Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Mt Ventoux Champion

Result L'etape du tour: 172km, 8:43:10, 4679th of 7396 finishers

Everybody's life has some days which one never will forget. Definately this was one of mines! Simply I regard this day as my life's best ever and most exciting sports performance.

My only option to survive was to keep most of my power along 150 km on the way to the foot of Mt Ventoux. However, there were almost 2,000 meters of height difference to overcome until Bedoin, the village in front of the mountain.

The organisers had published their first elimination point to be practised after 113 km where one should arrive at 1pm latest. I was happy to be there at 12.10pm after it took me 34min from the gun shot at 7am to reach the start line.

Second elimination was after 149 km at the village of Bedoin at 2.50pm. I showed up at 1.35pm and now was fairly sure that I would make it to the finish in time. Finish closure was intended to be 5.30pm. I had a few minutes of rest and made my way to the top.

The final 21km consist of a consecutive ascent of almost 8% on average, with long stretches of more than 10%. 1,600 meters of height difference without a chance to recover. Temperature at Bedoin culminated at 38°c when I started my climb.

I stopped 3 short times for drinking but managed to carry on all the time. I guess 5 of the 21km I cycled while standing on the pedals! I saw fellow bikers falling, sitting, lying, vomiting, walking. I carried on cycling and clocked 2:32 hrs for the stretch from Bedoin to the summit. Especially compared to Erik Zabel whom it took 1:59 I was more than happy to reach the summit in style at 4.16pm.

Now I think I can call myself to be a cyclist.

Please feel invited to have a look at my photo gallery and view the videos.

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