Hammer Sport CC at the Tour du Mont Blanc – the world’s toughest one day bike race!

Hammer Sport CC Tour du Mont Blanc results 2018:

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). Ultra Mountain Race.

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 in Les Saisies 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 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

More photos to follow!