Que What?

I’m not afraid to admit I’ve been lacking the motivation to enter the pain cave much since finishing Haute Route Alps last September. I felt the same way after my first one in 2013. When you pour so much into one big event there is often a ‘hangover’ waiting for you on the other side – or there is for me at any rate. And so I’ve been spinning my wheels for the last 6 months (not without joy, mind you), waiting for something to come along.

Coach Rob always says that fear is the greatest motivator, and I just haven’t been petrified enough I guess…till now. You might remember that I entered a lottery to ride the Quebrantahuesos GranFondo a while back. Well, I ‘won’, along with the other half of 44|5 – John.

The route is 200 km, starting and ending in Sabiñánigo, a town on the Spanish side of the central Pyrenees. The race crosses two large cols on the way in and out of France: Col du Somport & Col du Portalet, with one more in the middle: Col de Marie-Blanque. The total climbing will be somewhere around 3500 meters.


This won’t be the longest or highest sportive I’ve ever done, but it’s probably not far off, all added up. No matter what the profile, 200 km is a pretty big day.

And so the annual routine really begins, starting with the hated FTP Test I did yesterday, and followed up by the even-more despised test tomorrow morning.


It’s been a restful winter

17 thoughts on “Que What?

  1. You’ll be fine dude! You can do anything if you did that marathon Galibier-Crox de Fer etc stage at HR! Heard it can be brutally hot in Spain then though. Lots of electrolyte!

    • That was a monster, Jim. Thanks for reminding me. I don’t know about Spain, but the only times I’ve ridden in the Pyrenees has been the exact opposite.

      • I’ve had izoard esque thunder and 40 degree scorchers out there… The beautiful unpredictability of mountains. Looks like you’re going well at the mo dude, remember not to peak too early though ! You got other big things planned for 2016?

  2. It is a fab event. Not as tough as Marmotte or most of the Etapes but a truly wonderful experience with lots of support along the route and the largely Spanish continue are very welcoming of the international entrants. Enjoy!

  3. Ha! You fool no one, we all know that isn’t even remotely you. And I suppose I have learned that you are racing, so can’t so much see where you are … but that is an extraordinarily beautiful place to ride a bike. Hopefully, 3rd time??? racing in the Pyrenees, the weather wil be kinder. It’s when?

      • Only Marie Blanc, that one from both sides. You wouldn’t notice the climb 🙂 from the east side. From the west it’s steeper near the top, as I remember, but still one of the less demanding cols. I suspect you climb from the west, but didn’t find a map. In June, I see…

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