24 Heures de Bonnac

24hrs_de_bonnac_logo We raced hard, we battled right to the last lap, but we were beaten into second place by “Les Blaireaux”, a bunch of desperados from the Dordogne! Chapeau guys! Hey, it was so tough, i’ve been ill ever since! But, it was a great event, and i rode with a great team (US Nantiat)………. and, and, we finished ahead of our mates in the Culture Velo team, but only just. 😉

Right from the start the team from the Dordogne took the lead. We’d planned on doing two laps each, but switched to one in an affort to peg them back. As the afternoon wore on their lead grew, and we found ourselves fighting for second place with the Culture Velo boys. It really was close.

24hrs_de_bonnac first lap action

Then luck ran out for the boys in blue. A string of punctures saw the Culture Velo team a lap down. We’d switched back to two laps each by now, as we raced through the night. By early morning the Dordogne team were well clear, only a mechanical would stop them now, though we kept hoping they’d gone too hard too soon, and would blow-up!

Into the last three hours and the Culture Velo boys rallied and began to gain on us. Stop watches were checked, riders timed, calculations made. We stuck to the task, and finished ahead of our friends by about the time it takes to mend three punctures. A very close match!

24hrs_de_bonnac_pearce_riderMost memorable laps for me were the one where I got dropped in around 10seconds behind my old mate Jean Claude Sansonnet. Thinking he was on a second lap, and I was only doing one I chased like a nutter. As I passed our team camp I got a cheer that said, “there he is, this is the lap you’ve been waiting for, GGGOOO!”. I managed to catch JC and get past him, though at the end of the lap I was ready to collapse.

Then there were the two laps I did with Fabrice from the Briance Roselle Aventure club. We rode bit and bit sharing the work, absolutley flying along. Merci Fabrice. It made me wonder if we should have offered to make a pact with the VC boys to work together to chase the Dordogne team.

I don’t know which lap was my fastest, but one of them must have been the lap I did glued to the back wheel of Charley. That boy is fast, and so smooth. I just hung on. I don’t reckon I could have done two.


I was very proud to stand on the podium alongside my French team mates. Thanks for having me lads it really was a pleasure to ride with you, and a weekend to remember.

2 thoughts on “24 Heures de Bonnac

  1. congrats, you are really packing the races in, and doing well in them, all that winter training
    just came back from 8 days riding around normandy on the vtt trails you are so lucky living in france the roads are quiet, trails are great and people very nice.
    i was stopped by one guy who was very disapointed i would not be in france for his vtt race, and on the sunday evening happened across a road race festival with semi closed roads that was well attended
    it would be so nice to live in a cycling friendly country
    get well soon

  2. Thanks Mark,
    France comes top of my list for cycling everytime. It’s a fantastic place to live and ride…..
    So many great cycling events to take part in.

    Oh, and it’s just a summer cold! I’m much better now.

    SB 🙂

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