Results and analysis…
I finished 3rd in the ‘Master 2’ category. That’s riders over 40yrs old (vets). I was 18th overall, and nobody younger than me finished in front of me. For an old bloke with a dodgy shoulder that’s a result I’m happy with.
The first and second placed vets finished around 30 minutes ahead of me! Even more amazing, the first placed vet, Gilles Audger, rode a rigid bike with V brakes!!! Fourth and fifth placed vets were only just behind me. With Frédéric Auracombe just over a minute back. After 200kms of racing that was close. Looking at the times for the top riders overall…..those young guns are incredibly fast. See for yourself, the full results are on the Creuse Oxygene website here.
Thanks to – Alain Menut and the team at Creuse Oxygene for a fabulous event. Described as ‘200kms de pur plaisir’, it really is that good. In all the years i’ve raced this is one of the best organised, hardest, bestest, beautiful races i’ve ever taken part in. No contrived loops, no manicured trails, no punches pulled. Extensive racing, one way, on natural, fabulous terrain.
Thanks to – Raymond for bringing the Sunday Riders over from the UK to race. I’m thrilled that you all enjoyed it so much, and your comments about the event, and about the beauty of this area of France made me proud, not only to be a Brit, but to be a Brit living and racing here. Oh, and well done for pursuading KB to take part.
Thanks to – Keith Bontrager for taking part. It really meant something special for Creuse Oxygene. It was great to meet you, thanks for all the equipment tips, and the recipe for tyre sealant. I hope to meet you again later in the year.
Well done Pricer and Supawal! Racing will never be the same again will it? I reckon Pricer will be unbeatable next season…watchout! Supawal is falling in love with French racing, wouldn’t suprise me if he wasn’t planning his next adventure right now.
For the anoraks – I rode a Specialized Stumpjumper Hardtail on a pair of Bontrager wheels running Hutchinson tubeless tyres. I’d fitted a new cassette and chain, and new disc pads. By the end of the three days the chain was shot, and the rear pads were almost gone!
Finally – This was my second GTL and this time round I enjoyed it more for the simple reason that I speak a little French now. I could enjoy the camaraderie and banter amongst the riders. Last year I felt embarrased having to say ‘je suis desole, j’en comprend pas!’. This year I could join in.
La Grande Traversee du Limousin is a fabulous race, and part of what I love about it is it’s Frenchness. Racing with French racers in a French race in France is experience not to be missed. To me, the fact that the entry forms, the communications, the website, the briefings, are all conducted in French enhance the experience. It’s not that hard to get yourself on the start line. Once you’re there the rest is easy!