The Mountain can be scary but it glorifies all the extreme efforts of sportsmen. She is the only one who brings together so many athletes keen on challenges, there is what which can provoke such emotions and surpassing oneself. The Mountain will be the anchor of this article which will link ultra-cycling (represented by La Baroudeuse Bikepacking Race) with Ultra Trail and Triathlon.
“The highest challenges are in the mountains that you will find them. "
Ultra cycling is evolving quickly, the equipment is adapting and improving, riders are preparing for their goals, we are already seeing an evolution in the practice of long distance cycling or bikepacking. A few years ago, the riders took the start of an ultra cycling race for the challenge that it represented and did not attach any importance to sporting performance and the final stopwatch.
Ultra Trail and Triathlon have gone through these phases where before becoming a chronometric and performance objective, the primary goal was simply to finish the event.
Things have changed and today we are discovering ultra riders who come to perform, to take as little time as possible! Of course there are always the riders, who are also the largest percentage of the peloton who come for the challenge they are offered where their only goal is to finish the race. But like other sports that have gone through this box, things are evolving and changing.
Ultra cycling is a sport that can be discovered according to several formulas and it is the organizers who lead the dance at this level by proposing somewhat different rules: with or without assistance, solo or in duo, with or without following car. . According to the formulas, one would almost tend to say that it is not the same sport any more, so much the mental and physical resources which they require do not require quite the same capacities. We can approach the terrain on which the event will be played: in the countryside, on mainly flat or hilly roads, in the middle mountains, in the high mountains.
We wanted to make in this article a parallel of La Baroudeuse Bikepacking Race and compare it to other sporting events on different sports but always in the endurance and ultra-endurance category, all in high mountain reliefs. as we wish since it is our identity. The goal is not to compare the mass of athletes at the start but the real spirit conveyed that takes place in the mountains.
And if La Baroudeuse Bikepacking Race were compared to the world of ultra-trailering, which one would it be?
La Backpacker Bikepacking Race starts in the Department of Alpes Maritimes en PACA region. You will understand, his ADN it's the mountain with the Mercantour National Park nearby, they are the passes, the summits, the valleys. The trail made its appearance 30 years ago in France. THE'Mont Blanc Ultra Trail (UTMB) brought together passionate trailers who had challenged themselves to do the Tour du Mont Blanc by running long before the event you know existed. You perceive the rest, it is a quota of 2300 runners handpicked in order to collect points for the sole purpose of participating in this great mass of mountain running. It has become THE ULTRA TRAIL COURSE of reference. Of course, there are many other organizations like: the Lavaredo Ultra Trail in the Dolomites in Italy, theUltra Trail of Verbier St Bernard in Swizterland.
Like them, our common point is the high mountains, theUTMB en baskets and La Baroudeuse Race on a bike. What sets us apart is the autonomy aspect of the challenge to the competitors. Indeed, the first adventurers, pioneers of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, had set out in total autonomy and not with well-established supplies as we can see today. There are many positives and negatives about this and no question of debate. The Baroudeuse Bikepacking Race allows riders to set off in total autonomy and manage their effort throughout their course in the purest “ultra distance” spirit. Yes, ultra trail was perceived a few years ago as a crazy sport made for crazy people. Of course it still is today and there are too many runners preparing for these extreme races.
What will ultra-cycling be like, what dimension and what direction (s) will it take? Will it keep its adventure identity as we wish or will we see ultra cycling races appear with supplies every 50K ?!
On the two photos positioned at the bottom, you can recognize for connoisseurs Anton Krupicka, famous ultra trailer from the USA. His particularity, his visceral relationship to the mountains that he practices shirtless in minimalist shoes as much as possible. For a few years now, he has been moving towards the practice of Gravel and Bikepacking. We follow it with interest on its official pages.
The world of Triathlon also has its challenges in the mountains and the best known is the Embrunman: legendary triathlon race over the Ironman distance 3,8K - 180K - 42K
Triathlon appeared in Europe in the 80s and it is clear that until the 1995s it became the fashionable sport where all the brands and cycle builders flocked! The challenge that was offered to Triathletes at the time: swim almost 4K, get on your bike to travel 180K through the mountains of Embrun, Lake Serre Ponçon and among others the famous Col de l'Izoard then finish with a marathon. 35 years old is the age of this race which has now become a myth.
Let's go on an adventure! was daily and there was not this dimension of sleep management over several days it's true but we rediscovered the magic of leaving at 6am in the dark, the lake lit by candlelight and it was quite an adventure to swim in the dark, test and you will see the magic of the sea. instant. The context of the time meant that the triathletes who dared this challenge were perceived as exceptional sportsmen able to challenge the mountain world even though they came from flat countries and big cities. We like this nod to the Embrun Triathlon because the routes of the Augustus Race 30K (mountain bike or Gravel typed monster cross) pass to the Lac de Serre Ponçon.
The Col de l'Izoard also sees the Trans Alpes Magnus Race pass. And we are also certain that the vision we had of this triathlon 35 years ago is almost the same as we can have today when we announce that riders will dare to cross 1150K high mountains in total autonomy. For the public, it's as crazy as this triathlon 35 years ago!
Once again there was the story of a scary race, which impressed and always impresses with the distances and the terrain over which it is raced. The long distance races which take place in the mountains leave an indelible mark on all those who dared to take the start. Whether it is the Embrunman, the LD Triathlon of Alpe d'Huez or La Baroudeuse Bikepacking Race which today offers impressive distances in the mountains, today a handful can say: "I was there and I did this incredible race ”.