

I was never pushed through the rounds but I knew that when the racing got tough I would need to find that little bit extra to come out on top. The 1/4 finals saw some big names fall: Frédéric Moncassin, two time stage winner and yellow jersey wearer in the Tour de France and winner from the French event, failed to progress to the semi finals, as did defending Swiss Road Rage veteran Guillaume Gaulandi from France. Having had to pull out all the stops in the sprint finish to take the round against  two time German national 4Cross champion Thomas Schäfer, winner of the German round, in the 1/4 final, I was under no illusions of the strength in depth of the field in Rengg. For this reason I went all out in the semi final from the gun, blowing out Mauro Bettin, winner of the Italian event (the Italian pro ex-roadie turned enduro mountain biker – 2005 mtb xc marathon world cup winner) and eventually coasting across the line well clear of the field. The final was a different proposition and I found myself in third in the first corner. The racing was messy, dangerous and probably not within the rules but in the end I was pipped by Sebastian Körber from Germany into second. Disappointing in light of my overall performance and considering I was the quickest down the hill TT style, but I can’t really complain. I know my first win is just around the corner.

Red Bull Road Rage, Rengg podium from l-r: Janos Köhler (IRL), Sebastian Körber (D), Michael Schärer (CH) and David Lacoste (F)

Now I’m looking forward to some intense (and injury free) winter training and maybe some sponsorship if anyone’s as brave as Mick Jordan from the Cycle Inn Bike Shop. Can’t wait until next year and a new season of Red Bull Road Rage.

Results from http://www.redbullroadrage.ch

Final





Qualifying:



Red Bull Road Rage – Cycle Inn rider Janos Köhler 6th in France

September 26, 2009

Leading in the Quarter Final

On the 12th of September a unique road race, the Red Bull Road Rage, took place high in the French Pyrennees.  I represented Ireland amongst a World Class field thanks to support from Mick Jordan from The Cycle Inn and finished 6th just behind legend Cédric Gracia with Frédéric Moncassin in 1st.  Ben from Spoke.ie recently met with me for a chat about my experiences of the race and future plans.

* What was your motivation to take part in RBRR?

I’ve always been into anything that gives me a good adrenalin kick especially if two wheels are involved. Not many people seem to be able to keep up with me on the road downhills here in Wicklow so I thought I’d give it a shot. I never expected to do so well because I’d never had the chance to race top pros but now that I’ve proved I’m at their level I’m even more motivated to do the next one.

* What characteristics do you think you need to make a good RBRR downhiller?

There are several characteristics that play a decisive role in making a good RBRR racer: It involves two distinctly different disciplines, the first one being an individual time trial for the qualifying and seeding run and the second racing as a group of four, similar to 4X in mountainbiking. There are loads of twists and turns at speeds of up to 100km/h, so you have to be a confident technical bike handler capable of high levels of concentration who is also comfortable with the fear factor and high adrenaline levels. The important thing is to get the right lines through the corners to carry your speed through as well as have qualities of a sprinter to accelerate quickly out of bends. That said doing all the above correctly doesn’t automatically result in victory, as sometimes you also have to play it smart. Drafting competitors can give you the edge in top end speed down the finishing straight and help you cross the line in first place which is why Moncassin won in the end.

* How do you feel about your 6th place considering you were lining up against such a strong field containing so many pros and ex-pros?

To be honest I was fairly disappointed not to make the final because I was one of only 2 riders to have a top 4 time in every round and I missed out through a photo finish. Then again I had the 3rd fastest time on the day and fastest time in the wet which gives me good confidence going into the next race.

* Having raced one RBRR how do you expect the experience to help you the next time ’round?

I learnt a lot about tactics and racing in the 4 cross format. Coming so close has also really fired up my motivation to try even harder to make the final and hopefully even climb up on the podium.

* Being a new event, Where do you see RBRR going from here?

I can see the sport growing over the next few years, even possibly becoming a full blown series spread over a season. Already the next event was oversubscribed so registration for male participants had to be closed early. This can only be a good sign in terms of its growing popularity. I guess time will tell how it really develops as a sport.

* When are you next racing a RBRR?

I have signed up for the next RBRR event which takes place near Nuremburg, Germany on 10 October 2009. This promises to be slightly different compared to previous events as the road will be much narrower and the course generally more technical which suits my strengths. This event is also the first RBRR where separate categories for men and women have been implemented which is good to see.

* Any last words?

I would like to say a huge thanks to my generous sponsor Mick Jordan from the Cycle Inn, without whose support this would not have been possible.

 

Full table of times and results for the first Red Bull Road Rage in France.

Individual time trial and seeding run – Dry road. 4th with a time of 4m19s171 – Moncassin clocks fastest time of the day and betters me by 5.9 seconds.

Pos. NAME # Qualif. time Avg. km/h
1 Frédéric Moncassin 17 04:13.271 56,86
2 Guillaume Gaulandi 15 04:16.717 56,09
3 Frédéric Mazières 1 04:18.035 55,81
4 Janos Köhler 25 04:19.171 55,56
5 Cédric Gracia 2 04:19.593 55,47
6 David Lacoste 13 04:19.606 55,47
7 Luca Pais Maden 37 04:22.147 54,93
8 Gerard D 59 04:22.733 54,81
9 Fabien Pedenanau 43 04:24.985 54,34
10 Christian Taillefer 35 04:27.597 53,81
11 Fabien Christen 31 04:27.790 53,77
12 Laurent 52 04:27.907 53,75
13 Christophe Osmont 33 04:28.664 53,60
14 mathieu Carrer 44 04:29.440 53,44
15 Romain Mazure 21 04:29.763 53,38
16 Ransimangue 63 04:31.960 52,95
17 François Xavier Plaçais 18 04:32.398 52,86
18 Philippe Cau 27 04:32.779 52,79
19 Robert G 45 04:34.210 52,51
20 Jean phillipe cerquiera 46 04:34.354 52,49
21 Emmanuel Vialard 14 04:35.831 52,21
22 Guillaume cadroas 39 04:36.263 52,12
23 Cyril Despres 110 04:36.571 52,07
24 Romain Lacoste 42 04:36.881 52,01
25 Thomas Vallé 40 04:37.120 51,96
26 Christian Grange 29 04:37.437 51,90
27 Pierre Jean Rigaud 32 04:39.102 51,59
28 Gualandi Gilbert 56 04:41.023 51,24
29 Stpartaro 57 04:41.163 51,22
30 Sebastien Castagne 38 04:41.669 51,12
31 guinand 65 04:42.082 51,05
32 Sebastien st Criq 16 04:42.849 50,91
33 Gualandi Gregory 53 04:43.239 50,84
34 Joris Favennec 11 04:43.579 50,78
35 Devierre 111 04:43.953 50,71
36 Phillipe Chabert 10 04:45.565 50,43
37 Maximilien Roblet 19 04:45.793 50,39
38 Hans Maltete 12 04:46.589 50,25
39 Raphael Pomies 7 04:47.104 50,16
40 Nicolas Caiserman 30 04:47.720 50,05
41 Steve Borloz 22 04:47.948 50,01
42 Julien Sorhabil 24 04:48.275 49,95
43 Jerome Arricastres 47 04:49.107 49,81
44 Sourimant 55 04:54.570 48,88
45 Eric Cadau 36 04:54.982 48,82
46 Laplace B 58 04:55.704 48,70
47 Augelet 61 04:57.478 48,41
48 Vincent Delveau 26 04:58.045 48,31
49 Clavairolles 48 04:58.137 48,30
50 Pierre Castagne 8 04:58.515 48,24
51 Julien Yvenec 34 05:00.088 47,99
52 Mercier 60 05:00.266 47,96
53 Esthere Leroy 20 05:01.106 47,82
54 Cyril Cabiac 41 05:02.664 47,58
55 Benoit Ricart 23 05:07.801 46,78
56 Julien Bastide 49 05:13.353 45,95
57 Faverial 51 05:13.490 45,93
58 Vignolles 50 05:25.511 44,24
59 Jerome Couppey 9 59:47.569 1,33

 

1/8 finals – Wet road. Fastest time this round with 4m17s187 (3rd fastest of the day and fastest time in the wet).

Pos. NAME # 1/16 finals time Avg. km/h
1 Janos Köhler 25 04:17.187 55,99
2 Guillaume Gaulandi 15 04:17.815 55,85
3 Mariani 54 04:19.609 55,47
4 Cédric Gracia 2 04:19.629 55,46
5 David Lacoste 13 04:21.680 55,03
6 Fabien Christen 31 04:22.298 54,90
7 Luca Pais Maden 37 04:22.318 54,90
8 Frédéric Mazières 1 04:23.624 54,62
9 mathieu Carrer 44 04:25.291 54,28
10 Christian Taillefer 35 04:25.818 54,17
11 Philippe Cau 27 04:27.300 53,87
12 Gualandi Gilbert 56 04:27.641 53,80
13 Frédéric Moncassin 17 04:27.726 53,79
14 Christophe Osmont 33 04:30.071 53,32
15 Romain Mazure 21 04:30.089 53,32
16 Cyril Despres 110 04:30.330 53,27
17 Gerard D 59 04:30.447 53,25
18 Laurent 52 04:30.853 53,17
19 Gualandi Gregory 53 04:31.536 53,03
20 Christian Grange 29 04:31.543 53,03
21 François Xavier Plaçais 18 04:32.234 52,90
22 Jean phillipe cerquiera 46 04:32.345 52,87
23 Guillaume cadroas 39 04:32.351 52,87
24 Emmanuel Vialard 14 04:32.381 52,87
25 Raphael Pomies 7 04:32.491 52,85
26 Fabien Pedenanau 43 04:32.701 52,81
27 Devierre 111 04:32.803 52,79
28 Robert G 45 04:33.185 52,71
29 Pierre Jean Rigaud 32 04:33.494 52,65
30 Romain Lacoste 42 04:34.673 52,43
31 Hans Maltete 12 04:34.893 52,38
32 Thomas Vallé 40 04:35.300 52,31
33 Phillipe Chabert 10 04:37.118 51,96
34 Sebastien Castagne 38 04:37.693 51,86
35 Julien Yvenec 34 04:37.703 51,85
36 Sebastien st Criq 16 04:37.934 51,81
37 guinand 65 04:38.411 51,72
38 Maximilien Roblet 19 04:39.978 51,43
39 Joris Favennec 11 04:40.710 51,30
40 Julien Sorhabil 24 04:41.899 51,08
41 Steve Borloz 22 04:43.348 50,82
42 Clavairolles 48 04:45.453 50,45
43 Jerome Couppey 9 04:46.117 50,33
44 Pierre Castagne 8 04:46.726 50,22
45 Augelet 61 04:47.386 50,11
46 Stpartaro 57 04:47.564 50,08
47 Vincent Delveau 26 04:47.639 50,06
48 Laplace B 58 04:50.941 49,49
49 Mercier 60 04:52.985 49,15
50 Esthere Leroy 20 05:01.753 47,72
51 Benoit Ricart 23 05:04.461 47,30
52 Cyril Cabiac 41 05:39.276 42,44

 

1/4 finals – First round under heavy rainfall which persisted until the finals. 2nd fastest time of the round with 4m33s964.

Pos. NAME # 1/8 finals time Avg. km/h
1 Cédric Gracia 2 04:32.370 52,87
2 Janos Köhler 25 04:33.964 52,56
3 Romain Mazure 21 04:34.060 52,54
4 Guillaume Gaulandi 15 04:34.276 52,50
5 Fabien Christen 31 04:35.277 52,31
6 Cyril Despres 110 04:37.715 51,85
7 Christophe Osmont 33 04:39.628 51,50
8 Frédéric Mazières 1 04:40.523 51,33
9 mathieu Carrer 44 04:41.695 51,12
10 Christian Taifler 35 04:43.516 50,79
11 Frédéric Moncassin 17 04:45.290 50,47
12 Laurent 52 04:46.612 50,24
13 François Xavier Plaçais 18 04:47.793 50,04
14 David Lacoste 13 04:48.154 49,97
15 Mariani 54 04:49.595 49,72
16 guinand 65 04:49.797 49,69
17 Fabien Pedenanau 43 04:49.929 49,67
18 Hans Maltete 12 04:50.700 49,54
19 David sabatie 28 04:52.622 49,21
20 Thomas Vallé 40 04:53.031 49,14
21 Philippe Cau 27 05:07.791 46,78
22 Jean phillipe cerquiera 46 05:14.692 45,76
23 Guillaume cadroas 39 05:14.973 45,72
24 Raphael Pomies 7 05:25.981 44,17
25 Robert G 45 06:07.274 39,21
26 Gualandi Gregory 53 06:14.038 38,50

 

1/2 finals – 4th fastest time of the round with 4m32s434. Mid race format change resulted in only the group winner going through to the final, thus shortening the race by one round. Missed out on a place in the final by a photo finish: 0.307s! Identical situation for Cédric Gracia who was beaten by 0.02s, but adjudicated to be close enough to be called a draw and allowed race in the final. Result: Overall 6th place.

Pos. NAME # 1/4 finals time Avg. km/h
1 David Lacoste 13 04:31.207 53,10
2 Cédric Gracia 2 04:31.227 53,09
3 Guillaume Gaulandi 15 04:32.127 52,92
4 Janos Köhler 25 04:32.434 52,86
5 Frédéric Mazières 1 04:34.768 52,41
6 mathieu Carrer 44 04:37.364 51,92
7 Christian Taillefer 35 04:42.363 51,00
8 François Xavier Plaçais 18 04:42.864 50,91
9 Frédéric Moncassin 17 04:43.622 50,77
10 Fabien Pedenanau 43 04:44.252 50,66
11 Laurent 52 04:44.754 50,57
12 Cyril Despres 110 04:45.605 50,42
13 Hans Maltete 12 04:52.674 49,20
14 Romain Mazure 21 05:01.007 47,84

 

Final – Frédéric Moncassin is victorious! Fastest man all day and a deserved winner!!

Pos. NAME # Finals time Avg. km/h
1 Frédéric Moncassin 17 04:25.210 54,30
2 Guillaume Gaulandi 15 04:25.441 54,25
3 David Lacoste 13 04:25.551 54,23
4 Frédéric Mazières 1 04:28.055 53,72
5 Cédric Gracia 2 04:40.683 51,30