Hammer Sport CC at the Tour du Mont Blanc Ultra Fondo – the world’s toughest one day bike race – 334 km with 9,578 m of climbing!

5:00 AM Saturday 20th July from Les Saisies in the French Alps.

The 10th edition of the ‘daddy’ of ultra sportives, with a new route to make it even tougher!

The usual route of 330 km with c8,600 m of climbing was amended to replace the super category Col du Champex in Switzerland with the 1st Category Col di Verrogne in Italy, which removed the busy roads through Aosta and the soul destroying Aosta Valley. As a ‘bonus’, the organisers then chose to include the brutal Super Category Colle San Carlo. Whilst this gave the mid section far more of an Italian feel with loads of support from the locals, it turned the event into a survival test for a large number of the field. A test which many failed!

Of the 738 starters, just 450 finished, with the last rider scrapping over the line in 19:59:58, just 2 seconds ahead of the 20 hour time cut off!

Hammer Sport love this event and we’ve guided more people to complete the ultimate one day tour than any other UK based organisation. It did go a little too far though this year, with the additional climb in Italy (10.5 km @ >10%), adding at least an hour to times on the usual course.

We had a group of 5 riders (3 from Hammer Sport CC and 2 joining us from Propello). Everyone was supported by a vehicle. Our success at this event remains untarnished and everyone finished!

Climbs in order:

  1. Route de Servoz – 7.2 km @ 3.7%, max 8% (Cat 3) – France (F)
  2. Route de Vaudagne – 3.5 km @ 9%, max 11% (Cat 2) – F
  3. Col de Montets – 11.7 km @ 3.6%, max 8.3% (Cat 2) – F
  4. Col de la Forclaz – 7.4 km @ 5.3%, max 8.8% (Cat 2) – Suisse (CH)
  5. Col du Grand St Bernard – 31 km @ 7.0%, max 10.0% (Cat – Super) – CH
  6. Col di Verrogne – 6 km @ 8%, max 10% (Cat 1) – Italia (I)
  7. Colle San Carlo – 10.5 km @ 10%, max 13% (Cat – Super) – I
  8. Colle Picollo St Bernardo – 12.5 km @ 6%, max 9.4 % (Cat – Super) – I
  9. Cormet du Roseland – 19.3 km @ 5.9%, max 11.4% (Cat – Super) – F
  10. Col des Saisies (via Les Curtillets) – 15.1 km @ 6.3%, max 12% (Cat – Super) – F

Average age of entrants – 43 (sadly we were all considerably older!)

Results – 334 km / 9,578 m (verified climbing):

15:56 – Phil O’Connor & Andrew Thompson (joint)

16:07 – Rob Wakefield

18:10 – Dave O’Connor

18:34 – Ed Pyke

Great work team!

Image may contain: Phil O'Connor and David O' Connor, outdoor

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing