Sportive Season 2010

For each sportive season, I try to have a theme or common thread between the events.  Season 2004 was the UCI Golden Bike Series.  2005 the Belgian Classics & the Alps.  2006, was my Monuments season, which saw us constantly flitting between Belgium, France and Italy. 

For 2007 it was the Pyrenees and the 4 Aces series, which became three in the end.

2008 saw us tackle the sporting legends sportives.  Events endorsed and attended by our cycling heroes and mainly Dianne's new friends!

We went big in 2009 with the Ventoux MasterSeries with five climbs of the legendary climb in 24 hours.  So how do you top that?  You go bigger, that's how! 

2010 sees some monster days in the saddle, two of them back to back.  Also, due to some debacles in a few of our (my) other events, we have a revisit this year.

The Prologue
At last I'm 50 years old; a baby in Group D.  But have you seen how fast those French Super Vets are?  Should be interesting.

Once again the season kicks off in glorious Flanders with the Omloop Passage (Het Niewsblad) sportive on March 20th.  It's got my all time favourite climb, the cobbled Molenberg.  If it's typical Spring Classic weather, hail, rain and wind, it doesn't get any better.

Easter Saturday falls on the traditional date of the La Coulainiase and we appear to have a crew ready to go. It relatively local, a great event and it's held at lunchtime!  We've had loads of successes over the past few years with Dianne, Jo and Susan all picking up top three places and trophies in previous editions.  The boys have got close but no cigar.

Two weeks later it's the 98k Tro Bro Leon.  Don't be fooled by the "shortness" of the event.  It's the Breton Paris Roubaix, or to be honest, it's more like L'Eroica.  Last year Dianne was second lady overall, while I got taken out before the first off-road section.  So it's back again to finish off what I haven't yet started.

May sees a return to the Ble D'Or at Leves.  Which is due for a rerun, since our last visit was in 2008, when I punctured.  It's a great little circuit on the edge of Chartres and deserves a second go .

Mid May sees a trip to Limoges for the Michel Grain.  Don't know a lot about it, but it's a free weekend and better than staying at home to mow the lawn.

The last weekend of May sees a return to the fantastic pro race of the GP La Plumelec and the following day's sportive, La Morbihanaise.  Got my backside kicked last year and Dianne was robbed of her first prize.  Need closure, as our American cousins would say.

June was to see the double header of the Tour des Monts Plats.  But it's been subsumed in to another single day sportive.  Which is sad.  However, it means I can now tackle something  I was putting off until next year; Lyon-Mont Blanc-Lyon.  A monster 450k over two days with 5600 metres of cols.

Meanwhile, on the 19th June, it's our perennial favourite, La Bernard Hinault, just down the road in St Brieuc.  

July is when I take time off to recharge the batteries and get inspired all over again by the Tour.  But there's just time to squeeze Les Copains in before the Tour starts.

I'm now available to do last year's postponed monster ride, the classic based 218k Helletocht.  Another Lotto Cycling Tour event that races from Roeselare to Roubaix Velodrome and back.  Taking in climbs and cobbles as it goes.  With the first climb, or more accurately the descent, the dreaded breaker of bikes and bones... The Kemmelberg.  Oh joy!  That's no way to treat a Colnago.

Sees an end of season visit to St Nazaire and the Jean Cyril Robin.  A race we did last year but it's such a good way to end a long season.  Great organisation, a fantastic circuit and good atmosphere.  Car park (farmer's field) was a little dodgy, but a small price to pay.

Whatever you choose to do, or wherever you choose to do it, (try something different this year) have a happy, safe and above all an enjoyable 2010 season.