- MB Race, Haut Savoie
This one: http://mb-race.com/
Anyone done it? The first couple of editions had the reputation of being a bit heavy on fire-road slogging, but the organisers seem to be changing the route every year.
Looking at the 50km version (almost 3000m of climbing, and last years finishing times are from about 3hrs to over 8hrs!!) edit – actually the 50km route this year has less climbing than last year. Hmm.Posted 4 years ago
Well, I went and did it anyway. 50km in just over 5 hours. Not many Brits on the results, but one of them was Tim Dunford who came first in the 100km version. Good effort!
Most of the climbing was tracks and fireroads, some of it up ski pistes (with a fair bit of 20% gradients and a couple of 30% parts but that could be GPS error) it spread everyone out nicely and gave time to enjoy the views of Mont Blanc and the Alpine meadows.
Dear lord the descents were scary. Not much doubletrack at all, just flat out euro-madness down just about every kind of trail I’ve ever ridden: mud, roots, rocks, gravel, meadows, off-camber strips of mud across black runs, more roots, roads, wet roots, stream beds and the rest. In 50 kms there were three big descents – all of them were 20 to 30 minutes of continual descending (except when struggling out of bushes).
The ambience was great – loads of people cheering and ringing cowbells, what seemed like hundreds of volunteers stopping traffic at every road junction for the valley crossings, all with a smile and a “bravo/allez/courage”.
The feed stations were piled up with banana, orange, saucisson and cheese (Beaufort of course).
Although I was signed up for the 30/50km MBClassic race it was a really accessible event. We started near the back and there were people on some really ropey bikes, but all having a good go (and some of them going pretty fast too). I think this also helped me to finish in the top half of the field for the first time ever, but it felt more like the lower places of a French cyclosportive than a serious XC race – everyone was there just to dig deep, give everything and finish.
I really enjoyed it.
Edit : If anyone’s interested, the routes are on this site : http://mbrace.livetrail.net/parcours.php where the full results can also be foundPosted 3 years ago
It’s a tough event. At least for us it was sunny, it must be really gruelling in the wet.
I’ve just been looking at the average speeds of finishers – I did just over 10km/h average, and the fastest over all the distances were around 15 to 16km/h
I think it’s a pretty specific kind of fitness required – you need roadie fitness to be able to do hour-long climbs, and then you need proper mtb skills to be able to do the 20-minute descents without rattling to pieces or losing concentration and crashing out.
10km/h is a good target – but that means 14 hours riding to do the 140. That’d be a big day out riding on the flat!Posted 3 years ago
You’re on Strava aren’t you?
There are quite a few people who have uploaded their traces, that give a much better idea of realistic averages.
Mine’s here for the 50 : http://www.strava.com/activities/162614395 (but I’m not that fast – especially on the last climb where I was down to 3.8kph !)
Here’s one from a guy who did the 140 : http://www.strava.com/activities/162588163Posted 3 years ago
The route was marked pretty well. Big arrows for direction changes, red/white tape to follow and most wrong tracks blocked with tape too. There were volunteer marshalls on all the road crossings and clear signing for the points where the courses split for the different distances.
I think they’ve used a different course every year so far (and there’s a few sections that cross fields that aren’t normally open) so careful with the gps traces.
I watched a load of YouTubet vids before the race. They give a good idea of what most of the terrain is like – apart from the technical bits!Posted 3 years ago
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