Around the line there’s talk of sprockets, derailleurs, carbon, rims, cassettes, stems, frames or even headset bushes… I wonder if I’m in the right place!”
Drinking in the words of these specialists, I realize I’ve forgotten one indispensable detail: the helmet! Quickly, as luck would have it, some activity providers have their bases right next to the start line and I get one lent to me quite naturally. Opportunity!
Amidst the flamboyant carbon racing bikes, I sneak my little mountain bike towards the start line, while looking for a pump to fine-tune my inflation.
I spot among the runners Maël Alric, a local runner, recently crowned French champion 2022 in long-distance duathlon (bike + run).
After a quick look at the bikes in attendance, only 3 mountain bikes will be at the start.
Let’s go, I’m trying to take on a big gear right from the start, but from the very first meters I can feel that the experience is going to be long and complicated. I feel like I’m pushing hard, really hard on the pedals and not moving forward…
The puncheurs and climbers start to overtake me one after the other at mind-boggling speeds. They even take pictures of me at the side of the road, perhaps just to prove that you can do it on a mountain bike too! On the road, I try to follow the shadows of the squadrons of griffon vultures intrigued by these strange humans waddling on their mounts!
Arrived at the top, it’s deliverance, I’m hot, very hot and I realize that I’ve taken longer than running the same distance (7.6 km for 480 D+)! For me, it’s impossible, and I’m already telling myself that I’ll have to take revenge next year…
After a good refreshment stop, some nice exchanges and smiles with the organization’s volunteers who are constantly encouraging us, and of course after “redoing” the race between runners, I freewheel back down, but as fast as I can all the same, to refresh myself once again in the clear waters of the Dourbie.