Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Sportives/audaxes/training rides

Cyclotour du Léman

term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
Anyone heading off to Lausanne for the tour du Léman this weekend? Looking at the starters list there are more than 100 entrance with UK addresses.

Great event, very fast, beautiful scenery well organised. The weather forecast is a lot better than it was, so should be dry, but looks like there will be a stiff headwind for the last leg from Geneva to Videy.

Posts

  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,777
    My dad did it 30 years ago... :D
  • sancho_panzasancho_panza Posts: 183
    I did it but was involved in a messy pile up just outside Rolle - after 150km at 41 average. Fortunately just three km from where I live so I got home easily. (Broken spokes and bruising but no further damage as far as I can tell)

    Three goes at it now and each time I've been aware of lots of crashes, even though I've always managed to be right on the front. Reckon this'll be the last. Lots of people on TT bikes, and even with disc wheels... in a gusty 40kph wind. Oddly the crash happened on the most innocuous bit of road. All those tiny villages, cobblestones, roundabouts and speedbumps - no problem. I guess people were getting tired and the wind had seriously picked up making things jumpy.

    Anyway, I had a good ride till that happened. Hope you made it safely and had fun. It's weird - the lake is beautiful but best appreciated from the foothills of the Jura or Lavaux, or from the beach with the kids, which is what I did all afternoon!

    PM me if you're out this way again and I'll do my best to see you get on the best roads.
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    I think it was a day for crashes. I got tangled up approaching Evian. I was in the first group out and making good time, again a fairly innocuous road, I didn't really see what happened but I was aware of a guy about 5 bikes in front suddenly veer to his left then the line concertinaed and I hit the ground with several others. The annoying thing is that I'd been really careful to stay "out of trouble" at the front of the group most of the way. It is the first time I've actually then been hit by a couple of other bikes, causing them to go down too. All rather messy. I've got a nice cut on my nose, cut and swollen elbow and grazed knees and back. Today my neck is very stiff. The new Cyclotour jersey was ruined, but amazingly the bike was virtually untouched, a couple of scratches on the chainset. Several people checked I was OK and one managed to separate my bike from his and even returned my phone that had shot off down the road, although two energy bars mysteriously disappeared. Unfortunately my nose was bleeding, so I had to wait for 5 minutes for it to stop before I could get going again. I put in the best 5km TT of my life, adrenaline, and managed to catch the second bunch that had gone through and put in a reasonable time in the end. Although I got a lot of odd looks with my face covered in blood and a grazed back showing through the ripped top. One guy didn't come out of it so well and looked in a bad way. Three people had stopped with him, one holding his head still. My French wasn't up to offering any assistance, and I was dripping blood at that point. They'd clearly called an ambulance, but I hope it wasn't as bad as it looked.

    I agree the atmosphere of the event has changed. I think my first was 2004, when there were about 600 riders, and a carbon bike as a novelty. Yesterday I suspect I was one of the first metal bikes home. I saw several people with full on TT machines with aero bars, which they were using in the lines. The mix of abilities and experience riding at that pace is always going to be risky, but if you want fast, its the event to do, where else can you ride 180km at over 40kmh?

    Beautiful part of the world, and the lake on a clear day at 6am makes you glad you got up at 4 that morning. I keep telling myself that we'll retire to one of those villas on the lake side near Saint Sulpice. Although as I don't buy lottery tickets, a tent in Camping Vidy is more likely.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 10,126
    Term1te wrote:
    Beautiful part of the world, and the lake on a clear day at 6am makes you glad you got up at 4 that morning. I keep telling myself that we'll retire to one of those villas on the lake side near Saint Sulpice. Although as I don't buy lottery tickets, a tent in Camping Vidy is more likely.
    It's one of those places I love to visit (have been to the Montreux Jazz Festival three times, once with bike, for a ride up to Chamonix), but for riding, having a bloomin' great chunk of water one side cuts down the options considerably, and I think I'd get a little bored of the few routes to get away from home.

    Anyway, by the sound of it, I think I'd rather do the route by myself or a small group - big groups, with mixed ability and muppets with TT bikes appears to be a bit of a recipe for disaster.
  • sancho_panzasancho_panza Posts: 183
    I think I was aware of the crash that took you out in Evian. I heard the ambulance later on too. You're right about the high speeds.

    The lake road between lausanne and Vevey is wonderful but the rest of it is a bit of a pain. The riding options from anywhere on the lake however are amazing and almost limitless.
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    Term1te wrote:
    Beautiful part of the world, and the lake on a clear day at 6am makes you glad you got up at 4 that morning. I keep telling myself that we'll retire to one of those villas on the lake side near Saint Sulpice. Although as I don't buy lottery tickets, a tent in Camping Vidy is more likely.
    It's one of those places I love to visit (have been to the Montreux Jazz Festival three times, once with bike, for a ride up to Chamonix), but for riding, having a bloomin' great chunk of water one side cuts down the options considerably, and I think I'd get a little bored of the few routes to get away from home.

    Anyway, by the sound of it, I think I'd rather do the route by myself or a small group - big groups, with mixed ability and muppets with TT bikes appears to be a bit of a recipe for disaster.

    I'll be at the Montreux Jazz Festival this year, my son is playing (trumpet), finally pay back for all those lessons. Hopefully I'll be taking my bike with me.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 10,126
    Term1te wrote:
    I'll be at the Montreux Jazz Festival this year, my son is playing (trumpet), finally pay back for all those lessons. Hopefully I'll be taking my bike with me.
    On the Music In The Park stage? It's a great venue, and the team that runs the stage are amazing.

    When I did the ride up to Chamonix via Martigny, I was tempted to complete the circuit by carrying on to Geneva to get back to Montreux, but the desire to do the descent down into Martigny won. In the end I did the descent behind sitting behind a Porsche at the back of a queue behind a coach, with no chance to overtake. Maybe I'll have to try it again someday. It's a great road.
  • mac2011mac2011 Posts: 2
    Sorry to hear about the crashes and hope you both recover soon. I too was in the first group out which I stayed with all the way around - some really dodgy moments and crazy riders. Really wish they would put in place decent rules and ban tt bikes/clip-ons - with that pace/mix of experience and all the crashes the risk of being impaled on some idiot's tt bars is too high.
    Most shocking was when we got to Morges - road works narrowed the road and some rode at full tilt on the pavement around a few shocked pedestrians. Couldn't believe what I was seeing!
    Third time at this event for me (2011/13/15) and will not be doing it again. Too dangerous and too boring with no climbs. Ok, 180ks at 40kph+ is fun, but the peloton is too large for too long - will stick to GF's/sportives with decent climbs in them to break up the field. Had a better time riding in the Jura's the day before.
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    On the Music In The Park stage? It's a great venue, and the team that runs the stage are amazing.

    Yes, playing with the Sussex Universtiy Big band
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    mac2011 wrote:
    Sorry to hear about the crashes and hope you both recover soon. I too was in the first group out which I stayed with all the way around - some really dodgy moments and crazy riders. Really wish they would put in place decent rules and ban tt bikes/clip-ons - with that pace/mix of experience and all the crashes the risk of being impaled on some idiot's tt bars is too high.
    Most shocking was when we got to Morges - road works narrowed the road and some rode at full tilt on the pavement around a few shocked pedestrians. Couldn't believe what I was seeing!
    Third time at this event for me (2011/13/15) and will not be doing it again. Too dangerous and too boring with no climbs. Ok, 180ks at 40kph+ is fun, but the peloton is too large for too long - will stick to GF's/sportives with decent climbs in them to break up the field. Had a better time riding in the Jura's the day before.

    I saw the same thing in Morges, I may have caught up some of the original first group by then, I started to recognise a few people, especially the guy in the day-glo yellow kit.

    I was hoping to ride the Jura Derby yesterday, 140km at the northern end of the Jura, through some really beautiful countryside, but just couldn't get out of bed.

    I'm tempted next year to take my vintage bike and kit down there, keep out of the big groups and enjoy the atmosphere a bit more in an Erocia sort of way?
  • mac2011mac2011 Posts: 2
    Termi1te: sounds like a good plan re the Erocia - and that was my group. The dayglo tinkoff saxo guy was pretty hard to miss! You did well to get back up to us after your crash, especially with that headwind.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 10,126
    Term1te wrote:
    On the Music In The Park stage? It's a great venue, and the team that runs the stage are amazing.

    Yes, playing with the Sussex Universtiy Big band
    If they've not done it before, I can tell them they'll be in for a treat. The stage crew is just the most professional and efficient crew you can imagine, miking up every instrument and sound-checking from scratch (well, actually including clearing the stage from the previous act) in 45 minutes. And then, as the band walks of the stage at the end they will be handed a recording of the set they've just played, beautifully balanced. It's just a pity that the main acts in the two big auditoriums are so eye-wateringly expensive to see, and there's very little jazz.

    Anyway, hope you have a great time!
Sign In or Register to comment.