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Spare wknd, best ride to build up to Marmotte?

Hi folks!

I've got a spare weekend in my build up to the Marmotte. What do you reckon would be the best way to make use of it. The two options are a steady century or do the 55 mile club run with one of the faster groups and try and muller myself with some pace.

At the moment I'm doing a long ride every weekend, but am not getting much chance to work at higher intensities as I do short easy rides to recover on Mon/Tue and its normally wednesday before I'm feeling good enough to think about an LT session. Thanks in advance.

- 20th May - Hampshire Hilly Hundred
- 26/27th May - 30 and 60 mile rides in the pishing rain
- 3rd Jun - Essex is flat Sportif
- 10th Jun - South Downs Way over 2 days (off road)
- ??? - free weekend
- 24th Jun - The Dragon Ride
- 1st Jul - Travel up to Vercor
- 7th Jul - >>>>>Marmotte!!!<<<<<


  • sancho_panzasancho_panza Posts: 183
    I don't know where you live so this is possibly useless advice.

    I've done hill repeats on a terrific hill in Dumfries and Galloway - the Lowther Hill. It's a monster - as good training for the length and scale of the Alpine climbs as you'll get in Blighty short of schlepping another 300 miles north to Applecross.

    You can ride from Mennock, up to Wanlockhead, then up to the summit - works out about 600m of height gain, varied gradient though topping out at a hairy 20% plus. The road to the summit is not marked on maps as it's a private military road - you're fine on a bicycle, just skirt round the barrier and keep on riding - smoothest tarmac in Scotland!

    Up and down as many times as you can be bothered to. Or incorporate it into a massive ride on quiet roads.

    East access from the motorway but a hike from the south. There is excellent free camping (different laws in Scotland - perfectly legal to camp) on the west side of the pass just after the road begins to flatten out about five k's before Mennock. Great camping spots right by the road. Make a weekend of it. If the weather's fine I'll be going up and down.

    Yes - Marmotte - must get my skates on too. I was training wonderfully - two weeks at Easter on Ventoux, back here, out three evenings a week, feeling strong. Weather turned censored , job got really busy with trips away and I'm stuck on the turbo. Wanted to get sub eight hours this year too. Gulp.

    Will arrive in Borg on the Sunday afternoon the week before - last minute training... on the Alpe I think.
  • Brian BBrian B Posts: 2,071
    Cumbria - Great Dunfell. 630m climb with an average of 9%. Listed in this weeks killer climb in the Comic. Another vote for Lowther hill although I gather you are from more Southern climes and maybe the Dales would be better for you. Somebody on this Forum could put a hard route together for you.

    I would be interested on how you get on the Marmotte as I am going to do it next year.

    Brian B.
    Brian B.
  • Hi guys, thanks for the reply. I think I was maybe a little unclear in my original post...whatever I do it'll be local (surrey/sussex) and it was more a question of what would be better training - to do another long steady ride in keeping with my other weekends or to break the habit and do a shorter ride at a tougher pace.

    Brian B, will definitely post on here after the big day. Hopefully it will be with the rose tinted spectacles on by that point as I wouldn't want to put anyone off the experience! All I know is that at some point it will go from being "fun" to living hell in quite a short space of time, its just a matter of how many miles are left on the clock by that point! If I can get to Alpe D'Huez in a relatively decent state, then I won't mind how bad the last hour or two gets.
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  • Having ridden those high cols recently & just done the Challenge Dauphin‚ around the Vercors this last w'end (it lashed down, freezing cold) my best advice is ride your bike for a minimum of 7 hours. The hillier the better. If you are staying in the Vercors before the Marmotte then ride the Col de la Machine & Bataille from St Jean en Royans. This will give you some idea of what to expect. However, don't try & do loads of hilly rides in the final week, it's too late. The Vercors also offers good plateux, for more underlating tours that you will not find around Oisans. Good luck, see you at the finish hopefully!

  • Hi Ed, do you know Phil of Gastrobiking by any chance? I'm going to heading down to Vercor on the 1st July with Gastrobiking. My friend Mark was out there last weekend for the challange dauphine but had to abandon, well done if you finished, I heard that there were only 68 finishers!!!
  • BrixtonfixedBrixtonfixed Posts: 127
    Mingsta -- good luck for the day! If you pass a guy grovelling on a spanking new Enigma (not arrived yet but due any moment, I'm told...) that could be me.

    Hopefully I'll be able to join you in a 'how I survived the Marmotte' thread!

    BTW I rode through the Vercors last year: stunning scenery and a great place to train.
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by mingsta</i>

    Hi Ed, do you know Phil of Gastrobiking by any chance? I'm going to heading down to Vercor on the 1st July with Gastrobiking. My friend Mark was out there last weekend for the challange dauphine but had to abandon, well done if you finished, I heard that there were only 68 finishers!!!
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    68 for the 180km route. Most people (including me) bailed out and did the 75km route. It was not fun. Only 682 people took part compared to
    over 1200 last year. It was dismal.
    See you at Gastrobiking for the Marmotte [:D]
  • See you there chaps. I reckon I can say with a fair degree of certainty that I'll be the only chinaman on a Seven. So if you see, say hi too.
  • This years Challenge' had unseasonal bad weather. I was having the shakes on the descents & almost came off on one corner. Finished 23rd in the 130km, all the other Brits I know did the 75km, sensibly! I managed 57 mins for AdH (to the TdF finish which is under road works) with some US & UK visitors two days before so thought I was getting some form!? Watched the Giro afterwards wrapped in blankets getting warm, where they had been getting wet almost every stage for 3 weeks. Felt very insignificant. Anyone for MegŠve-Mt.Blanc this sunday? Marmotte preperation, sounded a good idea in January.

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