Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

l'Etape de Légende 2007

Red GTRed GT Posts: 40
edited August 2007 in Training, fitness and health
Anyone doing the Etape de Légende in September ?

I’ve been doing quite alot of training for the event and I’m reasonably happy with my progress however I’m yet to decide on what gearing I’m going to use for the route. I did the British Cyclesportive* with a 39-27 and that was comfortable but I know the Ballon d'Alsace will be a completely different challenge!

I’m interested to hear what gearing others are planning to use...

*Don’t panic I’ve been doing plenty of hill training too.


  • topcattimtopcattim Posts: 766
    Yes, I'm doing it too. First European sportif and first effort at this type of hill. I did the Dragon Gran Fondo but I figure the hills will be a lot steeper on the Etape.
    Do you know how much total climbing there will be? My rough calculation based on the profile on the website makes it about 3500 metres over the 210k. The Dragon was 2800 over 200k, so I'm kind of reassured that it is of a fairly similar order....but am I missing something? Do you know what category the climbs on the Etape are? Presumably the Ballon d'Alsace is an HC, but I wonder how many of the others are.
    Will be riding compact 50-34 with 25 tooth rear. That was fine for the Dragon but I did spend rather more time in bottom gear on the second ascent of the Bwlch than I was hoping for!
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    I lived in Strasbourg for several years and have ridden most of the cols. Also did the Dragon, Wessex and TOBM this year.

    The Vosges cols are easier than the Alps but harder than the Dragon/TOBM climbs. Main difference is they simply go on for longer.

    e.g. for those that have done the Dragon 2007 they are pretty much like the first/last Bwlch climb. After the feed stop that was 6.5km to ascend 330m or so, Ballon is 10km to ascend 500m. So pretty much same gradient, just another 3.5km of it. Not in the same league as say the D'Huez which takes 13km to ascend 1070m.

    My guess is that if you can do the Dragon and finish not feeling dead then you can probably do the Etape du Legende.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    Except for the first (Kreuzweg), I've ridden all the cols in the Etape du Legende, some of them several times, and I wouldn't say any of them compare to the passes in the Alps. The really steep passes in the Vosges (short but steep like some in the Lake District) are on smaller roads, used in local events but not in bigger races, nor in this Etape. I did have a bad day once on Platzerwasel, but perhaps because it was right at the start of a ride when I was still cold? Or maybe there is a short steep bit on it which threw me that day?

    As for gearing, I've always been happy with 53/39 and 12/26. I'd say the most difficult as aspect of this Etape is the number of climbs; often 3-4 long climbs, like in an Alpine cyclosportive, can be less wearying than 6-7-8 climbs as in this Etape. Also the steepest, longest climb at the end won't suit everyone. Still, in good weather, some cols, like Fouchy, Freland and Wettstein can be a real pleasure to ride.
  • topcattimtopcattim Posts: 766
    Thanks Bahzob and knedlicky
    Both of those posts are really reassuring.
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    Does anyone know where I can get a map of the route down the Vogues? Living in Basel its not far for me to do a day trip and reconnoitre the route, or parts of it, to see if I need to go compact or not.

  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    term1te wrote:
    Does anyone know where I can get a map of the route down the Vogues? Living in Basel its not far for me to do a day trip and reconnoitre the route, or parts of it, to see if I need to go compact or not.

    Look at the official website. This is the English version ... index.html

    If you click on 'Discover the profile' in the Route box, the profile comes up big and you can save it as a gif file.
    The more detail it has when big includes the names of the cols and some of the towns the route passes through. So combined with a Alsace/Vosges map of about 1:2000,000, you can easily work out the route.
  • Red GTRed GT Posts: 40
    Thanks for the input guys – really appreciated!

    Just to make certain of the gradients involved I got hold of a Michelin Local Map (number 315, 1cm:1.5km) and I was greatly reassured. The majority of the climbs are designated as single arrow, 5-9%, with only two brief sections given the double arrow, 9-13%.

    So with that in mind I’m happy to stick with my 53/39 and 12/26. All I need to do is get enough ‘climb’ miles done in the UK!
Sign In or Register to comment.